This article will introduce you to the most impressive macro in Shared Email Templates – WHAT TO ENTER. It may paste any text, number or date you want in your email and open a dropdown with the prefilled options you may choose from to populate your message. You may even paste the same value several times and combine this macro with others.
Stay with me till the end of this manual and I’ll convince you that one small macro will help avoid so much manual work that you couldn’t even imagine ;)
Before we start exploring each and every feature of the WHAT TO ENTER macro, I’d like to point out that it has the following form:
For the convenience and readability, I’ll be calling it WHAT TO ENTER or even shorter – WTE. However, when you use it in your templates, please bear this spelling in mind.
Now let me quickly walk you through the basics:
Sounds promising, isn’t it? Then let’s get started :)
Long story short, the WHAT TO ENTER macro adds special placeholders to your templates so that you get a completed email on a fly. You may fill this placeholder with any custom value – text, numbers, links, dates, etc. Alternatively, you may add the dropdown list and choose one of the options from there.
Moreover, when there are several places in your message you need to fill in, WHAT TO ENTER will ask you to specify the text to paste just once and populate all those places automatically.
Now let’s have a closer look at each macro’s option and learn to set it up correctly for each and every case.
The easiest goes first :) Imagine this: you send a reminder to your customers to notify them about the status of their order. Of course, each order has a unique id so you’ll need to paste a template, then look for the place of the order number in the text and type it manually. Almost got you ;) No, you won’t need that as WHAT TO ENTER will show you the input box where you paste the correct number that gets inserted into the necessary place of your email right away.
Let’s see how it works. You create a new template, add the notification’s text and include the macro:
Tip. If you want to change or remove the text in the fill-in field, no need to re-add the macro, just modify it a little bit. See, in my example above the macro looks like that:
If you remove “enter order number here” (or replace it with the text you like more), just modify the first parameter of the macro:
Note. It is important to have the semicolon left in order not to corrupt the input box appearance.
Let’s have a closer look at the reminder template above. While there are unlimited order numbers, there may be just a few order statuses. Typing one of, let’s say, three choices every time isn’t very timesaving, right? Here comes the “Dropdown list” opinion of WHAT TO ENTER. You just add a macro, set all the possible values and paste your template:
The Dropdown List option offers two parameters I’d like to draw your attention to:
You may have noticed that the macro’s window now has two placeholders to populate – order and status. As I’ve added two WTEs, there is a special field for each of them. Once I’ll add the third one (yes, I will), there will be three spots. Hence, you won’t get bored by multiple pop-ups for each and every macro but fill in all the info and hit OK just once before getting a ready-to-be-sent email.
The WHAT TO ENTER macro can handle not only text and numbers, but also dates. You may enter it manually, choose from the calendar or hit Today and the current date will be populated automatically. It’s up to you.
So, if you need to specify some timing, the macro will do a great job for you.
Getting back to our reminder, let’s improve it a little bit more and set a due date for the order.
See? Three fields to set, as promised ;)
You may think that you’ll need to enter as many values as there are WHAT TO ENTERs in your template even if you need to paste the same text in different places. As the macro is designed to save your time, it won’t ask you to do any extra button hits :)
Let’s have a look at the macro’s window. If you switch the options, you’ll see that no matter which of them is selected, one item is not changing. I’m referring to the “Window title” field as this is the key to pasting the same value in different places in a go.
No matter which pasting option you choose – text, dropdown or date – if you have identical Window title, the same value will be pasted. So, you may create this macro once, copy it all over your template and enjoy :)
WTE can be used together with almost every other macro from Shared Email Templates. You may have already noticed the nested FILLSUBJECT and WHAT TO ENTER macros in my example from the previous section. See, I’ve just set a value for WTE, this value was added to the text from FILLSUBJECT and the result went to a subject line.
However, not all the macros can be merged with WHAT TO ENTER. Let’s enable the “merge-macros-like-a-pro” mode and join a few macros to see if and how they work and why they may be useful for you ;)
Merging macros is a nice experiment that eventually ends with saving time. If you have a look at the list of macros for Shared Email Templates, you may think “Wow, so many macros to explore!”. Spoiler alert – not all of them can be merged with WHAT TO ENTER. Now I’ll show you the cases when this kind of merging works. In the next chapter you’ll see the macros that won’t work this way.
Speaking generally, you may join WHAT TO ENTER with all the FILL and ADD macros. In this fashion, you may combine WHAT TO ENTER with FILLTO/ADDTO, FILLCC/ADDCC. FILLBCC/ADDBCC and populate the recipients’ addresses. Hence, your TO/CC/BCC field will be filled with the email you enter when pasting a template.
Or, let’s take INSERT PICTURE FROM URL macro. If you recall one of my previous tutorials, this macro asks for the image’s url and pastes this image into the message. So, if you are not sure which image to paste or want to choose an image for each particular case, you may replace the link with WHAT TO ENTER and add the link when pasting a template.
Tip. If you know for sure the images you’ll be choosing from, you may embed the dropdown list using WTE and choose the link that you need from there.
As we’ve discussed before, not all the macros can be merged. Here are the macros you won’t be able to join with WHAT TO ENTER:
I’d like you to get acquainted with one more macro. It is “WHAT TO ENTER Junior” called WHAT TO ATTACH. If you keep your eye on our blog, you know we have a series of tutorials about attachments. You may refresh your knowledge and check the articles on how to attach files from OneDrive, SharePoint and URL. In case an online storage is not for you and you prefer having your files locally on your machine, WHAT TO ATTACH would be a good solution.
When you insert this macro in your template, it has the following syntax:
As you may have noticed, there is no way to set the file’s location to attach it automatically. When you paste a template with this macro, you’ll see the “Choose a file to attach” window prompting you to browse for the file on your PC:
I really hope you will enjoy using Shared Email Templates with all its macros as much as I do daily :) If you haven’t tried our Shared Email Templates yet, it’s high time! Install this add-in right from the Microsoft Store and give it a go. Trust me, it's worth it ;)
In case you have any questions to ask or maybe you’ve come up with the idea on how to improve our macros or add-in, please take a few minutes to leave your thoughts in Comments. Thank you and, of course, stay tuned!
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