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Creating and using macros

A sequence of key strokes can be saved as a Macro. This might be a temporary macro only for immediate use or a named macro that is kept in a library. A simple example of a macro is a command to delete from the current cursor position to the end of the line. The standard key sequence for this is Ctrl+End followed by Delete.

You can also use macros to create alternative accelerator keys especially for built-in commands. For example pressing Home calls a built-in command that takes you to the beginning of a line. You cannot disconnect the built-in commands from their keys but you can use macros to provide aliases.

To record a macro press Ctrl+Shift+R to open the Macro dialog.

Click on New and, if you wish, give the new macro a meaningful name. You can also attach an accelerator key to the macro (a box labelled "Used by" indicates when the selected key is already in use).

Now click on Record. This closes the current dialog and displays a small modeless dialog whilst recording continues.

The toolbar buttons in this dialog allow you to Pause, Stop and Cancel the recording. There is also a record (REC) indicator on the status bar.

Whilst recording continues you can record keyboard operations but not mouse operations (the mouse cursor indicates this state). This includes most edit and "Find" commands as well as any previously defined macros. Recursive macros calls are flagged as an error.

You can select one macro as the currently active macro. This macro is called when you press Ctrl+Shift+P. It is usually a temporary macro.

From the Tools menu, you can also issue the command to Play Back Repeatedly. This will run the currently active macro until the caret position does not change. This process is run on a separate thread and can be cancelled by selecting Cancel from the Build menu.

To delete a macro, click on its name in the Macro Name list and then press the Delete key.

Do not use Ctrl+K and Ctrl+M because these are reserved for future development.


Temporary macros

You can use a shortcut method to create a temporary macro. Select Record Temporary Macro from the Tools menu or use the associated accelerator key (the same key also stops a recording). This creates a new macro with the name Temporary.Macro and starts recording. The temporary macro is set as the active macro so after recording you can play back using Ctrl+Shift+P. If you decide to keep a temporary macro then you must change its name otherwise it will be over-written when you next record a temporary macro.



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