What's a Macro?

Not everyone knows what macro means and for those who don't know what a macro is, here is a brief explanation to help you understand it better.

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You may be a macro expert who does everything with the help of macros or you may have needed to work with a few macros during your career, but for those who never worked with a macro, it may be hard to understand what it is and how it works.

A macro is basically a number of recorded steps of a certain task in a software. Often used in office software such as Word and Excel, macros help you simplify or automate tasks that are repetitive in nature or would require a lot of time and manual labor otherwise.

To give an example from Excel, let's say you want to update the cell values in a column based on the value of another cell, instead of updating multiple cells manually every time you update the inputt cell, with the help of a macro, you can do this automatically or with the click of a button. Macros may be of help in your calculations, organizing and editing data and with anything that you do in a repeating manner. If you are not a frequent user of office software, you may have not needed to use macros but what is for sure is that without macros, a lot of every day office tasks would have been impossible or take enormous amounts of time to accomplish.

Macros are not only helpful in office software. With the rapid increase in the online software and services, you can now see macros being used on web browsers to simplify or automate certain web related tasks. For example logging into a website and retrieving certain information, without you even needing to actually open the website URL, type your login details and get the info you needed.

There are many free or paid software and services, addons and extensions for office software and web browsers that help with the building of macros and automating your tasks. One example to such software is iMacros, which you might already be familiar with, that also has free addons for popular browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.

If you are in need of creating web macros in your browser, you can check these addons on the following links:

iMacros addon for Firefox
iMacros addon for Chrome

You can find more information on macros on the following links:

Office Excel - Work with Macros

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