V.6:3 (89-89): Introduction to macros Part 3 by Jim Summers, Ph.D.

V.6:3 (89-89): Introduction to macros Part 3 by Jim Summers, Ph.D.
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Introduction to macros Part 3 by Jim Summers, Ph.D.

In the previous column, I discussed the advantages of using Lotus 1-2-3 in the management of an indicator as complex as the Directional Movement Index (DMI). In this column and hereafter, we shall move into the meat of our subject—learning how to use Lotus 1-2-3 to test indicators, refine them and incorporate them into your own trading system. The major building block is the macro, so let's begin with it.


In simple terms, a macro is nothing more than a means of automating keystrokes and cursor movement. This was basically what Lotus 1-2-3, Release 1A, contained. Now, Release 2.0 provides what is called a Command language. The Command language actually allows you to perform a high percentage of functions completely independent of cursor movement. While this is our eventual goal, let's first get a handle on what macros can do at the keystroke level.

All that is required to set up a macro is to put a letter of the alphabet in a column with a '\ in front of it. For example, '\x would be the commands for a macro named\x. The apostrophe in '\x is a formatting command and will not be visible on the screen, but is necessary. Leave it out and you get a repeating \x pattern: \x\x\x\x.... You can use other letters if you choose, but I always use '\x for test macros to avoid confusion with other macros.

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