Printing Word macro key assignments

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We look at the different ways to print Word macro key assignments.

Office Watch reader Jim Harris writes: “I have written quite a few MS Word macros, and assigned them to key combinations. Of course, I forget the key assignments of ones I seldom use, and I see no way in MS Word to get a list (preferably a printable and/or save-able list) of all the macros in _with_ their key assignments. The info can be gathered (I think) by selecting them one by one and looking at the descriptions, but that’s klunky. What I really want is a list that could be, e.g., printed and hung to the side of my monitor so I could just glance at it and be reminded of what the key is. Any ideas, please?”

As Jim and I both discovered, there’s an easy way, and a better way.

The easy way: Click File | Print and in the Print What box, pick Key Assignments. The list comes out your printer. It’s usable, but not exactly a work of art.

The better way: set up a generic text printer on your PC, and “print” a file through the text printer driver. Here’s how, in Windows XP:

  • Shut down Word. Shut down Outlook, just in case it has a phantom copy of Word running.

  • Click Start | Control Panel | Printers and Other Hardware | Add a Printer. (If you have WinXP set to show the “classic” Control Panel, you need to go through the Printers icon.)

  • Windows brings up the Add Printer Wizard. Click Next.

  • Click Local Printer Attached To This Computer, then uncheck the box that says Automatically Detect and Install my Plug and Play Printer. Click Next.

  • In the box that says Use the Following Port, choose FILE: (Print To File). Click Next.

  • On the left, under Manufacturer, click Generic. On the right, click Generic / Text Only. Click Next.

  • Give the printer a name and make sure the No button is clicked – I guarantee you don’t want to make the Generic Text printer your default printer! Click Next.

  • If you’re on a network, you’re given the chance to share the printer, but there really isn’t any reason to – you can set up dummy Generic Text printers like this on any Windows machine. Check the button marked Do Not Share This Printer, then click Next.

  • Click No, you don’t want to print a test page. Click Next, then click Finish. Windows will whir and clang for a second, and you’ll end up with a new printer in your Printers and Faxes list.

  • Start Word.

  • Click File | Print. In the Printer Name box, choose your Generic Text Only printer. In the Print What box, choose Key Assignments. Click OK.

  • Word asks you for a file name to save the .prn file. Give it a good name and stick it wherever you like. Click OK. Word “prints” the key assignment list to the file.

  • Click File | Open, and go find the .prn file you just created.

  • Word brings up a File Conversion dialog box. Leave the button marked Windows (Default) checked, and click OK.

The document you get will have some odd formatting, but a quick run through – and liberal application of the Del key – should turn it into a useful list.


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