Monday, March 10, 2014

Excel Macros

A macro, in Excel, is essentially a recording of a set of commands that typically are repetitively done. Using the macro therefore enhances both sped and productivity; less time is used performing the same set of keystrokes time and time again. As an example, think about how you might be required each week to generate a specific report, one that has to be set up using the same layout and formatting each time. To generate the specific settings each time takes perhaps 2 minutes. If you use the macro, all you would need to do in the future is enter the single key command that activates the macro, and voila, it is all done for you.

It is not difficult to set up a macro. From your initial Excel screen, select the “View” tab. From that tab you then select the “Macros” dropdown menu, and when that opens up, then select “Record macros.” This will open up a screen in which you will be able to name the macro. Let us call ours “Format Macro.” In that same screen, you will be able to select a shortcut key, which is “Ctrl + (enter key name).” Now, be careful here; there are already many shortcuts built into Excel, and if you select one already in use, it will be changed to your macro, so for example, do not select “Ctrl + C,” which is already the “copy” command. There are lists of shortcuts available so that you do not select one already developed. Once you assign the key, click “Okay.” You will then denote where the macro will be stored- just for this worksheet, for the entire workbook, or for all future files. You can add a description of what the macro does here as well. Click “Okay” once again.
Now you are ready to record. Perform the required keystrokes (do not make a mistake, since that is recorded as well). When you are done, go back to View>Macros> and click the “Stop recording” command. Your macro is now ready for you to use when needed.

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