Macro Express News

January 5, 2010

This is the online edition of the Macro Express News email newsletter. You can have future editions delivered directly to your email inbox. Visit the Macro Express News page to subscribe or to view past issues.

Macro Express Pro v ME Pro
Macro Express Pro v is now available from

The Macro Express News email newsletter is normally sent each time we release a new version of Macro Express or Macro Express Pro. However, this newsletter covers the changes made in Macro Express Pro v, v and v You did not miss copies of the Macro Express News, we didn't send them.

There were a combined total of 58 changes made in Macro Express Pro v, v and v The handling of variables, commands that interact with the Windows Clipboard and the If Window commands have been optimized for increased speed and reliability. New backup options and the Restore Macro File menu option have been added. The macro file can now be backed up when the editor closes instead of when the program closes.

A complete list of changes is available on our Revision History page or on the Release Notes for version, version and version

Tip: Use Windows Shortcuts in your macros ME - ME Pro
Recently a customer asked "Is there a direct command to open the device manager, like the commands used to open the Control Panel?"

Our recommendation was to use the Text Type command to type: <WIN><PAUSEKEY> followed by the correct number of Tabs and an Enter to open the Device Manager dialog.

This illustrates the power of using Windows shortcuts in your macros. Some are well known such as F1 for help, Ctrl-c to copy and Ctrl-v for paste. But were you aware of Shift+Right Click (Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands), Ctrl+Shift+ESC (open Task Manager) or Alt+F6 (switch between multiple windows in the same program)?

Microsoft has knowledgebase articles that document keyboard shortcuts for Windows Vista and prior and for Windows 7.

To really enhance your macros or to accomplish unusual tasks try using the shortcuts already built into Windows.

Sample Macro: Program Files Folder ME - ME Pro
I, like some of you, recently upgraded to a Windows 7 computer. This computer happens to be running the 64 bit version of Microsoft's latest operating system. There have been few issues running either Macro Express or Macro Express Pro in a 64 bit environment. One thing, however, has required changes to some of my macros.

Many of my macros launch programs. For those with computers set to use the English language, programs have traditionally been installed in the 'Program Files' folder of the C: drive. With 64 bit Windows, however, 32 bit programs are, by default, installed under the '\Program files (x86)' folder. Only 64 bit programs are installed under 'c:\Program Files'.

I could simply edit my macros to replace 'C:\Program Files' with 'C:\Program Files (x86) but my macros are used on several computers, including my laptop that still runs the 32 bit version of Windows XP. Rather than have separate macros for each computer I have changed my macros to get the correct Program Files folder from Windows itself.

The solution is to use some simple macro commands to get the path of the Program Files folder for 32 bit programs. A sample macro, Program Files Folder, available for both Macro Express and Macro Express Pro, demonstrates this process.

Shared macro: Convert Highlighted Text (revised) ME - ME Pro
Doug Williams sent us an update to the Convert Highlighted Text macro. This macro was originally written by Al Willen. But, Doug says, "I changed it to include the ability to 'CamelBack' the text as option D."

CamelBack text, also known as Camel Case, removes spaces between words and replaces them with upper case characters. Doug goes on, "I just thought changing the text to caps on the first letter of every word and removing all spaces could be handy to some."

For more information and to download this new, revised macro, visit the Convert Highlighted Text (revised) page.

Because we published his macro we will send Doug a Macro Express T-Shirt.

Do I really need to reboot when installing Macro Express or Macro Express Pro? ME - ME Pro
The short answer is yes.

In order to run, Macro Express and Macro Express Pro create a special interface with Windows. As long as this interface is running, new Macro Express files cannot be installed. Problems can, and often will, occur if you do not reboot your computer when the Macro Express installer suggests.

This issue is discussed in detail in the Do I really need to reboot when installing Macro Express or Macro Express Pro knowledgebase article.

If you have problems with your computer or Macro Express after installing a new version and skipping the reboot step, please reboot your computer before asking for help. You may also need to reinstall Macro Express, this time following the reboot recommendation.

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