Anonymous Macros…Awesome Power!

Once upon a time, in the chilly windowless basement of a Fortune 100 company, a young programmer joined our small development team. He brought with him a programmers editor called Brief. Within weeks every developer in the entire company was using this powerful editor. The three compelling features were the ability to select copy and paste columns of text, multiple windows with cut and paste between them and…drum roll please…macros. With macros, enormously tedious tasks can be performed easily in seconds.

Sadly, the Brief editor went the way of the Dodo, but happily, the macro feature lived on. In the Visual Studio Editor this feature is called Anonymous Macros.

It would be clumsy to describe how Anonymous Macros work with written words so I made a video that shows the power. The video is here:  

After seeing the video, you may want to put these keystrokes on a 'sticky' to tape to your monitor:

Ctrl-Shift-R    Start/Stop Recording

Ctrl-Shift-P    Playback

I've always wanted to try doing a video and this was a good excuse. I hope you find it helpful.

Steve Wellens


  • Loved Brief...
    But have been using Visual Slick Edit and have all my Brief 'finger macros' running in there Ctrl-A,S,D,F, etc... and the double-action ones like Ctrl-K, Ctrl-R.
    Unfortunately the latest version of VSE isn't as kind to macros because of the heavy file extension template editing they do, so I'm still VERY HAPPILY using an old version :)

  • Genius! I often do those repetitive key combinations, this will help a lot I think.
    Thanks for posting.

  • How about using Ctrl+I followed by what you're searching rather than F3?

  • I tried that but there was already an item in the search buffer so rather than prompt for a new search item, it searched again for what was already in the search buffer.
    By the way, here's a link to a PDF with the default key bindings:

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