When you're typing a story, you'll often find that you keep writing the same character names over and over, and this wastes a lot of time! Especially when they're long fantasy names, like Zenterin Ra, Jondorin, etc, and when you have a lot of characters in one scene, so the copy/paste trick only works with one name.
So what do you do? Microsoft Word MACROS! It took me ages to find out how to do this, and almost all "How-to" sites were useless in this regard, so here is how to make quick keyboard shortcuts for character names in 10 easy steps:
(This is for MS Word 2013, but should be analogous for earlier versions)
1) Click the "View tab"
2) At the far right of the screen, click on the arrow at the bottom of the "Macros" button
3) Click on "Record Macro"

4) Give the macro a name (probably the name of the character. I'll choose "Bilbo" here) then click "Keyboard"
5) In the box under "Press new keyboard shortcut:" type the shortcut you want to use for the character's name. You shouldn't overwrite built-in commands such as "CNTRL-S" for saving. All of my macros use ALT then the first letter of the character's name (there pretty much are no built-in commands with ALT). For example, if I want to do Bilbo, in this box I would type "ALT-B" (you don't type "A", "L", "T", but actually hold the "ALT" key down, and while keeping it pressed down, press the next letter, which here would be "B". This may seem obvious, but it took me ages to figure out!)
6) If it says "Currently assigned to : [unassigned]" then you're good to go! If it is currenty assigned to something else, then decide if you want to overwrite it. If not, then go back to step 5 and choose another name
7) Click "Assign"
8) Click "Close"

9) You are now in "record mode". Whatever you type now will be recorded as the macro, so type exactly what you want the macro to be. Here, I'll type "Bilbo" with no space after it (unless you want one, but I wouldn't do that)
10) To stop recording, you can either click the stop button at the bottom of the screen (see 10a in picture below) OR under the macro heading in the view tab (10b in picture)

All done! Now whenever you type "ALT-B" Bilbo's name will pop up (or whatever name you decided to use) in whatever word document you're writing in. You can do this for all the characters in your books, so you'll never have to type their names again!

1 comments:

How clever! Thanks for sharing.

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The Printer's Devil
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