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Macro Express - MiniReview

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Basic Info

App NameMacro Express Pro from Insight Software Solutions, Inc.App URL Version Reviewed4.0.2.1Test System SpecsVirtually irrelevant, any machine that supports the required O/S will do.Supported OSesWindows 2008, Vista, Vista 64, 2003, XP, XP 64, 2000Support MethodsEmail: [email protected]
Online forum
Phone: (801) 927-5009 (8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Mountain Time, Monday-Friday)
Fax: (801) 927-5011 (24 hours a day)
Mail: Insight Software Solutions, Inc.,  P.O. Box 106,   Kaysville,   UT 84037-0106,   USAUpgrade PolicyUpdates within major version numbers are free (e.g. 4.1 to 4.2 etc.).
Discounts for existing users on major version updates (e.g. 4.9 to 5.0 etc).Trial Version Available?Trial version which is fully functional during the 30-day trial period.Pricing SchemeUS$59.95.Screencast Video URLA whole series of 'how to' videos at: Video Tutorials Page.Relationship btwn. Reviewer and ProductI have no association with Insight Software other than as a regular, paying customer. I offer this review (such as it is) simply because I find the product useful and hope that others might find the same.


Macro Express Pro is software to do what the name implies, that is create macros with as little fuss as possible. A macro, of course, is something that will automate a series of actions, in order to make our time at the computer more productive.

My own feeling is that if something has to be done on a computer more than a few times then it's worth automating it -- taking care of that stuff is a fundamental role of the computer. It's a personal point of view of course and since I acquired my dog I've stopped barking, too.

Macro Express Pro is a well established, mature product that first went into development in 1990. It is continually updated and improved, often at no cost to the user.

Macro Express - MiniReview Macro Express - MiniReview Macro Express - MiniReview

For whom is this software suitable?

An appealing aspect of Macro Express Pro is that it is suitable for almost anyone. At one extreme, people who have never before created macros will find it easy to use. At the other extreme, those with a lot of experience can create and automate solutions to extremely complex problems.

A quick overview

Think of Macro Express Pro as your electronic butler. It is an easy way to get things done on your computer without engaging in a lot of repetitive effort. Do you want a series of events to happen when you hit a certain key? No problem, Macro Express Pro can arrange that. Do you want some specific text to appear in a document when you type "zzz" or "home address"? Easy as pie. Need to monitor some data on the web and capture it when it changes, and then have Adobe Illustrator produce a top-quality chart based on that? Consider it done. Do you require files to be backed up when they appear in a certain folder? Macro Express is your willing servant. Simple or complex, Macro Express Pro is up to the task and, with a little ingenuity, it can produce quick solutions for innumerable problems without needing to reach for a full-scale programming language.

For beginners, Macro Express Pro can monitor what you do and then create a macro based on your actions. It will capture both keyboard and mouse activity. It also offers an optional "Wizard" interface to make things even easier when starting out with the program. Later, if desired, the code that the macro produced can be examined, learned from, and modified (it's not necessary that one does this but it is a good way for beginners to expand their skills). There is a useful built-in help system peppered with good examples of just about every aspect of the software.

For those who progress a little further, Macro Express Pro gives full access to to a set of over 900 commands which provide the building blocks with which to create some highly intricate automation.

Macros can be triggered in a number of ways. A few of these are:

* when a hot key is pressed
* when a scheduled event occurs
* when a window is activated
* when some mouse-key combination is pressed
* when a change occurs to a file or folder
* when some system event or process occurs
* when specific data appears on the clipboardthere are more...

Macros can be set to play back:

* globally, in all Windows programs
* only when a specific window is active
* only when a specific program is active
* always, except in a program that you specify
If desired, macros can be compiled into standalone programs that will execute independently of whether Macro Express Pro is installed on a given machine.
[Sorry, my mistake, an exported macro will require a copy of Macro Express on the machine where it runs - Cranio]

When running in its normal mode Macro Express Pro has a presence in the form of a tray icon. To program or edit a macro one activates the appropriate interface by means of the tray icon or a hot-key combination.

This overview barely scratches the surface of Macro Express Pro. I intend it only as a way to draw your attention to a program that has satisfied me for a good long time. If these few words have raised your interest level, I encourage you to take the trial version for a spin and discover whether you share my enthusiasm.

Why I think you should use this product

I find Macro Express Pro to be a good and useful way to offload repetitive tasks and have the computer take care of them. In addition, with a little creativity, it can be used to weld together disparate applications and so form a customized, comfortable workflow. I believe that it is a valuable tool for beginner and experienced user alike. It is updated and improved at regular intervals, often at no cost at all to the user. I'll let the fact that I have been using it for over a decade speak for itself.

How does it compare to similar apps?

This is not a comparative review. Some software categories seem to lend themselves to highly subjective likes and dislikes. Why each one of us prefers his or her favourite word processor, for example, is sometimes difficult to define. I suspect our feelings about automation software are similar. I know, like, use, and am comfortable with Macro Express Pro. I can bring it to your attention, I am confident that it will perform well, but I cannot say if you will like it more than others.

I do know of some competing software.
One is AutoMate. This is a highly competent product but significantly more expensive. This can be found at
Another is Macro Scheduler. This is also highly competent but somewhat more expensive. This can be found at
Another is WinAutomation I have no experience of this one. It is moderately more expensive. This can be found at


Macro Express Pro is an effective, easy, mature, reasonably-priced tool to increase productivity and reduce drudgery. It is adaptable to a range of skill levels, from novice to expert.

Links to other reviews of this application

Apart from on the developer's own site, I found one here, at SoftSea.

Excellent mini review Chris!  :up: :up:

Chris was also nice enough to contact Insight Software about the possibility of offering a discount to DC members, and they were nice enough to grant us one, as well as give us a few copies to give away  :Thmbsup:

The discount will run through April -- details will be posted shortly.

Excellent mini review Chris!  :up: :up:
-mouser (March 21, 2009, 08:23 PM)
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hear hear ;)
you dont have any "needs improvement" section - no complaints or 'cons' at all?
Has it worked with all programs that you've tried it with?

Chris was also nice enough to contact Insight Software about the possibility of offering a discount to DC members, and they were nice enough to grant us one, as well as give us a few copies to give away  :Thmbsup:

The discount will run through April -- details will be posted shortly.-mouser (March 21, 2009, 08:23 PM)
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great, I don't think my use of this would justify the full price

I see there's a standard version as well for $39.95
Compare here

you dont have any "needs improvement" section - no complaints or 'cons' at all?
-tomos (March 22, 2009, 06:43 AM)
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I don't. I did think about that and was mildly surprised to come up empty.
My needs are not that demanding and, as always, YMMV.
Also, I'm used to the way it works and it's difficult to see it with new eyes.
That's where the trial version comes in, I guess, so that people can investigate for themselves.
There is a forum (mentioned above) where you can take a look and see what issues other may have.
A few bugs associated with the launch of Macro Express Pro were hunted down and put to the sword in a timely manner.

I tried to think of something meaningful about which to complain but couldn't.
In the past, I recall being stuck on something and getting back a nicely workable solution from the people at Insight.
There is a cosmetic thing where you can't change the font in one of its selection windows but I've put in a request about that and it seemed too trivial a thing to pursue in my quick overview. I'm aware that the 'review' was more of an introduction than an analysis.

Has it worked with all programs that you've tried it with?
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There  was something, last year that I couldn't find an easy way to accomplish -- I forget what it was. My solution was to write a little script in something else (probably ReXX) and call that from Macro Express. I tend to chain together various bits and pieces to achieve what I want, using Macro Express as the links that join things. I'm not much of a programmer and whatever gets the job done is good enough for me.

I think we all feel a bit lost when favourite utilities are absent.
Recently, when using a machine without Macro Express installed I was continually frustrated by the things that I couldn't do with ease.
That must say something either about the usefulness of Macro Express or the stupidity of yours truly. Many would plump for the latter.

I see there's a standard version as well
--- End quote ---
Yes, the forthcoming discount will not apply to that version.

Great mini-review Chris  :Thmbsup:


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