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What Are Macros and How Can I Use Them?

You work with a basic text editor, doing the same actions and typing out the same code every day. Why keep doing those repetitive tasks over and over again? Macros are defined sequences of actions that are saved for later use, so that you can sit back while your computer carries out your most repetitive actions.

Many text editors include a macros function, which allows you to write your own macros in popular scripting languages or record your actions and have the text editor write it for you. Macros are usually saved as scripting language files which are then loaded and executed when necessary.

For example, some programs allow you to write macros in any ActiveScript language, to do almost anything you want. Using a recording function, you can record your keystrokes and mouse operations in order to create macros for just about any task. Macros created and saved in this manner can be executed again and again without repeating the task. Macros allow you to complete long, complicated processes with only the click of a button.

Some text editors even allow you to write macros that manipulate other applications, outside of the text editor itself. A function like this allows you to open and save files from outside the program, run complicated sequences of actions involving multiple applications, and more.

Since macros are usually developed independently from the text editing software, they do not often come pre-installed with the program. This gives you the option of creating your own macros, or downloading only those macros that will be useful to you. Some text editors provide access to online resources like forums and file libraries where users can share the macros they have created.

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