Friday, March 19, 2010

Computer Macros

We recently received a question via our website ( regarding computer macros.

Hello -

I work at Matheny's Hillsborough Adult Learning Center as a technical instructor and am in the process of trying to find/implement ways for our students to be able to more quickly/independently use the computer (for example, getting into email). I have been researching macros and was wondering if anyone there could recommend a software for macros. It looks like there are so many out there. We downloaded one free version (iMacro iOpus) but the user interface does not seem very friendly (user needs to select the macro from a list of macros and hit play to execute it). We'd have approval to purchase some software for macros but with so many out there it's hard to narrow down what would work best for our population. Any information you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.


Sue A.

Sue mentioned a software program called iOpus, which allows you to set up a macro to simplify multiple step computer processes. Other free software titles that perform similar functions to iOpus are Phrase Express and Auto Hot Key. These free tools allow you to program a series of events on the computer into a simple, easy to remember macro. If someone is simply trying to complete a series of mouse clicks, try Ghost Mouse. This free program records mouse clicks and allows the person to easily replicate the string of actions.

While all the solutions described above are software based, don't forget about possible computer hardware solutions. X-Keys sells a variety of keypads with programmable keys, anywhere from 16 keys to 58 keys! The picture below highlights the X-Keys Key Stick, which has 16 programmable keys and could be placed directly on the keyboard above the Function Keys.

Hope this helps, Sue. Keep us updated on your successes.

Have you used a similar tool to address this need? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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