3 Steps to Create Macros in MS Word for Quick Formatting

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Working with documents can be tiresome if you have to prepare dozens of those in Microsoft Word weekly. There is a web alternative, yet, it is a light version of MS Word that has a limited selection of features.

MS Word is used for writing, editing, and formatting on a higher level, and it's easier to record a macro there to simplify your work with .docx files. Research experts acknowledge that when they receive a request "write my paper on WritePaper", it's not nearly everything the customer wants.

Whether you are a student who needs to submit numerous assignments or an office worker, there's a 90% probability that you have to adhere to some standards of formatting. To be readable and look professional, even a good text needs to be formatted. That's where the macros feature may come in handy.

What Is a Macro?

You have definitely used shortcuts to select all the text on a page, copy, paste, etc. Macros are very similar. Basically, they are customizable lists of instructions that are executed once you press a specific key.

They can be created by any user even without the knowledge of coding languages. And mastering them can save you quite a lot of time.

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Of course, one can go far beyond the basic formatting with proper coding knowledge, but this article will not dive into programming. Instead, we will focus on the most basic ways to automate your formatting in MS Word without having to learn anything too complicated.

Who Are These Tips For?

This article will be of great help to you if:

  • you need to polish a number of documents using similar formatting rules every day;
  • you are a student whose professor is picky about the format;
  • you work with long Word documents that can't be formatted manually in a tick.

Step 1: Choose a Sample & Mess It Up

Search for any article (you can use even this one), copy it to MS Word, and create a mess. Here are some tips if you need them:

  • Make the font size of several sentences bigger.
  • Change the color of some paragraphs.
  • Switch the font style of a couple of paragraphs.

Let your creativity roam.

Step 2: Find the Icon & Start Recording

The first thing you need to look for is the View tab. After that, choose Macros → Record Macro. Write down the name of your command in the respective field and make sure All documents is chosen under the Store macro in line.

Then, in the same window, choose keyboard and press ok. A new window will appear. It may seem overloaded and complex, yet, all you need at this stage are:

  • Press new shortcut key line - come up with a combination of keys. Usually, they start with Ctrl/Alt/Shift (or several of them). Press the first key(s) and a letter on the keyboard. Take into account that it should be easy for you to press that combination later. So, choose the keys standing close together. Type the combination in.
  • Current keys field located to the left - the combination entered by you should appear there. As soon as it does, press Assign, and the pointer of the mouse will show you a recording icon.

Step 3: Record the Instructions

You may already have a macro you need to integrate into MS Word ready. You can find one on the internet. If it's about some universal stuff, you're probably not the first one who tried to search for an automated solution. If you have to record a custom macro yourself, don't be afraid. It is easy. Let's look into both options.

Option 1: Integrate an Existing Macro

If you already have a macro in a text format, just go the same way as previously (View → Macros) and choose Stop recording. Then click on Macros → View Macros. Choose the command with the name you just created and press Edit. However horrifying the new window may look to you, keep calm.

All you need to know is that the code you have should be inserted as a separate passage after the last prime symbol (') and before 'End Sub'. If the code you have already contains the 'Sub', prime symbols, the macro name (the word(s) in green), and 'End Sub', delete them therefrom and insert the code into the window you have just as instructed above.


Close the main window with all the unclear stuff you see for the first time. The code will be saved automatically. Reload MS Word. Done. Test the command on your sample using the shortcut you came up with.

Option 2: Create the Code

In this case, it also runs down to two ways depending on what you need. You may want to format the whole document or separate pieces.

   1.   If all you need is to format all the text you have, as soon as the recording icon is shown on the screen, press Ctrl+A and then start applying (using your mouse) the settings for the final formatting you need:

  • choose the right text color;
  • reset or change the text background;
  • find the correct font type;
  • set the font size;
  • open the Paragraph dialog box on the Home tab, set the line-spacing and other details you need to take care of in every or most of the documents.

   2.   If you need a separate macro for customizing specific parts of a document, instead of pressing Ctrl+A in the beginning, just select a word or two you need to change and apply the needed edits to them. Those will be a sample for the future formatting pattern. After that, follow the list above.

In both cases, don't forget to press Stop recording as soon as you finish applying the changes to save all the settings.

Wrapping Up

Such solutions as macros for formatting are only the tip of the iceberg. You can create lots of commands for different types or parts of the documents you work with. Just imagine, you press one combination of keys and see a pretty text instead of a mess of a document. Good luck!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

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