One of the easiest things you can do to automate your communication and buffing within the World of Warcraft is to create a macro. However, many people are confused about how to create a macro. This quick tutorial will solve that problem.

In order to create a macro, you need to enter the macro subsystem by typing in the following:


This will open a macro window. Click on the [Create] button and another window will pop up next to the macro window. Now comes the hard part, picking an icon to represent your macro. There are a lot of choices but not all icons withing the game are present so take your time. If you find a better icon later, you can always change your macros icon at a later time. You will also need to name your macro in this new window above the icons. Be careful with name lengths because only a small number of characters can be seen. My tailor alt uses "BAG1" and "BAG2" to send his selling bags message to channels 1 or 2 depending upon what zone he is in.

Once you pick a name and an icon, that window closes and you can then enter the macro function into the lower area within the original macro window. The best way to explain this will be to show you a few examples.

/1 WTS Bags : 6-slot 3s, 8-slot 10s, 8-slot green/red 12s, 10-slot 40s. PST.

This is the BAG1 macro mentioned above. Can you guess what BAG2 looks like?

/2 WTS Bags : 6-slot 3s, 8-slot 10s, 8-slot green/red 12s, 10-slot 40s. PST.

My tailoring alt oftens attempts to sell bags in various zones. Putting the the BAG1 and BAG2 icon in an action slot at the bottom of your screen allows you to send them immediately and easily. When I'm in a large city with a trade channel, I send BAG2. When I'm in other zones, I send BAG1. Be careful not to send these too often or you'll piss people off and get called a spammer. People will start to add you to their /ignore list and that's not a good thing. I send one about every 10-15 minutes at the most and usually stop for an hour after two of them have been sent.

So what about buffing? Good question. I have a priest that likes to cast Power Word:Fortitude on people he meets. To do this easily, I created a "Buff Other" macro. The macro looks like this:

/s May the Light protect you, %t.
/cast Power Word:Fortitue(Rank 1)

What the heck is that %t in there? Don't worry about it. We'll get to it later.

In order to easily get the spell in there because it's VERY picky about syntax, I recommend clicking on your spellbook, clicking the appropriate tab and then shift-clicking on the spell. The macro engine will automatically put the proper spell syntax into the current macro. This makes life very easy. Also remember that Blizzard is worried about people botting so they limited the number of spells a single macro can cast to only one. Yes, a bit of a bummer but it's due to wankers who always look for ways to beat the system.

When you're in a jam, or just lazy, you can actually cast this on yourself by hitting F1 first. This makes you the target and the macro will work just fine except that people will think you're talking to yourself.

A friend uses the following text in his macro to do the same thing but, as you can see, he delivers a different message:

/s Fortitude, a gift from the Guardians of Goldshire, %t.
/cast Power Word:Fortitue(Rank 1)

Okay, there it is again, that %t. In the game, this stands for 'target'. To cast this macro on a person, you need to click them and then activate the macro. Since they are the target, this displays their name where ever %t appears in the macro. People usually pay more attention when they see their name on the screen. It also generates a lot of "how do I do that?" questions. Now you can just refer them to this page.

You must remember that once you gain a new spell, such as rank 2 of Power Word:Fortitude, you'll continue to cast only rank 1 unless you modify your macro. You can do this by typing /macro, clicking on your macro and then updating the rank information. Be sure to click on "Completed" or your changes will not be applied.

You are limited to 18 macros for your account. Each character has access to your master list of macros. While it's true that a rogue doesn't need a 'Buff' macro, this is the way Blizzard designed the macro system.