Macros are an in-game programming option, where you can connect strings of code to one button to make your playing faster and more efficient. For example, my husband is making a macro for our rogue friend so that he can equip a dagger in stealth to ambush, then immediately re-equip a sword to fight.
I made some very easy macros just to show you how to do it. I haven't gotten into the macro building like my husband, but I'll do my best to give you a quick starter lesson. *love*
First of all, open your main menu (using the computer button at the bottom or hitting "Esc") and then click on "Macros."
In the macro panel, you have General or Specific macros. Specific are JUST for the character you're on. General will show up on other characters. (On other servers? Yes, indeed.)
You can see the three emotes I've connected to buttons (/crack, /hug, and /curtsey). We're going to make a new one that will let us hit a button and automatically emote /hello.
In the "New" panel, you decide on a name and icon. The name should just be a few characters, otherwise the button will trail the word off, like in my "Curtsey" button. The icons are really fun for me, because you can choose from any of the in-game buttons. To keep confusion to a minimum, make sure you don't use an icon that matches one of your spells.
Hit "Okay," and begin your coding. For an emote, you just have to put the emote itself in the box. For this, we just need to put /hello. Then drag the icon from your macro listing to your taskbar. That's all! Just test it out to make sure it works, and you're good. ^_^
In the above image, you see I have an extra taskbar on the right side of the screen. You can use this taskbar and a few others by enabling them in the Interface Options. Main Menu --> Interface Options --> Advanced.
If you want to hotkey these taskbars (your "1-0," "-", "=" are hotkeys for your regular taskbar), you'll go to Main Menu --> Key Bindings. I have the taskbar right above my hotkeys as "shift-1 to shift-=". Just be careful not to unbind any keys you use a lot, like the spacebar (jump) or enter (chat). Know what your hotkeys do before you reassign them, or you'll waste time fixing everything.
A Smidgen More In-Depth
My next macro will be entitled "WIN!" and will be a custom emote: "Dustfire has given the Alliance a wedgie." I'll use it when I kill someone in PVP. I'm not sure yet if I can get it to automatically run when I get the killing shot on an opposing player. I'll check it out.
So, can macros only be used for emotes? Heavens, no! I have a macro for a healing spell on my draenei paladin so it auto-targets her, and I don't have to click on her.
Macros are very useful for all kinds of spells -- you can combine spells on one button, so you click it and cast Spell1, then click it and cast Spell2, and it can auto-reset to Spell1 when you leave combat. Like, for a rogue: you have to work up combo points to use certain spells (decrease their armor, increase your speed, etc). So combine those spells into one button in the order you use them: -Armor, +Speed, Finishing Move. This will free up taskbar space for other spells. (I want to try this on Birdfall.)
One of my friends made a macro because he had the same hat in two colors and didn't know which to wear. So his macro let him switch hats between battles.
Panic Button for Priests: Casts Pychic Scream, Desperate Prayer, and Fade all at once.
/cast Desperate PrayerChange Gathering Status: Changes from Find Herbs to Find Minerals when you click it.
/cast Psychic Scream
/castsequence [nocombat] find herbs, find mineralsEquip + Fish: Equips fishing pole, then fishes. On alt-click it will requip normal weapon(s).
/equip [noequipped:Fishing Pole, nomodifier:alt] Insert Name of Your Fishing Pole;Random Polymorph
/equip [modifier:alt] Insert Name of Main Hand Weapon;
/equip [modifier:alt] Insert Name of Off-Hand Weapon;
/cast [equipped:Fishing Pole, nomodifier:alt] Fishing;
/cast [target=focus,exists] Polymorph----------------------
/castrandom [target=focus,exists] Polymorph, Polymorph: Pig, Polymorph: Turtle
Almost forgot to post this. I wrote these posts last week, or there wouldn't be one today. A friend of mine got seriously hurt last weekend when a man invaded her apartment in New York City. Please pray for her, guys.