Adding a Template Automatically

In upcoming issues of Editorium Update, I’ll explain how to run macros by adding your own toolbar buttons, menu items, and keyboard combinations to Microsoft Word. If you want to get a head start, however, be sure to read today’s Readers Write column, where subscriber David M Varner explains the importance of using keyboard combinations (“hot keys”) and how to create them. Thanks, David!

Last week I explained how to add macros to Microsoft Word in a “global template” or “add-in.” You can read last week’s newsletter here:

The problem is, every time you start Word, you’ll have to reactivate the global template before you can use its macros. Here’s the procedure:

1. Click the “Tools” menu (the “File” menu in earlier versions of Word).

2. Click “Templates and Add-ins” (“Templates” in earlier versions of Word).

3. In the list of global templates and add-ins, put a checkmark in the checkbox for the template you want to use.

4. Click the “OK” button.

Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if you could have Word add the template automatically? You can. Just follow this procedure:

1. Close Microsoft Word.

2. Copy the template you want to add automatically.

3. Navigate to Word’s Startup folder.

4. Paste the template into the Startup folder.

5. Restart Microsoft Word.

The macros in the template should now be available for you to use, and they’ll be available automatically every time you start Word.

If you don’t know where the Startup folder is, here’s how to find out:

1. Click the “Tools” menu (in any version of Word).

2. Click the “Options” menu item.

3. Click the “File Locations” tab.

You’ll see the location of the Startup folder on the line labeled “Startup.” (If you can’t see the full path to the folder, click the “Modify” button.)



David M Varner wrote:

Thank you for your recent information on macros. They are a big key to saving critical time on editorial tasks. I know that my assignments frequently incur midstream revisions; more accurately, frequent revisions (to subject matter as well as format) are the rule. So while macros may take a little time to create, you can zoom through those revisions so quickly that it is well worth knowing this function well. Glad to see your focus on macros.

I disagree, however, with your implicit vote for using Word’s menu to implement macros. Sorting through menu items is generally somewhat awkward, especially with time constraints always looming. A pretty good short circuit for this snare is to use hot keys. Even if you prefer mousing in the menu, hot keys are a wonderful snap by comparison when considering time, and possibly crucial when a deadline is close. Having a stable of custom macros is not a bad idea either, if not inevitable.

Not only can you choose to assign hot keys while you are creating a macro, but you can also create hot keys for existing macros. I discovered the latter a couple of years ago while trying to remember the hot keys I had assigned to a certain macro. To my dismay, the answer was not to be found in the Macros dialog box–a strange oversight.

This oversight was so strange, in fact, I was convinced that macro hot-key assignments still must exist somewhere. Well, they do, and their location was not obvious, but not too far away. In short, I found them in the “Customize” dialog box. So, to find the forgotten hot keys you assigned to a macro:

1. Click “Tools” on the menu, then select “Customize” to access the “Customize” dialog box.

2. Click the “Keyboard” button to access the “Customize Keyboard” dialog box.

3. In the “Categories” field, scroll down to and select “Macros.”

4. In the “Macros” field, scroll, if necessary, down to the macro you want and select it. Your assigned hot keys now appear in the “Current keys” field.

You can probably now figure out how to assign (or modify) hot keys to existing macros using the “Customize Keyboard” dialog box: Using the “Press new shortcut key” field, select “Ctrl,” “Alt,” and/or “Shift” keys in combination with other keyboard characters to make that hot-key assignment.

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