Automating Your Work with Macros

Understanding Macros Creating Macros

833 Running Macros

One of the easiest ways to increase your day-to-day productivity with Microsoft Office Project 2003 is to use macros. Macros can automate repetitive, tedious, or complex tasks, freeing your time for more important tasks such as managing your projects.

This chapter focuses on macros you might use to automate tasks that you need to do frequently. Typically, macros are created by recording the steps in a task, which means that little (if any) programming is required.

For more information about advanced macro tasks, such as using them as part of larger solutions to customize or extend the Project 2003 interface and functionality, see Part 9, "Programming Custom Solutions."

Washing the dishes—what a chore. Pick up a dirty plate, wash it with soapy water, rinse it off, and then dry it. It's the same every time. But with a dishwasher, all the tedium of washing, rinsing, and drying is automatically handled by the machine, leaving you free to do better things with your time. (Now if you could only get the kids to empty it without being told...) Similarly, you don't want to perform the same tedious series of commands week after week; you just want a specially formatted report to print every Friday. What you need is a macro.

Basically, a macro is a shortcut that performs a series of commands. Rather than manually performing each step necessary to complete a task, you simply tell the software what each step is, what needs to be accomplished in each step, and in what order the steps must occur. Then you designate some way to set this series of commands in motion.

In the past, creating a macro usually involved one of the following two problems:

• The macro language was powerful but arcane, which resulted in a complicated process that took a lot of time to learn.

• The macro language was easier to understand but limited in the range of tasks it could perform, making for a very frustrating experience.

In Microsoft Project, however, you have the best of both worlds with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). A subset of the highly popular Visual Basic programming language, VBA is both

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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