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Overview of Recording, Storing, and Running a Macro

Recording a macro is useful when you do not have experience in writing lines of code in a macro. As you gain more knowledge and experience, you will begin to record lines of code less frequently.

To begin recording a macro, select Record Macro from the Developer tab. Before recording begins, Excel displays the Record Macro dialog box, as shown in Figure 1.4.

Figure 1.4

Figure 1.4 Use the Record Macro dialog box to assign a name and a shortcut key to the macro being recorded.

Filling Out the Record Macro Dialog

In the Macro Name field, type a name for the macro. Be sure to type continuous characters. For example, type Macro1 without a space, not Macro 1 with a space. Assuming you will soon be creating many macros, use a meaningful name for the macro. A name such as FormatReport is more useful than Macro1.

The second field in the Record Macro dialog box is a shortcut key. If you type J in this field, and then press Ctrl+J, this macro runs. Note that most of the lowercase shortcuts from Ctrl+a through Ctrl+z already have a use in Excel. Rather than being limited to the unassigned Ctrl+j, you can hold down the Shift key and type Shift+A through Shift+Z in the shortcut box. This will assign the macro to Ctrl+Shift+A.

In the Record Macro dialog box, choose where you want to save a macro when it is recorded: Personal Macro Workbook, New Workbook, This Workbook. It is recommended that you store macros related to a particular workbook in This Workbook.

The Personal Macro Workbook (Personal.xlsm) is not a visible workbook; it is created if you choose to save the recording in the Personal Macro Workbook. This workbook is used to save a macro in a workbook that will open automatically when you start Excel, thereby enabling you to use the macro. After Excel is started, the workbook is hidden. If you want to display it, select Unhide from the View tab.

The fourth box in the Record Macro dialog is for a description. This description is added as a comment to the beginning of your macro. Note that legacy versions of Excel automatically noted the date and username of the person recording the macro. Excel 2010 no longer automatically inserts this information in the Description field.

After you select the location where you want to store the macro, click OK. Record your macro. When you are finished recording the macro, click the Stop Recording icon in the Developer tab.

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