Automatically Running Recorder Macros, Command Line Parameters

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Article ID: 72439 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q72439
This article discusses an undocumented and unsupported command line parameter. Microsoft does not support or encourage the use of this parameter, but provides this article as information only. Use this parameter at your own risk.
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The Recorder application (RECORDER.EXE) that is included with Windows 3.0 and 3.1 can be started with certain command-line parameters that allow Recorder to load a file when started and, optionally, automatically run a macro that is defined in the file.

  1. From the Program Manager, click the Recorder icon.
  2. From the File menu, choose Properties.
  3. Specify the optional parameters in the Command Line box.


To start Recorder and load a file, the command line syntax is
RECORDER.EXE <filename>
where <filename> is the name of the Recorder file you want to load. If the file is not in the same directory as Recorder, then the path needs to be specified before the filename.

The following starts Recorder and loads the file TEST.REC:

Auto-Executing Macros

Optionally, you can have Recorder automatically execute a macro that is defined in the macro file. The syntax of the line that does this is
RECORDER.EXE -h <shortcutkey> <filename>
where <filename> is the Recorder filename you want to load and <shortcutkey> is the key defined in the macro that is being loaded. The -h switch tells Recorder to use the hotkey defined immediately after the -h.

For example, if a macro is defined in the macro file TEST.REC that used the shortcut key ALT+F10, the command line to execute this macro when starting Recorder is
Note the % in this example. This signifies the ALT key. The following table explains the key sequences:
    Key             Sequence
    ---             --------

    ALT                %
    CTRL               ^
    SHIFT              +
It is possible to use all these keys in conjunction with the keys listed in the drop-down list box in the dialog box that appears when you choose Properties from the Macro menu. A sample command line is as follows:
Depending on your version of Windows, there are up to three ways to automatically run macros when you start Windows.

  • To start Recorder from the MS-DOS prompt when you start Windows and have it execute a macro, use the following command line during startup:
    NOTE: If you are entering this command line into a batch file, you need to use a double percent sign, %%. A single percent sign is interpreted as a null character and does not perform the desired function.

  • Run the macros from the RUN= or LOAD= line in the WIN.INI file (for example, enter RUN=mymacro.rec in the WIN.INI file).

  • In Windows 3.0, Use the following steps to automatically execute your Windows Recorder macro without having to include the command line parameters:

    1. From File Manager, highlight a Recorder macro document file.
    2. From the File menu, choose Associate.
    3. Type recorder.exe -h <shortcutkey>, where <shortcutkey> is the hotkey for your macro.

      For example, if a macro was defined in the macro file MYMACRO.REC that used the shortcut key ALT+F12, type the following in the Associate dialog box:
      recorder.exe -h %f12
      NOTE: Using CTRL+Shortcutkey does not work in this situation. The symbol for CTRL "^" is reserved in the [EXTENSIONS] section of WIN.INI. Using CTRL in the hotkey causes the following message:
      No macro file - ignoring shortcut key MACRONAME.REC
    4. Place the name of the macro file on the LOAD= or RUN= line of the WIN.INI file.
      Start Windows from MS-DOS, specifying the macro filename ([or example, type win mymacro.rec].
Note that all macro files run from any command line, including File Manager and the MS-DOS Executive, execute files automatically using the specified shortcut key.


Article ID: 72439 - Last Review: July 7, 2005 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Windows 3.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 3.0a
  • Microsoft Windows 3.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 3.11 Standard Edition

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