Recording Macros

The simplest use of macros is to record a series of key strokes and menu commands as a BeanShell script, and play them back later. While this doesn't let you take advantage of the full power of BeanShell, it is still a great time saver and can even be used to prototype more complicated macros.

Macros>Record Macro (shortcut: C+m C+r) prompts for a macro name and begins recording.

While recording is in progress, the string Macro recording is displayed in the status bar. jEdit records the following:

Mouse clicks in the text area are not recorded; use text selection commands or arrow keys instead.

Macros>Stop Recording (shortcut: C+m C+s) stops recording. It also switches to the buffer containing the recorded macro, giving you a chance to check over the recorded commands and make any necessary changes. When you are happy with the macro, save the buffer and it will appear in the Macros menu. To discard the macro, close the buffer without saving it.

The file name extension .bsh is automatically appended to the macro name, and all spaces are converted to underscore characters, in order to make the macro name a valid file name. These two operations are reversed when macros are displayed in the Macros menu; see the section called “How jEdit Organizes Macros” for details.

If a complicated operation only needs to be repeated a few times, using the temporary macro feature is quicker than saving a new macro file.

Macros>Record Temporary Macro (shortcut: C+m C+m) begins recording to a buffer named Temporary_Macro.bsh. Once recording of a temporary macro is complete, jEdit does not display the buffer containing the recorded commands, but the name Temporary_Macro.bsh will be visible on any list of open buffers. By switching to that buffer, you can view the commands, edit them, and save them if you wish to a permanent macro file. Whether or not you look at or save the temporary macro contents, it is immediately available for playback.

Macros>Run Temporary Macro (shortcut: C+m C+p) plays the macro recorded to the Temporary_Macro.bsh buffer.

Only one temporary macro is available at a time. If you begin recording a second temporary macro, the first is erased and cannot be recovered unless you have saved the contents to a file with a name other than Temporary_Macro.bsh. If you do not save the temporary macro, you must keep the buffer containing the macro script open during your jEdit session. To have the macro available for your next jEdit session, save the buffer Temporary_Macro.bsh as an ordinary macro with a descriptive name of your choice. The new name will then be displayed in the Macros menu.