Developers confirm new VS 2013+ extension works, bringing VSMacros back

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

A macro represents a series of commands and instructions grouped together as a single command to accomplish a task automatically, mainly used to automate repetitive actions.

VBA-based macros were removed in VS 2012, but Microsoft’s developer community did not give up and released extensions to fill that gap. At the beginning of May, the Visual Studio Team released a new VS Macro extension; today, we have confirmation that the extension for Visual Studio 2013+ works just fine. The extension enables the use of macros in the IDE, and can record most of the features in Visual Studio including text editing operations.

The complete list of features includes:

  • Record and playback active document operations and Visual Studio IDE commands
  • Playback multiple times
  • Manage and persist macros with a Macro Explorer
  • Assign keyboard bindings to any macro
  • Macros recorded as JavaScript files that call VS DTE APIs
  • Macro editing in Visual Studio with DTE IntelliSense
  • Stop playback
  • Sample macros.

After you install the extension, the Macro menu will be visible under Tools > Macros. The Current macro is a temporary one that incorporates the last recorded macro. To save it, right-click the Current macro and name the new it. You can also assign a shortcut for faster access. After this operation, the new macro will then persist on your file system.

However, not all features are supported by this extension. You cannot record interaction with dialogs or execute a macro inside another macro. You also cannot play back macros from Visual Studio 2010 because with this extension, macros are written in JavaScript while macros in Visual Studio 2010 were written in VBA Macros.

With these extensions, Microsoft proves once again that it hears its developers.

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