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What are macros?

Posted By: _ on 2007-09-17
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What are macros and why are they helpful in transcription?

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Instant Text Macros vs Word Macros

Thank you for replying to my VR macro question on mtstars.  I was hoping someone like you with knowledge of Instant Text and VR work could help me out.  Could you give me an example of how you would set up a macro to change a period to a comma and uncap the next letter in Instant Text for example?  Do you think using macros and commands like this in Instant Text is more productive than creating them in Word? 






I am not a Medquist Transcriptionist but could you tell me to record a macro and then run the macro that you just made.  I used to work at home and used Instant Text.  I now work for a hospital and can't use that.  They totally rely on Word capabilities.  I do use the Auto Correct but I think if I could use a macro it might be better.  However, it is hard to remember the various macros or abbreviations.  I also have to contend that more than one person is using  my computer.  Linda

Can you use macros on your transcription platform?
WP Macros

At Productivitytalk.com there is a forum for WP for Windows macros.  Hope this helps. 

Dr. wants macros?
Tell anyone who wants anything you have worked hard at to enhance your profession as a confidential handler of information that you cannot copy or lend any information from your computer as it violates your high standard of patient or doctor confidentiality. That should shut them up!
Use of Macros
I use macros for whole paragraphs (i.e. physical exams that the doctors use all the time). I use auto correct in word to use as my Expander (i.e. bp for blood pressure). I've yet to try the other Expanders such as Shorthand, but maybe someday.
by using auto correct.
RE: Macros
I don't use macros, I just use the Word Correct option, always have. But, now I use pcshorthand and I never have to keep making the shortcuts and stuff over and over again.
macros HELP!!!

I need serious help recording macros.  If someone has macros for the following actions, I would greatly appreciate it if you could email them to me as an attachment.  I need one for jumping that uses ?? and ctrl+J to get from ?? to ?? and one that starts automatic numbering in the 1) 2) format flush left.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Something similar happened to me not too long ago. What I found was that my Normal.dot file was corrupted. If that is the case, you need to rename the file to something that Windows will not recognize, such as *corruptfile* and then reboot your computer. Once it restarts, Windows will automatically rebuild another Normal.dot file that is not corrupt. Of course, you will lose any information you have already stored and you will have to start all over again building your macros. This is what happened to me and I ended up losing five years worth of stored macros. I still have not rebuilt everything that I lost with one corrupt file. Good luck.
Or how about macros

The template idea is a good one.  If that doesn't work, something like a macro to do your report headings might work.  One company I worked for wanted them to be in bold. It was a hospital account and I was doing consults, so a template wouldn't work as far as stock phrases, etc.  I created macros for all of my headings and had all of my keyboard keys assigned with them.  I had Ctrl M assigned to me IMPRESSION that was in bold and I was in the right spot to start typing the paragraph.  I had all of my keyboard keys assigned to shortcuts that I had created - I overrode all of the standard shortcuts that Windows does.

The other poster is also correct in terms of phrases.  Anything that is more than 3 letters that can be condensed down to 3 letters easily, you need to do.  It does slow you down at first to do all of it, but it'll be worth it.  Even things like "further evaluation" I have that condensed to "fe".   You have to use a system that works for you and your brain.  If I have two words I use the first letter of each word and if that letter combination is taken, then I use the first letter of each word and the succeeding letters from the second word, for instance "renal insufficiency" is "rin" since "ri" was already taken for respiratory insufficiency.

If you can change the position of words in your expander, i.e., change the order that words appear on the screen, that helps.  I use Smartype and there were some words that Smartype didn't think were as important that I use a lot, so I was able to move them up in the "rankings" and have them appear on the screen sooner so I was able to get to them with fewer characters.

Good luck. 


I actually set up macros in Word.  I have HPI for HISTORY OF PRESENT ILLNESS and "hpil" for history of present illness, as sometimes I don't want it all caps.

I set up macros for all my headings, HPI, ROS, PE, etc., and assigned keyboard shortcuts to them.  Ctrl + R was REVIEW OF SYSTEMS, Ctrl + P was PHYSICAL EXAMINATION, Ctrl + C was CURRENT MEDICATIONS, etc.  I had to make a list as I used every single one of my keys for the different headings, but it saved a ton of time in the long run.  You can set the macro up to have it bold and all caps and then either put your two spaces, or return to the next line wherever you need to start your typing. 

I don't have that job any more, so I don't need those headings specifically, but I work on the Bayscribe platform that has some weird formatting things.  To bold something you need <B>, so I set up a macro to do that and to give me the end bold code which is </B>.  Saves me a ton of time so I don't have to look for the < or > keys.

Hope that helps.

Help-Building macros!!!
Can anyone tell me where to find a good resource for learning to build macros or Expander abbreviations. 
I set up macros like that in Word
and assigned a shortcut combination to them. Such as Alt+H for history and physicals, etc. I don't know of any other way you could do it.
Macros - MSWord

When I do clinic notes I need to make a log, so have been copying the heading over to another document.

However, someone told me that in WP8 there is a macro that can do this automatically. If true, is there such a thing in Word?

If anyone keeps a separate log, can you tell me how you do it.

Thank you.

Doctor wants my macros!!!!!????

This is not the first time this has happened to me.  However, I always have a hard time getting my pont across when asked.  I once again have a doctor who would like to cut his rate, go to voice recognition, etc.  However, he wants me to give him my macros!   Am I to give him all my macros that I programed so that he can give them to someone else?  I feel that whatever means or vehicle I use to give him the finished transcript is my proprietary information.  I could really use some help in this fight though.  Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated. 

saving macros
You can save onto a disk by going to tools>templates and add-ins - click Add. Browse to find Program files/microsoft office/office 11/macros folder. C Click ok twice then pick tools>macro>macros. Choose support.doc from the bos. In the macros scroll box choose backup click run.
Most used? All 8000 of the macros
I currently have in my system. I could make a few thousand more honestly, but the system I use maxes out at 8000.
Macros also go by name expanders and
Just starting macros...

Hey!  Just starting to use macros here and have a few questions.

I have a few docs that say the same thing over and over, so I recorded macros using the following, and please let me know if this is what others do:

Control+D - neatly dressed and groomed

Control+T - thought processes linear

Control+J - judgment was intact

Just to name a few.  I have been adding alt + things for others and so on...

How do you all remember what you recorded for what macro?  Is this just you use it so much you just know?  Also, how are macros helpful when your doc doesn't repeat themselves or says things slightly different each dictation?  PLEASE UNDERSTAND I AM JUST STARTING AND DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM DOING.  So, those of you that would like to write back, "what are you stoopid???", please refrain.

Thank you!!

WOW thanks. I've always set macros to do that. Duh!

Whole report macros

How many of you use whole report macros for specific dictators, and do you find that it is helpful?

I have tried it and it seems like it can be kind of a wash, because many times I had to delete, change, or move things around.

It seems a lot of experimenting needs to be done for me to figure out what does and doesn't help with my speed.

Any thoughts, experiences appreciated! 

I break my macros down. There may be

a part that is always, always the same and that will be one macro.  The next sentence might be the same, except for right or left and I'll make that a separate macro. 

I used to do lots of cataract surgeries and 99.9% of the time the only thing that changed was the eye having the surgery and the diopter of the lens so in that case I could do the entire report, one for left, one for right, and then insert a stop for the diopter so I could fill it in.

The doctor's didn't even dictate a complete report so you didn't have to read through the report anyway to make sure they weren't changing something.  They would just dictate right, right, right, xx diopters.  

Large Macros

Can anyone tell me how to monitor whether making a whole report macro is worthwhile?  I have quite a few, but I cannot decide if it is worth it or not.  I end up having to make changes and delete things.  Often seems like kind of a toss up and wonder if anyone has any guidelines for this or has experiemented with any specific result.

Thanks for any help you can give me! 

large macros
Huge macros have never seemed to help me, but on one account, there's a cardiologist who puts two huge jawbreakers into his mouth and then dictates at top speed. I managed to take his long ROS and his short ROS and his short PE and long PE and make four very useful macros, but I put @@ in at the variables. Works great for me. Turns out the guy says the same thing over and over, but it just sounds different if he's speaking Martian that day, or Yugoslavian, or pig latin. Good luck.
You can easily do it without the macros. sm
Add an autocorrect. Now do a search for the .acl file by the date you made your change so you know you have the correct file. You need to make sure you are searching the hidden files and you probably need to change your search view to Details so you can see dates. You can right-click the file and send it to your CD (or however you want to transfer the file).

Do the same thing on the new computer so you can find the correct folder path and paste your file.

Sometimes the MS macros don't work because you probably have some entries that are multi-line with paragraphs.

You don't need all those macros in Word. sm
I think for a lot of people that's a holdover from WordPerfect 5.1. Autotext or Autocorrect will do the same thing with formatting and you don't need to remember all those oddball keyboard shortcuts for macros. You would use an abbreviation that made sense to what you want to expand. You could use a macro to go back and apply formatting if your AT or AC didn't already do that for you.

Some are forced to work with those features in Word because of platforms, but I prefer a true text Expander that will work in more than just Word.
macros for "kaizen" of MT sm
i record multiple macros for "setting up" my docs--view and start point. i use different macro versions for different accounts; one account may need 150% and uses jump codes, while another needs 200% and needs a centered title, etc. i work in a platform that does NOT support keyboard shortcuts well, but when i build the macros in Word and then run them in the platform they create "kaizen" and improve my LPH/$$$ by keeping my hands on the keyboard. (also less risk of repetitive use injury from reaching for the mouse)...try that?
EditScript macros?
I just started working with EditScript for a company a month ago.  I am new to editing and am very slow right now.  I am encouraged by these postings that my speed will increase.  I end up retyping large portions of the reports and don't see how I can ever make substantial $$.  I have been an MT for years and years (1979) and have used just about every type of equipment and done just about every type of report.  I know VR is the wave of the future, but I am worried I will never get the editing down.  Some of the shortcuts seem to be more cumbersome than just using my arrow key, but when I check my line count at the end of my shift, there are all kinds of notes about how I did.  I use autocorrect but don't know about macros.  I used macros years and years ago in WordPerfect but don't know how to do them now.  Can someone please give me some encouragement and tips on how you increased your speed?  Escription has tips on-line but I was wondering if there are any training classes for EditScript - I am willing to try anything. 
In Search VR Macros

What macros do you use for VR that saves you a lot of time.  You know the ones for turning a period into a comma and deleting a space.  That kind of thing.  Which ones do you use? 

naming macros
My biggest problem seems to be how to name the macro. Can you give examples of how you name them? I have Instant Text.
I agree. Use your macros and expanders for
that you always make mistakes in. I'm the same way with "hte" so I put it in my Expander to change for me every time. There is NO excuse if she's proofreading her work why she can't catch these mistakes. So, blame the doctor, get strict with her and if she doesn't like it, there's the door. Sorry but you deserve more than you're getting right now.
HELP!!!  Can anybody tell me how to create macros or easy text in Word 2003?  I need to create macros that will allow me to just fill in the blanks......any help appreciated.
How to import Shorthand macros into ESP?
Can anyone tell me how to import my ShortHand macros into ESP? My company would not help me do it. I can't believe they wouldn't when they are the ones who tolld me Shorthand macros were compatible with ESP anyway.
If you charge for the macros, what makes you think
Aren't macros copies of what others have said?

Aren't macros carbon copies of what someone else is dictating to you?  You have it in your pc to make you're life easier, but it is not "your words" coming from your mouth.  These words belong to the dictator...  Am I missing something here?  That is why at the end of the report, the dictators initials come first and they are in CAPS, and your initials come second and are in lower case.   

If he didn't tell her to make the macros
?????  I think this is just someone trying to "get back at a doctor".  I don't see the harm in giving them to him with a line rate charge.  But maybe I just live by karma and not using "revenge" tactics.  I believe if you are giving, then you will receive.  I am not saying offer them for free. I think I would charge a line rate just for going through the trouble of printing them.  I do believe that when a doctor dictates normals, they do belong to him and not the transcriptionist.  The Transcriptionist transcribes them.  He/she is not the "author".  It happens every day when work is outsourced.  The samples are handed right over to the outsourcing company with no charge.  The hospital/physician does not charge the outsource company for handing over the samples.  What if everytime we needed a sample to guide us, we were charged for that?  It is the same argument here.  The company I work for gladly hands over samples/templates to make my job easier, and they do not charge me for that.  JMO.  Maybe I'm just a realist.  I say be a better person and give the man the macros with a line charge assessed if that makes it more fair.  Is anyone seeing my point here?  There is something underlying in the "don't give them your macros", and I just think it is more like a way to get revenge because of the hurt feelings in the way that he may not need the typist once these are given.  I'm sure he's not looking for "the patient, follow-up, etc.".  He probably wants "normal" paragraphs that he has dictated as part of a report.  The typist is not the author of that, the doctor is.  JMO. 
Books on shortcuts and macros...

Know of any books on shortcuts and macros other than "saving keystrokes?"  Thanks.:)

Saving autocorrect and macros
I know this has been asked before and I did neglect to write down the responses, but I am wanting to reformat my hard drive, but I want to save any autocorrect and macros I have already saved.  how do I do this.  I am not able to locate any normal.dot file, so please don't tell me that.  I have Windows XP and office 2003.  Any techies out there that can help???  Thanks in advance.  KS
copying macros to other comp


this is for MS word.   copy normal.dot both from template folder and office folder and paste it to new computer at the same respective places, i.e. copied from template would be pasted to template folder of new computer and so on.

Macros retaining their info

Does any one know what you have to do when your macros no longer retain their info even when you re-do them.  It seemed to go little by little.  For a long time it would not retain the font size.   This week, it decided not to keep the font chosen. and now today, it is not keeping the margins.  I am frustrated!   Please help!!!!

setting up macros in word

I used to do this about 8-10 years ago, but forgot how to do this.  Please post how to do this.  This is for Word 2002.


You need two macros. Just record the steps
to change to higher level, and the second one to change it back. Be sure to assign shortcut keys to each.
Shortcuts for commands and macros

>Anyone know if InstanText can handle "code" (like WordVBA >macros) in the Expanders like SH8 can?

Instant Text lets you add commands and macro keyboard shortcuts into a glossary entry. You can use easy-to-type short forms for these entries that execute a command or a macro. 

These command and macro entries are also very much used for editing.  See post below. 

Textware Solutions

Word 2007 Macros

When you open your Word document, there should be an option in the toolbar above that says "Developer." Enter Alt F8 to view your macros, but I think you have to manually hit the Record Macro to enter new macros.

p.s. I prefer the previous Word version over this "new" one.

You can run F keys and macros with IT. Look at Commands
in the manual or help file.
Saving autocorrects and macros......

Does anyone remember how to save autocorrects and macros to exchange from one computer to another, or one version of Word to another?

TIA for any/all help.

Hi, Lisa. Have you added macros to SM
your Expander yet for many of the common VR changes--such as for backspacing over a comma, adding a period, and capping the first word of the new sentence? How do you drop common words like, say, "she" into a sentence on the run? I hit "k" and in it goes, but I'm off scanning the next line by then and don't actually see it. Do you constantly use your program's function for jumping the cursor to the point of dictation and vice versa (assuming it has one)? This is a big speeder-upper.

And a reality that's hard for some to run into: Editing skills and talents are different than transcribing skills and talents. Reading fast and accurate becomes big. Punctuating fast on the run was always desirable, but it's more significant now as the ability to simply get the letters on paper becomes less so. Are you one of those this work suits or one it doesn't? If yes, keep working on speed. If not, move on sooner rather than later.
Amen to that. Love Shorthand because you can do macros, too. nm
Just 1 more tip for shorthand. Macros versus expanders.

Terminology is so important here.  A macro is a function usually designed in the word processing program (Word, Word Perfect, etc.) and unless using the old DOS system, is usually used for making shortcuts for commands.  It can be used for documents, but is a little cumbersome to do it.

Expanders are just that.  They convert a series of Keystrokes into whatever has been defined for those keystrokes.  It can be a word, phrase, sentence, even a whole document.  But sometimes it can be a little slow if it is a long entry. 

The easiest and fastest way I have found to insert my "normals" or "canned dictations", even those I made myself in either Word or Word Perfect is to use an import function.  It is much easier to revise the normal, too, and easier to copy.  

In Word, establish the file location where documents will be stored.  I usually set mine to the name of the account I am working on (and change that data in the settings on Word - options/ file locations - when I change accounts.)   I store all my normals, whether created by the hospital or by me, in that file.  (By the way, I use a different shorthand dictionary for each account by using links.)   I give the document a logical name, and then create an import link in Shorthand.

So, my account is Onion Hospital.  My file location is set to C:onion.  My document is a physical by Dr. Celery, which I named as celerypx.    My Shorthand dictionary is onionhosp.

My command to retrieve this is: 

{@KEYDOWN Alt}il{@PAUSE}{@KEYUP Alt}celerypx.doc{@KEY Enter}

When Dr. Celery dictates his hp, I get to the physical and type celerypx and the document is imported instantly.

This is even more helpful with op reports, where you have rather routine dictations for things like cataracts, foot surgeries, etc., and need to change from left or right or bilateral. 

It is easier to copy the "normal" document and create one for each instance - left, right, or bilateral, that it is to pull up another command to search and replace the right, left, or bilateral, and change the verb tenses if it is bilateral. 

So, Dr. Corn does a lot of cataract extractions.  I have



corncatbil.doc (never heard of bilateral cataracts, but just an example).

My command in shorthand reflects each one.

{@KEYDOWN Alt}il{@PAUSE}{@KEYUP Alt}corncatrt.doc{@KEY Enter}

(It is also easier to see if I do have a canned report for a doctor in shorthand this way.  I just pull up shorthand (Ctrl F10) and type corn in the screen.  It will show me all the entries I have for Dr. Corn. 











Auto correct in Word and a TON of macros....