Add a custom macro menu to Word

Don't wander through Word's menu hierarchy every time you want to execute a macro. Add a custom menu and those macros will be just a click away.

In the previous blog post, I mentioned bypassing Word's built-in print options via a specialized printing macro. Now, the trouble with macros — if you have a lot of them — is access. Executing a Word macro requires five clicks unless you've assigned a shortcut. That's a lot of steps to access an automated task! If you have a lot of macros and a short memory (memorizing a lot of shortcuts is more troublesome than negotiating the macro menu structure), add a custom menu for quick access to the macros you use most often. First, add a new menu to the menu bar and then drag macros to the new menu, as follows:

  1. Launch the Customize dialog box by double-clicking a toolbar or menu or by choosing Customize from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. Choose New Menu from the Categories list (the last option). Doing so will update the Commands list to the right.

  1. From the Commands list, drag New Menu to Word's menu bar and drop it in the position you want.

  1. Right-click the new menu on the menu bar.
  2. Return to the Categories list in the Customize dialog box and choose Macros. Doing so will display all the macros in the current document in the Commands list. If the list is blank, specify the current document in the Save In control (at the bottom of the dialog box).

  1. Drag each macro, one by one, to the Macros menu and drop it.

  1. Once all the macros are in the menu, right-click each and change its Name property to something more friendly and descriptive. Remember to insert an ampersand (&) to the left of the character you want to assign as a shortcut.

  1. Once you've renamed all the macros, click Close.
  2. Change the default Name setting to &Macros. That way you can quickly access this menu by pressing [Alt]+M.

  1. To execute a macro, press [Alt]+M or click the Macros menu. Choose a macro from the list or press its shortcut combination.
If you have only a few macros, one toolbar works fine. On the other hand, if you have several macros, you might want to create multiple macro menus and categorize the macros by function, user, and so on — whatever makes the most sense. Customizing the Word 2007 Ribbon isn't as easy as adding a new menu to the menu bar is. To execute a macro in Word 2007, click the Developer tab, click Macros in the Code group, select a macro, and click Run.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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