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January 2, 2008

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Contents
  1 - Macro Express v 3.7c
  2 - New option: Limit Size of Error Log file
  3 - When to uninstall before installing Macro Express
  4 - Sample Macro: Context Menu Macros
  5 - From the discussion forum: Window Controls on many computers
  6 - Past issues of the Macro Express News


1 - Macro Express v 3.7c

Macro Express v 3.7c has been released and is now available for download from http://www.macros.com/download.htm. All licensed Macro Express 3 users can download and install this update without cost.

This update fixes several problems and contains additional routines that check for unusual errors. We encourage everyone to upgrade to this version but we especially recommend users of v 3.7, v 3.7a and v 3.7b upgrade to Macro Express 3 v 3.7c as soon as possible.
  • Fixed a bug, discovered in version 3.7b, where popup menus would corrupt the internal memory structure of a macro that is launched from the menu.
  • Added code to detect possible corruption in the configuration.
  • Added some code to detect differences in the requested sizes of the shared configuration memory.
  • Added a feature to limit the size of the Default Error Log file.
  • Fixed a bug in the syntax checker that would report a mismatched Or/And/Xor statement if the If..Or/And/Xor..If block was broken up with a comment.
View a complete list of changes by visiting: http://www.macros.com/rev3_7c.htm


2 - New option: Limit Size of Error Log file

Macro Express has the ability to log whenever an error occurs while running a macro. Because some errors occur after a macro has started but before it finishes, an entry is made in the log file each time a macro starts and ends. This information is sent to the Default Error Log file as specified in Options, Preferences, File Paths. Until now Macro Express did not automatically clean up this log file.

Over time, with logging enabled, the log file can get quite large. The size can affect how quickly macros are activated. Another side-effect of a very large log file is a long delay when viewing the properties for frequently used macros.

To avoid these problems, Macro Express v 3.7c and later can now check the size of the log file and limit it to a size you specify. To avoid conflicts for users who already have ways to manage the log file, this feature is not enabled by default.

If you are logging errors, and if you do not already use another technique to periodically clean out the log file, we recommend that you enable the 'Limit Size of Error Log file on startup' option found under Options, Preferences, Playback.


3 - When to uninstall before installing Macro Express

Several customers using Macro Express v 3.7b discovered that Macro Express crashed when using popup menus. Then when they tried to install an earlier version of Macro Express, they experienced several other errors. We discovered that these other errors resulted from installing an older version of Macro Express on top of the newer version of Macro Express without uninstalling first.

It is not generally necessary to uninstall Macro Express before installing a newer version. However, in general, it is a good idea to uninstall whenever you are installing an older version of a program on top of a newer one. This is not only true for Macro Express but most other programs as well.

In many cases it is not necessary. But, significant changes were made to values stored in the registry for Macro Express v 3.7b that were not compatible with earlier versions of Macro Express.

We made changes in Macro Express v 3.7c that will fix problems that occur when an older version is installed over a newer version without uninstalling first. However, these changes will not affect versions 3.7b and prior. Regardless of these changes, our recommendation has always been, and remains, that you uninstall Macro Express before installing an older version.


4 - Sample Macro: Context Menu Macros

When the mouse is right-clicked on the desktop, in Windows Explorer and in My Computer a context menu is displayed with a list of actions that can occur. In February of 2007 Cory Jackson posted a question on the discussion forum asking if there was a way to right-click on a file in Windows Explorer and run a macro. In reply, Paul Thornett posted instructions on how to accomplish this. This discussion topic drew a lot of interest.

This technique is incredibly useful. I now have several macros that I use every day that are activated by right-clicking on files. Thank you Paul, for explaining how to do this!

To get this to work requires some changes in the registry. Editing the registry is daunting to some and, as it turns out, the exact syntax can be a bit confusing. To make this technique available to everyone regardless of how comfortable they are with making changes in the registry I wrote a macro to add macro activations to the context menus and another macro to delete them. These macros also use information from Gary Britt to allow you to choose the context location: Files, Folders, Directories, and Drives.

For more information and to download the macro files see http://www.macros.com/usermacs/umcontextmenumacros.htm.

Paul and Gary will receive Macro Express T-shirts for their contributions.


5 - From the discussion forum: Window Controls on many computers

As many have discovered, using Window Controls in macros can be incredibly powerful, when they work. However, they can be frustrating at times.

Forum member bluppfisk asked why a macro that uses Window Controls written on one computer will not work on every computer. Several people joined the discussion. Then PatrickB posted an elegant solution. He said "To get around this: When it errors out, I go in to the Macro and duplicated the GetControl line. I then re-capture the new/different Control in this duplicated GetControl. At this point I add in an "If NOT Control Enabled" and "End If", so the order would be:
Get Control C1 (1)
If NOT Control C1 Enabled
  Get Control C1 (2)
End If
This tip really got my attention. I have macros that determine the OS Version, the name of a computer, and the Windows Theme in use to determine which Window Control command to use. Patrick's technique makes this very simple. Thank you Patrick! We will send you a Macro Express T-shirt for your tip.

Visit http://pgmacros.invisionzone.com/topic/2596-capturing-a-window-same-id-on-every-computer/#entry9437 to read the entire thread on this topic.


6 - Past issues of the Macro Express News

Are you a new subscriber to the Macro Express News email newsletter? Did you miss an issue? Past newsletters are available online at www.macros.com/newsletters/MENews.htm.


Comments and Suggestions

We welcome customer feedback. Let us know what you like and dislike about Macro Express. Send questions, comments and suggestions:

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Macro Express Home Page:
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Mail:
  Insight Software Solutions, Inc.
  PO Box 106
  Kaysville, Utah 84037-0106

Thank you,
The Macro Express Development Team

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