Capture Settings


Macro Express can capture keyboard and mouse activity for later playback as a macro. Options are available to determine what to capture and how much. Optionally capture keystrokes, mouse movements and clicks and actual time between actions.


There are two methods for starting a macro recording. One is to select the activation (hot key, shortkey, etc.) before recording. The other is to define the macro activation after recording.



Press System Hot Key to Start Capture 

One of the System Macros is defined as CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+X by default. This is the Start/Stop Capture system hot key. Pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+X starts the recording of a macro and pressing it a second time stops the recording. The default key may be changed to another combination available in Macro Express, such as ALT+F7.


While recording, a Camera icon displays in the Windows notification area to indicate that a capture is taking place. Besides pressing the system hot key to stop the recording, right click on the Camera icon to stop the capture. Open Options > Preferences > General > Notification Area tab and turn off the Show Recording Status option to not display the Camera icon.


When the recording stops, a Capture Complete window appears. Assign the captured macro to a Hot Key, Shortkey or other activation.


Before recording a macro using the System Hot Key method, make sure that the default settings have been defined. Select Options > Preferences > General > Capture tab from the Macro Explorer to define the capture settings. These are the settings used when utilizing the System Start/Stop Capture macro.



Click on Capture Icon to Start Capture

This option requires defining the macro activation and other information before recording the keystrokes and mouse moves. Upon clicking on the capture icon in the Macro Explorer window, the Create New Macro Window opens. Select an activation and optionally assign a nickname to the macro. Click OK to open the capture settings window to determine what to capture, etc. The options are listed below.



The Global scope allows for the playback of the macro into any Windows program. The Program scope indicates that the recorded macro will only play back in the program it is recorded in. Only use the "program" option if recording all of the macro in the same program. The macro playback will have unpredictable results, if recording in several programs and the Program scope is selected..



Capture the Keystrokes

Select this option to record all keystrokes made during the capture process. If this option is not selected, then only mouse moves and clicks are recorded.


When the Alt Key is Pressed, Capture It Twice

Use of the <ALT> key does not always work properly for activating menu commands. (Example: "<ALT>f" for activating the file menu command). To ensure that a menu command will always work, a double <ALT> is used. (Example: "<ALT><ALT>f") Selecting this option captures a double <ALT> whenever the ALT key is pressed. Use this option if planning to capture keystroke commands that activate window menus.



Capture the Mouse

Choose this option to record all mouse clicks and movements made during the capture process. If not selected, only keystrokes are recorded. There are several mouse options to choose from.


Relative to Screen

This option captures all mouse clicks and movements in relation to the cursor's position on the monitor.


Relative to Window

This option captures all mouse clicks and movements in relation to the application window being used.


Capture and Restore the Window Size

This option is only available if the Relative to Window option is selected. It remembers the size of the window when the capture occurred. When the macro plays back, the window is resized, if necessary, to the original size when the recording was made. This helps ensure that the mouse clicks and movements are accurate.


Relative to Position

This option captures the mouse clicks or movements based on the last position of the mouse cursor.


Only Capture the Mouse Clicks

Use this option to only capture the mouse clicks and the position of the mouse click. This option captures the position where the mouse is to click and also the mouse click itself. No other movements of the mouse are recorded.


Unless drawing or needing to record the dragging of an item, select the Only Capture the Mouse Clicks option. This option reduces the size of the macro considerably and makes it much easier to edit, if needed. It also increases the playback speed of the macro, since all of the interim mouse move commands and associated delays from the macro are eliminated.



Capture the Macro Speed At

This option actually refers to how fast the macro plays back in relation to the recording speed.





Actual Speed

Plays the macro back at the same speed as the macro was recorded. Any hesitations, etc. play back at the same speed as recorded.

Half Speed

Slows down the macro playback to half of the recording speed.

Double Speed

Speeds up the macro playback to twice the actual recording speed.

Quadruple Speed

Speeds up the macro playback to four times the actual recording speed.

Fastest Speed (no delays)

Plays back the macro with no hesitations, delays, etc. Remove the check next to the Capture at a Specific Speed box to eliminate delays from the macro. Caution: Selecting this option may cause the macro to play back too fast and throw off the timing of the macro. 



Note: After the capture is complete, it is possible to modify the playback speed of the macro in the Script Editor. Use the Macro Playback Speed command to do this.



Display a Prompt before Capturing  (Capture preference option)

After pressing the system macro to start a capture, this option displays a message indicating that the capture is about to start.  



Begin Capture in Window (available when clicking on the Capture icon)

Select the program from the drop down menu in which the macro recording will start. The drop down menu lists the windows currently open on the computer. Or select the last active window option. This refers to the window that was open prior to opening Macro Express Explorer to start the capture.


Press the Capture button and the program selected is brought to the foreground so capturing may begin.