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How To Use Macros

This topic discusses macros. Macros automate procedures in Collect! making it possible to phenomenally increase the speed of execution when changes need to be made to a large volume of records.

tip.gif You should have a thorough understanding of what you wish to accomplish and the steps you need to take. Please ensure that you have a recent Snapshot of your database before running a macro that might affect volumes of accounts.

Introduction

A macro is simply a greatly sped up sequence of steps. When a macro is created, the series of steps is recorded. When the macro is executed, it runs automatically, making whatever changes you recorded in the macro's steps. So, before you record your macro, you will have to step through the procedure you want to automate, so that you know each step that you will be recording.

tip.gif Always take a Snapshot of your database before running macros.

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How To Record A Macro

You can record up to 1000 events in a macro. Each event is a keystroke or mouse movement.

KEYSTROKES

Before you record your macro, practice stepping through the procedure that you want to automate, so that you know all the steps that you need to perform. Try to use the keyboard, rather than the mouse, whenever possible to perform each step.

tip.gif If you do not know the keystrokes to perform certain functions, please refer to Keyboard Tips for information.

MACRO COMMANDS

When you are recording macros, there are a number of commands and options you can use.

Record: Shift+F1, R
Stop Recording: Shift+F1, S
Delete Keystrokes:Shift+F1, D
Clear: Shift+F1, C
Load File: Shift+F1, L
Call File: Shift+F1, U
Repeat until you hit a key:Shift+1, R
Repeat to end of list: Shift+F1, E
Prompt for input: abort Shift+F1, A
Prompt for input: enter field information Shift+F1, F
Prompt for input: enter other information Shift+F1, I
Pause for key:Shift+F1, W
Wait TimeShift+F1, T
Save macro to disk: Shift+F1, S

Each one of the macro commands is explained below.

MACRO MENUS

tip.gif If you would rather use menu options rather than keystrokes, pull down the Tools menu and choose Macros to begin working with macros. When you are recording the macro and the blue RECORD message is visible in the upper right hand of the Collect! screen, pull down the Tools menu and choose Macros again to display a different menu that can be used for more advanced editing of macro options.

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Record Macro

To start recording:

1. Press Shift+F1, R

2. The RECORD indicator will show at the top right of the screen.

3. Every stroke that you hit will be recorded until you stop recording. Press the keystrokes you want to record in EXACTLY the sequence you want recorded.

4. Press Shift+F1, S to stop recording. The RECORD indicator will be extinguished.

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Stop Recording Macro

To stop recording:

1. Record ALL the steps of your macro.

2. Press Shift+F1, S

3. The RECORD indicator will be extinguished.

tip.gif If you want to save this macro to a disk file, you must use the save macro command after completing your recording.

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Delete Macro Keystrokes

To delete keystrokes:

Press Shift+F1, D

This command deletes all keystrokes up to and including any prior macro command entered.

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Clear Macro From Memory

When you record a macro, it is saved in memory until you exit out of Collect!.

To clear the macro in memory:

Press Shift+F1, C

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Load Macro File

To load another macro file and add it to the end of the current macro being recorded

1. Press Shift+F1, L.

2. Select the file you want to load.

3. Press Enter to load the macro.

4. Press Escape to cancel loading the macro.

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Call Macro File

To call another macro file from within this macro:

1. Press Shift+F1, U

2. Select the sub-macro file you want to play.

3. Press Enter to play the sub-macro.

4. Press Escape to cancel playing the sub-macro.

tip.gif When the sub-macro has finished running, you can continue to record this macro.

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Repeating Macros

The power of macros lies in the ability to repeat the steps that you are recording. So, you go through all the steps EXACTLY while recording them, then choose a repeat command. Then Collect! can automatically process large volumes of records by repeating these same steps as long as there is data to process or you choose to stop the macro.

REPEAT UNTIL YOU HIT A KEY

To repeat until you hit a key:

1. Record ALL the steps of your macro.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, R

3. This will end the recording session. When the macro is run, it will continue to repeat the steps that you recorded, until you press a key.

REPEAT TO END OF LIST

To repeat until the end of a list is reached:

1. Record ALL the steps of your macro.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, E

3. This will end the recording session. When the macro is run, it will repeat to the end of the list that it is processing.

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Macro Sequence When Repeating

When you are recording a macro, and this macro was called from some other macro, this macro will return control to the calling macro after completion of its task.

If this macro is aborted with a keystroke, control will not be returned to a calling macro.

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Prompting For Input In Macro

Getting input while a macro is running.

CONTINUE OR ABORT

To optionally continue or abort a macro at some point:

1. Record all the steps of the macro up to the point where you want to prompt for input.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, A

3. When the macro is running, you will be asked if you want to continue the macro from this point.

If you enter "y" for Yes, the macro will continue from this point on, playing any keystrokes or commands you recorded after this point.

If you enter "n" for No, the macro will abort here.

4. See Macro Sequence When Repeating (above).

ENTER INFORMATION INTO FIELDS

To enter information into fields at some point:

1. Record all the steps of the macro up to the point where you want to prompt for input.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, F

3. When the macro is running, you will be able to enter unique information into fields at this point.

ENTER OTHER INFORMATION

To enter information (not necessarily into a database field) at some point:

1. Record all the steps of the macro up to the point where you want to prompt for input.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, I

3. When the macro is running, you can get input at this point.

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Pause For Key In Macro

To cause a running macro to pause at a specific point until you hit a key:

1. Record all the steps of the macro up to the point where you want to pause.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, W

3. When the macro is running it will stop here until you press a key.

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Wait Time In Macro

To cause a macro to wait for a specified length of time at some point:

1. Record all the steps of the macro up to the point where you want to wait.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, T

3. Enter the length of time to pause, and press Enter.

tip.gif The time is measured in milliseconds (1/1000th of a second), and the minimum time you can pause is 1/18 second (the timer tick rate of your computer).

4. When the macro is running, it will pause here for the length of time you specified.

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Save Macro

Macros are saved in memory and can be run while you are still signed into Collect!. If you intend to use this macro in the future, you may want to save it to disk.

1. After you have completed recording all the steps of your macro, stop recording either by pressing Shift+F1, S or by choosing one of the repeat commands.

2. Then, press Shift+F1, S

3. Type the name of your macro and press Enter. The file will be stored with a .MAC extension (e.g. filename.mac) in your CV1\bin directory.

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How To Run A Macro

tip.gif Always take a Snapshot of your database before running macros.

After you record a macro, it is stored in the computer's memory, and can be played back while you are still using Collect!

tip.gif When you exit from Collect! the macro is not saved. To save a macro, see above.

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Playback Macro

To play back the recorded macro:

Press Shift+F1, E or press Alt+F2.

The program will play back your recorded macro, replaying the keystrokes or mouse actions exactly the way you recorded them.

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Load And Run Macro

To load and run a macro that you saved to a disk file:

tip.gif Always take a Snapshot of your database before running macros.

1. Navigate to the screen in Collect! where you want to run the macro.

2. Press Shift+F1, P

3. Select the file you want to run.

4. Press Enter to run the macro.

5. Press Escape to cancel running the macro.

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Load Macro Without Running It

To load a macro file into macro memory without running it:

1. Press Shift+F1, L

2. Select the file you want to load.

3. Press Enter to load the macro.

4. Press Escape to cancel loading the macro.

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Delete Macro File

To delete a macro file from disk:

1. Press Shift+F1, D

2. Select the file you want to delete.

3. Press Enter to delete the file.

4. Press Escape to cancel deleting the file.

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Stop A Running Macro

You can stop a running macro, at any time, by pressing the Escape (Esc) key on your keyboard.

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Run Macro When Collect! Starts

Using Command Line Startup Option /a, you can cause a macro to run as soon as Collect! starts. To do this, you should also use Command Line Startup Options to sign into a database automatically.

Create your macro to run from the Main Menu or Work In Progress, that is, the screen you usually see when you sign into Collect!. Save your macro. Then modify your CV11 Desktop icon as follows.

Icon Shortcut Target: CV11\bin\CV11.exe /iOWN /pOWN /dbmasterdb /amymacro.mac

/i is the Operator ID
/p is the Operator Password
/db is the database you are signing into
/a is the name of the macro you are running automatically on Startup.

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See Also

- Introduction To Macros
- Macro Menu
- Edit Macro Menu
- How To Reassign Debtors To A Client Using Macros

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