Invisible Macros

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 25, 2014)

Do you like to customize Word by adding macros to different menu and toolbar options? If so, you may have noticed that you can't always find your macros when you try to attach one to a menu in the Customize dialog box. The macro may be visible in the macros list when you press Alt+F8, but not in the Customize dialog box.

The most likely cause of this problem is that the macro is not saved in the template but in some other template. It would be visible in the regular macros list because all the "reachable" macros are listed there, by default. It would not be visible in the Customize dialog box because only the macros in Normal.Dot are visible there, by default.

To get around this problem, there are two possible solutions. First, the macro can be moved to the Normal.Dot template file using the Organizer feature of Word. (You get there by clicking on Organizer from the Macro dialog box.) The second solution is to make sure your menu customization is saved in the same template in which the desired macro is saved. You do that by following these steps:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. This displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click on the Commands tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Commands tab of the Customize dialog box.

  4. In the Categories list, choose Macros. The right side of the dialog box should list the macros available.
  5. If the macro you desire is not visible, use the Save In drop-down list to select a different template file. You should select the one you know your desired macro is saved in.
  6. Make your menu changes as desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1911) 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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