Intelligible Names for Macros

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2015)

When you assign macros to a toolbar, you have the option to change the Name assigned to the macro on the toolbar. If you later want to change this name, you can display the Customize dialog box (right-click on the toolbar and choose Customize from the resulting Context menu) and then right-click on the toolbar button.

There is only one problem with this approach: The Name setting for the toolbar button is nothing more than the name that appears as text within the toolbar, if you choose to have text or text and image displayed in the toolbar. (This may sound a bit confusing, especially to a Word novice. It all has to do with the settings that you choose when first adding the macro to your toolbar or when you display the Modify Selection menu for the toolbar button.) What if you want to change the actual ToolTip that appears when you hover the mouse pointer over the toolbar button?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to change the ToolTip from any menu you can display in Word. Again, the Name field in the Modify Selection menu only controls what is shown as text within the toolbar button; it does not affect the ToolTip. So what are you to do? The only thing you can do is modify the ToolTip text via VBA and modify it in that way. The following short macro will do the trick:

Public Sub FixToolTip()
    Const sToolTip As String = "My ToolTip Text"
    Const sTBName As String = "Standard"
    Const iBtnIdx As Integer = 5

    CommandBars(sTBName).Controls(iBtnIdx).TooltipText = sToolTip
End Sub

This macro only has to be run once, because Word remembers the new ToolTip text once it is set. All you need to do is change the values assigned to the three constants at the beginning of the macro:

  • sToolTip. This is the text you want displayed as a ToolTip.
  • sTBName. This is the name of the toolbar on which the button resides. This is the same toolbar name that you see when you choose Toolbars from the View menu.
  • iBtnIdx. This is the numeric position of the button on the toolbar. If you are using Word 97, all you need to do is count the buttons from the left side of the toolbar, beginning with one. If you are using Word 2000 or later, all buttons may not be displayed on the toolbar. Simply undock the toolbar so they are all displayed in their regular order, and then do your count.

If you ran the macro exactly as it appears above, then the fifth button from the left on the Standard toolbar would have the ToolTip text of "My ToolTip Text".

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1494) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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