Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Recording Macros

Ah, Macros… The wonderfully mysterious tools of glorious geekdom! As is the case with many otherwise meaningful and useful words in business, “Macros” has for some become a Buzzword (e.g. “Well, can’t you just build a macro to do that?” or “I hear macros can be very useful in spreadsheets. We probably should use those...”)

Everyday users and clueless managers occasionally seem to think that using a Macro is the Silver Bullet for solving their Excel issues. In fact, macros can be extremely beneficial, but they are more typically created and used by employing the special skillset of VBA programmers. On many levels this is true.

When it comes to using Recorded Macros, however, the entry level is much more accessible. A Recorded Macro can, in fact, be an ideal way of lessening your repetitious work and simplifying your routine chores.

Rather than recreating the wheel each time you do a report, a recorded macro can store your mouse clicks and keystrokes while you work, and then let you to play them back in future revisions of your workbook. You can save your recordings, and when you run the macro, it will play the commands in the same order that you recorded them. It can be an amazing timesaver (and do away with repetitious drudgery…).

For example, let’s say you track the performance of the Customer Service Reps in your company. This may be a repetitive weekly task that can be easily automated. Here's how to Record a Macro for this type of situation:

1.   Access your report workbook and click the start of the cells you are going to update.
2.   Point to the Developer tab, and then click Record Macro.
3.  In the Record Macro dialog box, enter a Name that applies to your operation. For ease of operation later on, assign a custom Shortcut Key (this will be your Magic Button to replay the macro…).
4.   Now perform the calculations, formatting, moving, etc that applies to the repetitive and monotonous update.
5.   Finish recording the macro by clicking the Stop Recording button.

To Run your Macro, simply press your Custom Shortcut Keys or click on the Replay Button that you may have created.

Presto! Instant update! Your newly created Macro has just done all the work that may have taken you a considerable amount of time to complete. Try this out – It may even inspire you to learn more about the VBA programming that you can use to conquer the business world…

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