How to Create Keyboard Macros in Windows 10

Keyboard macros come in handy when you want to access a computer resource quickly without following the usual long procedure. If you’re running Windows 10 and have no access to a multi-button mouse or a touch screen computer, you’ll find it redundant, time-consuming, and tiring to open commonly used apps or send repetitive sets of commands. This is where keyboard macros come to your rescue.

What are Keyboard Macros?

In computing, a macro is a single command that expands into a series of instructions targeted at performing a specific task. Thus, a keyboard macro is a sequence of commands in a keyboard shortcut that’s keyed in to execute a particular task on the computer. Similar to Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts like CTRL + C for the ‘copy’ command, CTRL + V to ‘paste’, and CTRL + Z to ‘undo’, keyboard macros are supposed to save you time and energy in your various Windows 10 exploits.

For instance, if you have to start out numerous emails with the same phrase, incorporating a keyboard macro will enable you to input that repetitive phrase instantly whenever it’s needed without typing it out.

Benefits of Keyboard Macros in Windows 10

Keyboard macros are aimed at improving your productivity by promoting efficiency in your keyboard use. They achieve this by:

  • Saving time. Mapping your keyboard macros to a combination of keys saves you huge on time every time you call the macros to action. You can now take only a fraction of a second to achieve what was previously taking you minutes.
  • Increasing your accuracy. The moment you correctly set up your macros marks the end of data management glitches like typos and omissions as the macros run exactly the same way each time. This drives off redundancy and gives you more time to focus on non-routine operations.

Is there a default Windows 10 Macro Recorder?

There’s currently no built-in app for macro recording in Windows 10. However, there are numerous third-party keyboard macro recorders that can help you record, edit and share various macros.

How to create Keyboard Macros

Let’s see how you can create Macros on Windows 10

Step 1: To being with, create a keyboard shortcut for the application you’d like to create a macro for. This is usually an app that you mostly use and you can pin it in the start menu, or the taskbar.

Step 2: Run the command prompt as Administrator and paste the following content sans the quotation marks “explorer shell: AppsFolder” A new window will open, displaying all the apps on your Windows 10 system.

Step 3: Locate your preferred app, ( In our case, we have chosen Control Panel ). Right-click on it and select the ‘Create Shortcut‘ option.

Step 4: You will get a notification that the new shortcut cannot be created at the current location. You will be asked, instead, if you’d prefer to place the shortcut at the desktop. Just click ‘Yes‘ This will create the shortcut at the desktop.

Step 5: Now head to the desktop and locate the shortcut. Right-click on it and select ‘Properties‘ option,

Step 6: On the App’s properties pop-up click on ‘Shortcut‘ and define the shortcut key combination. Usually, this starts with Ctrl + Alt. To determine the third character, simply hit it on the keyboard. For instance, in the example below, we typed the letter L. After you are done click on ‘Apply‘ then ‘Ok‘.

Your keyboard macro for the select app has successfully been configured. Simply hit the set key combination and your app will open instantly.

How to create Hotkeys in Windows 10

Hotkeys are used to call to action specified computer commands via a single keypress. In Windows 10, you can assign particular keyboard keys specific commands, making them hotkeys. You can then use these hotkeys to access various shortcuts, commands, or Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center features so as to better augment your work style.

Here’s how to create hotkeys in Windows 10:

  1. Download and install the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center
  2. Connect the keyboard that you want to configure with hotkeys
  3. Hit the Windows Start button and click on ‘Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center’
  4. From the Hotkeys tab, click on ‘create/add new hotkey. You can also scroll to an existing hotkey in the list to reassign it another function
  5. Select the key you want to make a hotkey
  6. In the command list, select a command for your new hotkey.
  7. Select ‘OK’ to create your hotkey.

Creating Keyboard Macros

When creating keyboard macros, you can either go the hardware way or the software route.

Hardware Keyboard Macros

Only a select choice of keyboards support hardware macros as most keyboards lack the onboard memory or functionality to record and store macros. Among the keyboards with hardware macros support, some have dedicated macros keys- single keys devoted to macros functions in the place of key combinations.

Keyboards with onboard macro recordings typically have this information on their web page or packaging box. Benefits of creating keyboard macros directly on the keyboard include:

  1. The macros are stored on the keyboard, so you don’t require additional set-up or software. Besides, you can conveniently use your macros-loaded keyboard with any computer as long as the two are compatible.
  2. Hardware-recorded keyboard macros are more reliable than software-recorded keyboard macros as the latter are more prone to software glitches.

Hardware keyboard macros are mostly preferred by computer gamers whose lifestyle screams improved portability, simple set-up, and considerably simple macros. 

Software Keyboard Macros

Typically, software macros are recorded using a computer program then saved to a file. TinyTask and AutoHotkey are among the most popular macro-recording software today.

Some perks associated with software-recorded keyboard macros include:

  1. Ability to share the macros with colleagues. You can share software keyboard macros as small files, provided you have the same macro software installed on your computers.
  2. Exceptional ease of use. With a text-script or GUI of the procedural performance of your software-recorded macros, you can easily view, edit, and customize the macros for optimal performance. 

Software macro recording is ideal for complex macro developers.

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Final take

Keyboard macros can optimize your keyboard performance and push your productivity with Windows 10 use remarkably high. However, the software you install in your Windows 10 computer may also exploit your set keyboard macros for their in-app operations. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure you use different keyboard macro combinations every time. Nonetheless, this may be a little tricky as Windows 10 doesn’t alert you of keyboard macro conflicts.

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