Use Macros and Scripts in PowerPoint

Created: Thursday, November 8, 2007, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 8:57 am

This article is not about creating your own macros or scripts to automate PowerPoint. However, if you just want to run any macros or scripts that a friend shares, or you just got it from a book or newsgroup, then you are on the right page.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Make sure you have a script ready — you can download some scripts here.
  2. Open an existing presentation, or create a new one in PowerPoint. Then press Alt+F11 to access the Microsoft Visual Basic interface that you can see in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: The Visual Basic interface

  3. Choose Insert | Module, as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Insert a module

  4. This opens a new module window on the right side of the interface. Copy your VBA code source, and paste it here (see Figure 3).

    Figure 3: The pasted script

  5. Now you need to run this script as a macro from within PowerPoint. To do that, first exit the Visual Basic interface by choosing File | Close and Return to PowerPoint.
  6. Now the steps you take differ depending upon which version of PowerPoint you are using.

    PowerPoint 2007 users will need to enable the Developer tab on the Ribbon if it is not already visible. To do that, choose Office Button | PowerPoint Options, and select the Popular tab on the left. Then check the option that says Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.

    PowerPoint 2010 users can find instructions to enable the Developer tab of the Ribbon within our Enable The Developer Tab in the Ribbon – PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.

    Once you have enabled the Developer tab of the Ribbon, access this tab and click the Macro button to bring up the Macro dialog box that you can see in Figure 4. All scripts within the active presenttion will be displayed here. Select the script you want to run, and click the Run button.

    Figure 4: The Macro dialog box

    Versions before PowerPoint 2007: Choose Tools | Macros | Macro to bring up the same dialog box that you saw in Figure 4. Then select the script you want to run, and click the Run button.

Remember, some scripts may do nothing at all unless you have something selected on the slide before you run them!

Tip from Steve Rindsberg: You can store many, many macros/scripts/routines in a single PowerPoint file and as long as you have it open along with any other files, you can access the macros as described.

See Also: Create an Add-in with toolbars that run macros (PPT FAQ by Steve Rindsberg)

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