Learn How and Why to Run AutoExec Macros When You Open Word

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Most Microsoft Word users have probably heard the word Macro before but never figured out what one was, much less how to create one and automate it.  Fortunately, you have me to teach you how to create, run, and set your macros to run automatically when you start MS Word.  

What Is a Macro?

When you boil it down to the basics, a macro is just a series of commands and processes that you have recorded.

 After recording a macro, you can run it at any time to carry out the exact same process at a later date.  

If you think about it, pretty much every shortcut that you use in Microsoft Office is basically a macro because you press a few buttons to carry out a specific set of instructions rather than having to navigate through the ribbon options to run the commands.

Why Use AutoExec Macros?

Now that you know what macros are, you may want to consider using AutoExec macros.  AutoExec macros are those macros that will run as soon as you open Microsoft Word.  You can use these macros to change file paths, save locations, default printers and more.  You can also use AutoExec macros to replace Templates when you need to create specific types of document such as memos, letters, financial documents, or any other type of document with predefined information and formatting. 

Click on the following hyperlinks if you are interested in learning the basics of how to work with Macros in Microsoft Office Word 200320072010 or 2013.

Create AutoExec Macros

First, you must open the Normal.dot template file from the default template file location:

C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

Next, you need to create your macro using the methods explained in the articles listed above. When prompted to save your macro and give it a name, name it "AutoExec."  

  • It is important to remember that any macro that has "AutoExec" as the title will run automatically when Word opens.  This works for all versions of Word. 

Because each macro must have a unique name, including all the commands you want to execute in the macro. After naming completing the macro and naming it, save your template.

Now that you have completed this process, the next time you start MS Word, the macro you just created will be run automatically. 

Prevent Your AutoExec Macro From Running 

If you don’t want the macro to run when Word opens, there are two ways to stop it. The first option is to double-click on the Microsoft Word icon and hold the "Shift" key.

The second option you can use to prevent the Macro from being run is to use the "Run" Dialog box by following the steps listed below.

  • Press the "Windows Button + R"
  • Type the following command to run Word without the Macro: winword.exe /m

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to create and use macros for the different versions of Word and how to automatically run it when you open a new document, you will be ready to impress all your friends and colleagues with your efficiency and word processing prowess.

Edited by: Martin Hendrikx

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Hendrikx, Martin. "Learn How and Why to Run AutoExec Macros When You Open Word." ThoughtCo, Jan. 17, 2018, thoughtco.com/run-autoexec-macros-open-word-3539955. Hendrikx, Martin. (2018, January 17). Learn How and Why to Run AutoExec Macros When You Open Word. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/run-autoexec-macros-open-word-3539955 Hendrikx, Martin. "Learn How and Why to Run AutoExec Macros When You Open Word." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/run-autoexec-macros-open-word-3539955 (accessed January 19, 2018).