Macro Recorder is very easy to use and should work fine "out-of-the-box". However, technical limitations and unavoidable interferences may require to troubleshoot your recording. Please find tips and tricks to get your macro running as expected:
The foremost important tip: 99% of issues are window focus based. Macro Recorder does not switch the input focus to the application you wish to automate. You would either need to change focus using the focus change macro action or by simulating a regular click (not a smart click) into the target application to switch focus to that window.
- Check the download page if you are using the latest version. Your installation may be out-of-date, even if you checked for updates.
- Mac only: If Macro Recorder crashes if you press Record, most probably, you need to (re)authorize the security access settings in macOS. Please carefully follow the installation instructions. Please note, that you may need to reconfirm the settings after a software update.
Windows only: If Macro Recorder was started with normal user rights (default case), then it cannot control program windows started with extended administrator rights. Solution: Start Macro Recorder with administrator rights as well (right-click on program file and choose "Run as administrator").
Security-critical applications (for example, banking software) may be specially protected against remote automation, so they cannot be controlled by Macro Recorder. Please check if your antivirus program blocks Macro Recorder from automating your computer. Often, this is called "keygen protection".
Window focus change
Make sure that the defined window title matches the actual title in the desired window.
Note, that the title may change dynamically:
- The browser title shows the currently loaded web page title which is different on different web pages.
- Editing programs show the current file name and path which is currently being edited.
- Database programs may use the currently selected database item in the program title.
By the way, program names (vs titles) sometimes also have confusingly weird names. Microsoft UWP programs may show different titles than expected. The Microsoft browser "Edge" has the edgy program name "ApplicationFrameHost.exe".
Let Macro Recorder scan the program name and window title:
- In the window change action, click the cross-hair button.
- Click the window you want Macro Recorder to switch focus to.
Use the wildcard for dynamically changing window titles: Replace "MyWonderfulDocument.doc - Word" with "* - Word" if you want to switch to Word, regardless of the name of the file currently loaded in Word.
- Coordinates of a click action may be overridden by parameter change macros. Check if there is any parameter change is affecting the mouse click actions in question.
- Keep in mind, that the position of click items may vary, especially in web browsers.
The position of items in a web browser is affected by:
- Advertisement banners or dynamic contents.
- The browser zoom (CTRL-+/-)
- Activation/Deactivation of script blocker (Adblock, Ghostery, etc.).
- Responsive webpage contents such as collapsing/expanding (navigation) menus.
- Dynamic stylesheets (dark mode, mobile view, styling skins)
- Different content depending on a logged in/out state.
- Use window change to let Macro Recorder restore the browser window position and size.
- Double-check the "relative mouse coordinate" setting and disable it if you don't want to use it.
- Automate a reset to achieve a consistent experience. E.g. CTRL-0 resets browser zoom.
SmartClick and Image Recognition
Choose a click position that visually differs from the rest of the desktop. Otherwise, Macro Recorder may abort the image area analysis with a hint that the image area is not unique; for example, SmartClick is not suitable to click anywhere in the middle of a large monochrome area.
Make sure that the desired program window has focus if the action is configured to search the bitmap in the currently focussed program.
On playback, Macro Recorder performs a digitally precise comparison between the small bitmap(s) you defined when recording the macro and what is visible on the desktop on macro playback.
Even if you believe it is identical, there are many factors that may cause slightest changes in appearance, making it impossible for a computer to calling it a match. Here are some tips what to look for:
- Make sure that the same fonts are installed on the computer that were present when you recorded the macro.
- Clicked items which are captured by Smart Click must have consistent size, shape and color. Macro Recorder captures the item with the appearance at the time of the click. If its appearance change, SmartClick cannot find it anymore as it doesn't match the recorded bitmap around the click position.
- Buttons or web links on a webpage may have a different color after the page has been visited. Verify, if Macro Recorder captured the color of the desired state.
- SmartClicks may not be detected if running the macro from a computer with different DPI settings ("Retina") or anti-aliasing settings ("Clear Type" or "LCD optimization") as it slightly affect the appearance of text and user interface controls.
- Ensure a consistent web browser viewing scale. If you record a zoomed page, SmartClicks would not work with differing zoom settings. Consider resetting zoom with the browser hotkey CTRL-0.
- Make sure that the program window has active focus if you restricted the images/text search to the " "!
- Check if any blue-light filter software may affect the desktop color scheme.
If Macro Recorder with normal user rights, it cannot insert text into target programs which have been launched with Administrative privileges. This situation is visualized with a red symbol in the Macro Recorder tray icon:
Solution: Launch Macro Recorder with Administrative privileges as well by right-clicking the Macro Recorder tray icon:
Some programs, such as "FireFox" or "Chrome" have automatic update functions that start the program after updating with administrator rights without informing you about this. After manually restarting the application with normal user rights, Macro Recorder should work again.