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How Macros Work

When you get right down to it, a macro is nothing more than a computer program. Macros can be surprisingly short—even a one-line macro can perform helpful tasks—or they can run for hundreds of lines, with loops and variables and input boxes, and other elements you normally associate with a full-fledged programming language. You don't need to be a programmer to automate much of your work with macros. All you need is a basic understanding of the underlying application and a willingness to step through a few lines of code.

With rare exceptions, you can create a macro to automate any task you can do manually in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, FrontPage, or Access. Macros are ideal for automating routine drudge work—those everyday tasks that normally require multiple menu selections and mouse clicks.


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