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1. Word Under the Hood > 2. Macros 101: A Crash Course

Macros 101: A Crash Course

This hack offers a whirlwind tour of macros, which can help you automate tedious and time-consuming tasks.

Word 6 or later lets you write, record, and play macros, or short programs that automate tasks in Word. The term macro comes from macrocommand, which originally referred to a bunch of commands strung together and executed all at once. Typically, you would record a sequence of commands, give the sequence a name, and then play it back as needed. You can certainly use Word macros for this purpose, but it represents only the tip of the iceberg.

You create Word macros using Visual Basic for Applications, usually abbreviated as VBA. Even recorded macros get translated into VBA, which you can then examine or edit.


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