Is there any way to record macros in PowerPoint 2016?
November 7, 2018 9:40 PM   Subscribe

I love VBA macros, and am deeply frustrated by the lack of a macro recorder in PowerPoint. This is primarily because, even though it can still run macros, I often don't know the names of the commands or objects I want to manipulate, and I've found it much easier (in Excel, for example) to record it and see what it does as opposed to digging through piles of documentation. Are there any add-ins which replicate the functionality, or alternate solutions?
posted by solarion to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hmmm - I don't think so - IIRC, macros were closely tied to VBA and that is a dead/dying technology and PowerPoint hasn't supported macro recording since the release of 2013 - if no third-party has stepped up yet, it aint't going to happen. Fairly certain the reason both VBA/macro recording are going away, is that they are not easily supported across new platforms (Android, iOS, MacOSX) versions of Office.

One thing... To help you learn the available object model, create a VBA macro and once you are in the "VBA Editor" press "F2" or go to the "View > Object Browser" menu, this will let you see the various objects and properties available to edit.

However - if you are serious about "automating" things in Office, the best alternative is to learn the new JavaScript-based object model - and unfortunately invest the time in reviewing the documentation.

Microsoft has been making things more difficult for "citizen-developers" lately - they lobotomized SharePoint Designer, axed InfoPath and VBA is on death-watch. Perhaps the alternatives (PowerApps, Flow, Visio for workflows) are better (the move to JavaScript over VBA is definately a move in the right direction), but still.,,
posted by jkaczor at 7:44 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]

Thanks jkaczor - I don't know JavaScript, and nothing I had found online about automation hinted that was where they were going (?). I guess I'll need to pick it up.
posted by solarion at 3:38 PM on November 8

Here is a starting point for the "JavaScript API for Office".

However - I am saying this as someone whose background in JavaScript development is from 8-10 years ago and is trying to get into it again, it has changed dramatically and definitely not as easy to learn as it once was. OTOH, if you are starting fresh, maybe that will work for you - you don't have any pre-conceptions to overcome.
posted by jkaczor at 6:50 AM on November 9

OMG, after all that - I see that PowerPoint is not a "1st-class citizen", and while there is some level of programmability, it uses only the "shared API" and doesn't have it's own object model.
posted by jkaczor at 6:52 AM on November 9

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