Best timesaver?

My friend Jack is a relative newcomer to macros, but when he lost all his macros in the middle of an urgent job, he realised how much time they had saved him. (“You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone!”)

After I’d helped him to get them back, he told me that the macros he had missed most were InstantFindUp, InstantFindDown and FindFwd, FindBack.

The book had a lot of technical words which the author had sometimes used with an article and sometimes without. As he read through the text, he had to keep checking for consistency, so he clicked in the word (or selected a phrase) and used InstantFindDown to jump straight to the next occurrence and then FindFwd/Back to jump back and forth between them.

It’s only a small time saving compared with using Word’s own Find facilities, but these small savings, when multiplied, do add up – if you see what I mean!

Watch them in action (and other search macros) in a 12-min video: Macro Masterclass 2. They appear in the first 2/3 minutes of the video, but then there are other fun macros you might like.

Which macro(s) could YOU not do without? Please let us know.

For me, it has to be FRedit; if that were lost and I had to do all my global find and replaces manually I’d give up doing any editing! (Watch out for the forthcoming training materials to get you started with FRedit.)

Macro security

I’ve been getting a few enquiries recently from people saying that, after Word had been updated, their macros had disappeared and/or the keystrokes assigned to them.

So back them up!

(As I wrote that, I backed up my macros and keystrokes – it took me all of 7 seconds!)

Then if something goes wrong, you can restore them from your most recent backup – that would take me all of 20 seconds.

Invest time now to save time later: set up this high-speed backup, as per the instructions in this pdf. (Separate instructions for Mac and PC provided, thanks to Jennifer Yankopolus.)

Banish RSI

Do you suffer from RSI (repetitive strain injury) from doing too much mousework? I hope not!

Jennifer Yankopolus, in her macros training course is very strong on the idea that macros can help to avoid RSI. Thankfully, it’s not something I had suffered from – but note the tense there!

Three months ago, Sue and I were on one of our many trips down to central London from Norwich, two hours each way on the train. To help pass the time, we had the idea of playing Scrabble on my laptop. At home, we often play together, against the computer which is great fun – and it’s good for marital harmony!

We only did so on one journey, but I have had RSI pain in my elbow ever since – over two months now. Why?

To play Scrabble, you have to use the mouse to shuffle the tiles around and then drag them onto the board. However, on the board, if you don’t place them accurately, they jump back to the letter rack and you have to try again. As the train does bounce around a fair bit, I was constantly gripping the mouse hard and, as I say, I’ve had RSI pain ever since, though thankfully it’s abating slowly.

Jennifer is right that macros can help you avoid RSI, and so in this video, I’ve explained how and why you can reduce the problem.