Macro Express News

July 7, 2003

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1 - Macro Express 3 version 3.4b is released
2 - Virus causes Macro Express PEV error
3 - Feature change: Backup
4 - Tip: System Tray shortcuts
5 - Tip: The order of files obtained with the Repeat with Folder command
6 - User Submitted Macro: Schmoooove - Move the mouse smoothly
7 - User Submitted Macro: Clipboard Helper
8 - User Submitted Macro: Define Text Macro - Revised
9 - Past issues of the Macro Express News

1 - Macro Express 3 version 3.4b is released
Macro Express 3 version 3.4b has been released and is now available for download from our site at All licensed Macro Express 3 users can download and install this update without cost. Changes include:

  1. Modified the Window Close command so that it won't get stuck when a window brings up a "Do you want to save" type of dialog.
  2. Resolved an issue where the <ALT>f or similar key sequence would have to be replaced with <ALTD>f<ALTU> for use in the Macro Express Editor.
  3. The "Run Macro Now" option is disabled when a macro is currently running.
  4. The backup options were improved.

    Improvements to popup and floating menus:
  5. Added an error checking routine to determine if there is any corruption in floating/popup menus.
  6. When exporting as a playable macro, popup and floating menus are excluded.

    Improvements to controls:
  7. Made a change to the Capture Control utility so that it can get controls that are disabled.
  8. Modified the "Control Details" dialog so that it is resizable.
  9. Modified the window control commands such that they can handle a window with "AFX:" in its class correctly.

    Bugs fixed that caused crashes:
  10. Fixed a bug in the "Macro Properties" dialog where, when viewing the log file, the program could get into a stalled state and then crash the program.
  11. Fixed a range check error that would sometimes occur when test-running a macro.
  12. Fixed a crash in the "Get IP Address" command when the user is on a non TCP/IP network. If the function fails, the resulting IP address will be
  13. Fixed a bug that caused an occasional crash when viewing a macro's properties from the Explorer.
  14. Fixed a range check error that would occasionally occur when using window controls.

    Other bugs fixed:
  15. Fixed a bug where occasionally after deleting macros the editor would report the file as corrupt when it really wasn't.
  16. Fixed a bug where the "Ignore Case" option was set incorrectly after copying/pasting the "If Variable" command where the second value was a variable.
  17. Fixed a bug where, if the user is deleting some files that don't exist an error message was displayed.
  18. Fixed a bug where certain hotkeys were not responding properly when the user attempted to change the hotkey of a macro.
  19. Changed the file association logic in the installer so that it uses the location where Macro Express is installed instead of the default path.
After installing Macro Express 3, you can click Start | Programs | Macro Express | What's New for a complete list of changes. You may also view the list of changes on the web by visiting

2 - Virus causes Macro Express PEV error

Macro Express can detect if the Macro Express program files have been altered. When Macro Express detects that one of its program files has been altered, it displays a small dialog box that says 'PEV Error' and stops. This can prevent serious consequences that may occur because of the power Macro Express has in automating tasks.

Another advantage of this technology is that Macro Express can detect if it has been altered by a virus. Recently a customer reported that Macro Express was displaying the PEV error. With our help, they discovered that a virus had infected every program file on their computer. Once the virus was removed and the program files restored, Macro Express worked properly.

If Macro Express displays a PEV Error on your computer, check to make sure your computer has not been infected with a virus.

3 - Feature change: Backup

Macro Express has the ability to back up your macro file each time Macro Express shuts down. There is an option to display a prompt before backing up the file. Because this prompt caused problems when Windows was rebooted or shutdown, Macro Express will no longer display the prompt when Windows is rebooted or shutdown. The prompt will still be displayed when Macro Express is closed.

The new option 'Backup automatically when shutting down the computer' has been added. With this option checked, Macro Express will backup the macro file when Windows shuts down.

4 - Tip: System Tray shortcuts

Have you ever wanted to write a macro to access the icons in the System Tray? Send these keystrokes:
  1. Win (or Ctrl+Esc) to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Escape to close the Start menu leaving the Start button focused.
  3. Tab to advance from the Start button to your Toolbar.
    (Some systems may not have a Toolbar.)
  4. Tab to advance to the Task Bar.
  5. Tab to advance to the System Tray.
  6. Send right and left arrow keys to move between icons in the System Tray.
  7. Then send these keys:
        Enter Left Double Click
        Space Left Single Click
        Context key (App key in Macro Express) Right Click
Windows XP has an even faster shortcut. Send Win+B to set focus directly to the System Tray.

Where is the System Tray? It is the area in the task bar just to the left of the clock.

5 - Tip: Repeat with Folder command

The Repeat with Folder command is used to get the names of all the files in a specific folder. The files are returned in the order they appear on the hard drive.

When you view the content of a folder in Windows Explorer, the list of files is sorted alphabetically, by modified date, by type, or by size. This does not represent the order that the files are stored on the hard drive and thus, the order that the Repeat with Folder command will find them.

Customer Paul Thornett reports that if your hard drive uses NTFS, then the files are sorted alphabetically on the hard drive. So, if you use NTFS, the file names returned by the Repeat with Folder command will be sorted alphabetically.

If files are added to or deleted from a folder in the middle of a Repeat with Folder loop, the names of newly added files may or may not be found and returned by the Repeat with Folder command.

Thanks to Paul Thornett for his contribution.

6 - User Submitted Macro: Schmoooove - Move the mouse smoothly

Smoothly move the mouse to a new position on the screen using Schmoooove.

Ian Steele said, "I'm using Macro Express to run our test suite. One thing I noticed that I did not like was the way the mouse jumps from one point to another. This behaviour makes it difficult for an operator to see what's happening.

"To this end I wrote a macro that moves the mouse pointer slowly from its current position to a new location. The macro is called Schmoooove - as in "smooth move" :-)."

Read more about this macro and download it here

Thank you, Ian, for sharing this macro. Ian wins a T-Shirt for this submission.

7 - User Submitted Macro: Clipboard Helper

Derek Bench sent us a macro that will let you have 10 "fake" clipboards that will keep your information saved as long as Macro Express is running. It will also keep a record of anything you copy (with ctrl+c) and allow you to view the past 15 things that have been copied to your Windows clipboard.

Read more about this macro and download it here

We would like to thank Derek for this useful macro. Derek wins a T-Shirt for this submission.

8 - User Submitted Macro: Define Text Macro - Revised

Lance Neustaeter has revised the Define Word macro. He says "This is a modification to the user-submitted macro originally written by Mark Bender." Lance "added a 'blank clipboard' check to avoid accidentally sending blank requests to Merriam-Webster."

Lance's macro shows there are many ways to accomplish the same goal. Both Mark's original macro and Lance's revised macro are available at

Thanks to Lance for submitting this revised macro. He wins a T-Shirt for sending us this macro.

9 - 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

Comments and Suggestions

The new features and commands included in Macro Express 3 are a result of feedback from customers like you. Let us know what you like and dislike about Macro Express. Send questions, comments and suggestions to

Thank you for your continued support of Macro Express.
The Macro Express Development Team

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