If you’re getting sick of having to, say, embolden and italicize words in your program over and over, have no fear – you can reduce the number of steps you have to take to do that (and many other tasks) using macros!
How To Make a Macro
The process is simple! To add a macro to a button on your mouse for use across the computer, follow these steps as listed by Microsoft (this document has pictures): https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-do-i-create-macros-bd0f29dc-5b89-3616-c3bf-ddeeb04da2fb
To do so in Word, here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/create-or-run-a-macro-c6b99036-905c-49a6-818a-dfb98b7c3c9c
And Excel, here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/quick-start-create-a-macro-741130ca-080d-49f5-9471-1e5fb3d581a8
As with anything you do that could change the functionality of a button or mouse click, be very careful when assigning buttons certain actions! You don’t want to remove your ability to do something important (like right-clicking) by adding a macro that closes Word every time you try to paste something without using the keyboard.
Macros as a Malicious Entity
Programs like Word and Excel can come with macros designed to run as soon as the program is opened, and not every macro is harmless. Some do things like making hundreds of new documents, some can corrupt your drive, and most of them try to take over the other documents on the computer when they’re opened. This is why recent editions of Microsoft Office products warn you that you shouldn’t open a document outside of Safe Mode unless you trust it’s source. An ordinary-looking .XLSM document can completely brick your hard drive if it comes with the macros to do it!
This is also why you should always verify the sender of an attachment before you open an attachment, even a .pdf. Malicious attachments using macros can be used to steal the contents of the target’s email address book and send those addresses malicious emails too, continuing the cycle and spreading the document until it gets somewhere with valuable information. An early version of this, a macro called “Melissa”, would bait users into opening the document in Word, and then hi-jack their Outlook to send it’s bait email to the first fifty contacts in the victim’s address book as the victim (read more here at the FBI site: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/melissa-virus-20th-anniversary-032519). Melissa itself may be obsolete, but the technique sure isn’t.
Worse, because the macro is coming from an application, it’s already compatible with anything that’s using that application. Mac is not spared this time. A malicious macro can open hundreds of garbage word docs on a Mac too!