chapter 7: advanced word processing 279
If the envelope gods are smiling, your printer now begins to print the envelopes
perfectly. (If they’re not, then you may discover that you’ll have to rotate the en-
velopes in the paper slot, or worst case, remove the envelope with a pneumatic
tool borrowed from your local garage). Depending on your printer model, you
may have to print one envelope at a time—if so, choose Current Record from the
drop-down menu at the bottom of the Data Merge Manager.
A macro is like a script: a step-by-step series of commands that Word performs, rapid-
ﬁre, each time the macro is run. Although they deﬁnitely qualify as a power-user
feature, you should consider this feature any time you ﬁnd yourself facing a repetitive,
tedious editing task. For example:
• Changing three different character names in one pass (which is required for each
chapter of the novel you just ﬁnished).
• Drawing a table with the months of the year automatically listed down the ﬁrst
column and the names of all salespeople across the top. (All you have to do to
complete the daily sales report is ﬁll in the ﬁgures.)
• Saving the table document above as a Word document in your Sales folder and sav-
ing an additional copy as a Web page (which you can now upload to the company
Ofﬁce’s macros are actually tiny programs written in a programming language called
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). People with programming skills and a lot of
time on their hands can make VBA do astounding tricks; fortunately, you don’t need
to learn the language. You can generally get away with using Word’s macro recorder, a
“watch me” mode where Word writes the macro for you as you traverse the various
steps once yourself. Once you’ve recorded the macro in this way, Word is ready to
execute those actions automatically, like a software robot that’s wired on caffeine.
Tip: A macro is saved into a document or a template. Thereafter, it works only when you’ve opened that
same document (or a document based on that template). Macros in global templates are loaded whenever
the template is loaded
To make a macro available in all Word documents, move it into the Normal template, as described under
“The Organizer” on page 230. Fortunately, macros you create by recording are stored in the Normal template,
so they’re always available.
Creating a Macro
Even without knowing Visual Basic, you can create a macro for anything you know
how to do in Word. Think of the macro recorder as a tape recorder that “listens” to
what you do, and then replays it on command.