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A macro (from the Greek μάκρο for "big" or "far") in computer science is a rule or pattern that specifies how a certain input sequence (often a sequence of characters) should be mapped to an output sequence (also often a sequence of characters) according to a defined procedure. The mapping process that instantiates (transforms) a macro into a specific output sequence is known as macro expansion.

The term originated with macro-assemblers, where the idea is to make available to the programmer a sequence of computing instructions as a single program statement, making the programming task less tedious and less error-prone. Macros often allow positional or keyword parameters that dictate what the conditional assembler program generates and have been used to create entire programs or program suites according to such variables as operating system, platform or other factors.


VBA has access to most Microsoft Windows system calls and executes when documents are opened. This makes it relatively easy to write computer viruses in VBA, commonly known as macro viruses. In the mid-to-late 1990s, this became one of the most common types of computer virus. However, during the late 1990s and to date, Microsoft has been patching and updating their programs. In addition, current anti-virus programs immediately counteract such attacks.

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