How to Automate an Excel Spreadsheet

by Stephanie Ellen
keyboard image by Fyerne from

Microsoft Excel has macro functions which allow users to automate spreadsheets and avoid entering the same information over and over again. Whether formatting a document a particular way, entering a range of information, or producing the same chart types over and over, a macro can help you perform these tasks with the push of a button.

Step 1

Open the spreadsheet where you would like the macro to run.

Step 2

Click the "Developer" tab, then click "Record Macro." Type a name for the macro in the "Macro name" box, then click "OK." The macro recorder will start to record your keystrokes and mouse clicks.

Step 3

Format the document. For example, design a budget document, make a bar graph, or enter information you'd like to enter in other spreadsheets.

Step 4

Click the "Developer" tab, then click "Stop Macro Recording." Your macro is now ready for use.

Run the macro by clicking "Developer," then clicking "Macros." Click on the name for the macro you assigned in Step 2, then click "Run."


  • If you have trouble running macros, you may need to change your security settings. Click the "Microsoft Office" button, then click "Access Options." Click "Trust Center," then click "Trust Center Settings." Click "Macro Settings," then click "Disable all macros except digitally signed macros." This will allow macros from trusted publishers, like Microsoft, to run.


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About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.

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