Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Automatically Running a Macro.

Automatically Running a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 22, 2017)

You know that you can create macros within Word that allow you to automate many different functions. You may not know, however, that you can create macros that perform tasks without any intervention on your part. For instance, you can create a macro that Word will run automatically whenever you create a document; whenever you use the New command, this macro will run.

These special macros that automatically run at predefined times are identified by special names. Otherwise, there is nothing different between these macros and any other you may write. Here are the names you can give macros so that they will run automatically.

Macro Name When It Runs
AutoNew Whenever you create a new document
AutoClose Whenever you close a document
AutoExec Whenever you start Word
AutoExit Whenever you exit the program
AutoOpen Whenever you open a document

Remember that these macros, in order to be used effectively, must be saved within a DOCM document. (That is, within a document that is "macro enabled.") They cannot be saved in a DOCX document, as such documents cannot contain macros at all.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9388) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Automatically Running a Macro.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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