There's no need to recreate your Microsoft Word macros when you move to a new computer.
You use Microsoft Word and have saved a healthy collection of macros to ease your work--now you're migrating to a different PC and want to take those macros with you. No problem: You can import your Word macros from one computer to another.
You can transfer macros at least a couple of different ways--I'll cover two methods that work for me. For this process I'm using the latest version of Word through an Office 365 subscription, but the steps are the same for the past few versions of Word.
Disclosure: TechRepublic may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page. TechRepublic and the author were not compensated for this independent review.
LEARN MORE: Office 365 Consumer pricing and features
How to copy Word's Normal.dotm template file
The first method involves copying the default Normal.dotm template on which all new Word documents are based. This template houses the macros you've added to Word, along with other settings and customizations.
1. Open Word on your current computer.
2. Click on the View tab, select the Macros icon, and select View Macros (Figure A).
3. Make sure the selection for Macros In is set to Normal.dotm (Global Template) and that the macros you wish to transfer to your new computer are all listed (Figure B).
4. Close the Macros window, and exit Word.
5. Open File Explorer or Windows Explorer, and navigate to C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. (If the AppData folder doesn't appear, click the View tab, and check the box for Hidden Items.)
6. Select and copy the Normal.dotm file in this folder (Figure C).
7. Paste the file in a location accessible to your new computer, such as a network share or a removable hard drive or USB stick.
8. Move to your new computer.
9. Open File Explorer or Windows Explorer, and navigate to C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.
10. Rename the existing Normal.dotm file to something like Normal-old.dotm.
11. Copy and paste the Normal.dotm file from your other computer (Figure D).
12. Open Microsoft Word.
13. Click the View tab, select the Macros icon, and select View Macros. You should now see the macros from your older computer (Figure E).
By copying the entire Normal.dotm template, you not only carry over all macros but other settings and customizations that you may or may not want to apply to Word on your new computer. If you want only the macros and not other settings, here's a different approach.
SEE: Choosing your Windows 7 exit strategy: Four options (TechRepublic Premium)
How to copy the macros only
1. Copy the Normal.dotm file from your old computer, and paste the file on a network share, a removable hard drive, or a USB stick.
2. Rename the file from Normal.dotm to something like Normal-new.dotm, and paste that file into C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates on your new computer.
3. Open Word on your new computer.
4. Click the View tab, select the Macros icon, and select View Macros.
5. In the Macros window, click the button for Organizer (Figure F).
6. At the Organizer window, click the button on the left side to Close File.
7. Click the same button to Open File.
8. Select the Normal-new.dotm file that you pasted before. The file should show an entry for NewMacros.
9. Make sure the right side of the window points to Normal.dotm as the target.
10. Select the entry for NewMacros, and click the Copy button (Figure G). The entry for NewMacros now appears in the right side.
11. Close the Organizer window.
12. Select the Macros icon, and select View Macros. You should now see the macros you copied to the Normal.dotm template on your new computer (Figure H).
- Microsoft Office 365: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- 10 free alternatives to Microsoft Word and Excel (TechRepublic download)
- Malicious Microsoft Word docs warning: Think before you click on unexpected emails (ZDNet)
- The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time (Download.com)
- Best cloud services for small businesses (CNET)
- 5 ways to modify and customize styles in Microsoft Word (TechRepublic)
- How to control copying and pasting in Microsoft Word (TechRepublic)
- More must-read Microsoft-related coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)