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What is a WoW Macro?
In short, a Macro is a non-compulsory tool that has been incorporated into the game in an attempt to make game play easier for everybody. Some players swear by them, however others feel that using them makes you one notch below a button-pushing robot. Personally, anything that makes my World of Warcraft life easier is a plus. In the heat of battle, one second can make the difference between a boss being downed and the group being wiped. If used correctly, macros can ensure that the latter of the two rarely occurs.
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How to Access The Macros Window
While in game, hit the options button (this can also be done by hitting the Escape key on your keyboard). You will see a list of options, most of which allow you to customize your game play. To access the Macros option, simply click on the button named ‘Macro’. This should bring up a window that allows you to create and edit your existing Macros. Alternatively, you can access this window by typing ‘/macro’ into the chat box, or if that’s too much typing for you, then ‘/m’ will also do the trick.
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Creating Your First Macro
It is always advisable that you experiment with Macros before putting them in use. This will not only ensure that your Macro will work, but will allow you to create new Macros fast and efficiently.
To create a new Macro, simply hit the ‘New’ button once you have the Macro window open. You will then be prompted to create a name for the Macro (often a word or two that describes it) and also a picture that represents your Macro. You have a choice of almost every icon used within World of Warcraft. If you do not have the time to select one that suits your Macro best, then click the first icon (a question mark). This will automatically assign you am appropriate icon.
Now it’s time to enter the text of your Macro. Basically, a Macro without text is of no use. Just like your character, it has to be told what to do. Otherwise it will just sit there, and no matter how many times you press it, trust me, it will do nothing.
You are probably already aware of the emote system used within WoW. It’s only fitting that for your first Macro you incorporate an emote. For almost every command within the game, a ‘/’ will need to be entered before typing begins. For example, if you wish to wave, you would normally type ‘/wave’ and your character would replicate a wave. This is the same for Macros. Simply type ‘/wave’ into the Macro into the command window within your Macro. Drag the Macro icon to a place where you can use it then hit exit to close the Macro window. Now (hopefully) every time you his that icon, your character will do a little wave.
Congratulations, you just made your first WoW Macro!
If you wish to take it one step further and really show off, you can add other commands. Just remember, use a new line for every new command you enter, otherwise the Macro will not function the way you want it to.
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Some Additional Information on Macros
Each character can create a maximum of 54 Macros; 36 in the general tab and 18 in the character tab. The 36 in the general tab, however, are accessible to all the characters on your account. Therefore, if you for some reason need more than 18 Macros, you will have to eat into your allowance of the 36 shared macros. Also, the official World of Warcraft Macros page states that you can only have 36 Macros at any giving time, which is incorrect and has not been updated by blizzard as of yet.
Another fact to keep in mind is that all the Macros you create will be saved onto your computer. If one day you decide to log on in an Internet café, just remember you will have no Macros (or add-ons for that matter).