Macros! — cool tricks to save time and cut the
“wear and tear”
Do you find yourself entering the same set of key
and over? Do you ever repeat the same steps time and time again? Or do
you simply wonder, “How can I save some time and reduce the
‘wear and tear’?” Think macros!
Macros can perform many handy tasks that would otherwise drive you
crazy. Macros are “micro midgets” that will happily
given task again and again—and in double-quick time too. When
want to perform a procedure, you run your macro and it sends all the
key strokes and mouse actions to your computer. Presto, your
Most software applications such as Macrex, Microsoft Word and Excel
allow you to create macros to help speed your work. Macrex comes with
built-in macros to automatically add “See” and
also” references. You can also use macros in Macrex to assist
with double-posting, adding annotations, or adding comments inside an
entry. I use a macro in Microsoft Word to code index entries so they
can be entered directly into FrameMaker. SKY Index Professional and
CINDEX also have macro capability.
So how do you create a macro?
- It’s wise to begin by writing down the
steps that you do when performing your task.
- Then test your written procedure on a number of
index entries, complete indexes or whatever it is that your are
automating. Once you’ve got your procedure working well
you’re ready to record the macro itself.
- To start recording a macro, instruct your application
you are about to record a macro. In Macrex, you start recording a macro
by pressing Ctrl+F1.
- Next, you decide how you want to invoke the macro
Depending on the application, you can invoke a macro by using a
function key, a key combination or a menu item.
- Follow your written procedure by entering the key
or performing the mouse actions. Once you’ve completed doing
procedure, instruct the program that you’ve finished
the macro. In Macrex, to stop recording the macro you press Ctrl+F1
- Be sure to test your macro in the same way you tested
written procedure in Step 2. Sometimes a macro will behave in
unexpected ways when presented with a case that’s a little
different from what you had originally anticipated. Often, the only way
to discover these special cases is to try your macro out on a wide
variety of real material.
So when you find yourself doing the same thing over and
and over again, write down the steps and create a macro.
save time and feel like a genius!
Published in the Bulletin, Indexing Society of
Canada, Autumn 2002.
Home | Website indexing | Training
expertise | Articles
your index | Sample
indexes | Internet resources | Contact