November 17, 2007 mtg. – Creating Macros, Paul Natenson

A faithful group of Hunterdon Computer Club members gathered on Saturday, November 17, for refreshments, the club meeting and a presentation by Paul Natanson on Creating Macros to Automate Tasks in Excel and Word.
In the business meeting, Lon Hosford, President of the club, said for the coming year he will continue as President, John Gbur is the Vice President and will handle club publicity; Jim Aller is club Secretary, and John Warsinski is Treasurer.
Ilene expressed concern on how to target new people to increase club membership.  Suggestions made by members included:

·        News releases to local newspaper

·        Submitting meeting date, location, time, and presentation info to Community Calendar section of local newspaper

·        Radio announcement on stations that cover local news

·        Bring your friends

·        Links from members’ websites to club website

·        Write and post articles on club website on topics that may be of interest to the general public

·        Put a poster outside the auditorium where presentation is given inviting guests to join us.

·        Put an ad in the high school newspaper suggesting students tell their parents about the club.
Club members are asked to email John Gbur with any suggestions on where to send publicity releases for the best exposure.
Q.  Member has a wireless laptop but cannot connect to the Internet.

A.  Make sure you have your wireless Internet turned on.  There is a small switch on the front of your computer, which must be turned on.
Q.  What is Gmail?

A.  Gmail is Google mail.  It is spam free, is free to use, and has 4GBs free storage. It is not secure email, so don’t use it for confidential information.
Q.  Member using Gmail found that forwarded messages that included embedded pictures and/or website links, dropped the pictures and the links.  How can these functions be restored?

A.  Try clicking on Settings on the Gmail page and under “Outgoing message encoding” click on “Use Unicode encoding for outgoing messages.”.
For those who have used Google Earth, try MicroSoft Live Maps.  It seems to be a step above Google Earth in some areas because more detail is available.  The Bird’s Eye view gives detail that can be downloaded to your GPS through a wireless Internet connection.
Presentation –  Creating Macros to Automate Tasks in Excel and Word, by Paul Natanson

In using Excel and Word for various applications, there are many times when it is necessary to do the same repetitious actions over and over again.  In order to reduce the time this takes and to eliminate the repetition and make the process quick and easy, create a macro to do the same function using only a click instead of a long series of actions.
A macro is a set of computer instructions, a mini-computer program, activated by an event.  It is often written in computer programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which is a subset of Visual Basic.  It can also involve decisions and branches using “if” and “then” and “else” statements.
The macros can be creating quickly in Word by going to Tools/Macro/Record new macro.  Give the macro a name, store the macro in a document where it is easy to find, assign to the keyboard or toolbar, and click OK.  A toolbar pops up.  Go through the strokes you would use to accomplish the task you want, then click “stop recording”.  Put the icon on the toolbar to activate the macro if you chose “toolbar” prior to recording the macro.  To run the macro, go to Tools/Macro/Macro/select the macro file/Run.  The macro can be edited to change the actions of the macro as needed.
The Undo command will not undo a macro so be sure you want to run the macro on your document.
For more detailed information, go to Paul’s website, and click on “Free courses”. From there you can open a PowerPoint presentation on macros, and read and print out handouts with instructions how to record, run, and edit macros.
Thanks, Paul, for explaining the mystery of creating macros in a simple, straight-forward way.
Next month’s meeting, December 15, will be the club’s Christmas Party.  Bring something to share.  As usual, questions about computer problems will be answered at the meeting, and the meeting will be open to the public.