Capture a Macro - System Hot Key


Macro Express has eight hot keys automatically assigned as System Macros. One of these System Macros is called Start / Stop Capture and by default is defined as CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+X. Pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+X starts the recording of a macro. Pressing it a second time stops the recording. The system macro hot key combination may be changed to another hot key combination not presently being used in Macro Express.



Capture Settings

Before recording any macros using the System Hot Key we first need to define the default capture settings.


1.From the Macro Express Pro - Explorer click on Options > Preferences > General and select the Capture tab to display the Capture default settings.


Note: These are the settings that are used when the System Start / Stop Capture Hot Key function is invoked. These are also the default settings that appear when clicking on the Capture icon to start a macro recording.


2.Leave the scope set to global.

3.Check the Capture Keystrokes option.

4.Check the Capture Mouse option and select the Relative to Window option from the drop down menu.

5.Make sure the Capture the Window Size option is checked.

6.We also want to just capture the mouse clicks. We don’t need to capture every movement of the mouse. If we were drawing or dragging with the mouse, then we would want to capture all mouse movements.

7.Turn off the “Capture at a specific speed” option to capture the macro without any delays. Be careful when doing this. In some applications the macro may play back too fast and not work correctly.

8.Check the Display a Prompt Before Capturing box to display a message indicating the capture is starting.

9.Click OK to save the settings.



Capturing the Macro

An important thing to remember when recording a macro is to make sure that the program to start recording in is active and on top. Our example recording uses the WordPad application.


When recording, try to use keystrokes as much as possible, rather than the mouse. But there are certain functions that do not have keystroke equivalents and require the mouse. For this example we’ll record a simple macro to change the font color. This can be done with just keystrokes.


1.First run the Windows WordPad program.

2.Once focus is on WordPad, press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+X.

3.A notice may appear warning about the use of the ALT key. Click OK.

4.Next appears a notice that the macro is about to start recording. Click the OK button to start recording.


The macro is now recording. Let's do something fairly simple such as selecting a new font color.


5.Press Alt + h then type C2 to open the text color choices.

6.Arrow down several times to choose a color and press Enter.

7.Terminate the macro capture by pressing the same system macro, CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+X.



Macro Information

The "Create New Macro" window opens for assigning a macro activation.


1.Select HotKey as the Initial Activation if not already the default.

2.Place the cursor in the hotkey edit window and press CTRL+SHIFT+S.

3.Release the keys to display CTRL+SHIFT+S in the edit box and use as the macro activation hot key.

4.Type WordPad Color Change in the nickname field and press OK.



Play back the macro

1.Open a WordPad window with a little bit of text in it.

2.Highlight the text in the WordPad window.

3.Press the hot key CTRL+SHIFT+S to run the macro.

4.The text color is changed to what we chose in the macro.