Four Alternatives to Macros

Macros can do some amazing complex and lengthy tasks in just a click, but you don’t need a macro for everything! Here are four things to try before of creating a macro:

  • autocorrect
  • existing shortcuts
  • custom shortcuts
  • Clipboard

Existing Shortcuts

There are keyboard shortcuts for navigating and selecting text and shortcuts for accessing almost every ribbon function. Search for the one you want online before going to the trouble of creating your own via a macro. And check out the summary of some really handy ones in the book!


Within Word’s Preferences, you can create Autocorrect correct entries for commonly typed phrases (like your address or turning fnmi into First Nations, Metis, and Inuit), or even entire formatted passages.

Custom Shortcuts

Create your own keyboard shortcut for any function.

Mac users: look at the bottom of the Tools menu and select Customize Keyboard.

Windows users: right-click on a blank grey area of the tab on the ribbon, then select Customize The Tab on the ribbon… from the context menu that pops up. Then, click the Customize… button beside Keyboard Shortcuts: at the bottom of the left-hand list.


In this example, we see the Clipboard contains some standard text that I have to paste frequently.

This great tool was a constant favourite when it was available for Mac. Now it’s only found in the Windows version of Word.

Open the Clipboard by clicking the expand arrow in the Clipboard group of the Home ribbon (see figure). Every time you copy content, it will be added to the list in the clipboard. It even works for pictures and other graphics.

You can then select items from the list to paste as they are needed (just click on them) or paste them all together.


The Clipboard works only during a single session. When you close Word, the Clipboard is emptied.

book cover cropped to banner size
Learn more about these alternatives, starting on page 93 of the 2nd edition of the book.

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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

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