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RPA Vs Macros: Which Suits Your Needs Best?

Learn the difference between RPA vs macros. Knowing their individual differences should help you choose automation tools wisely.

RPA vs Macros: Why The Difference?

When we talk about automation, among the first choices should be RPA and macros. 


Well, basically because both can automate tasks.

Suppose you are in the middle of a decision. ‘Should I deploy a robot for such task?’, you might ask yourself.

By all means, you should well know that macros can automate too. But, the big difference should be with the type of task you wish to automate. 

Macros can automate. But macros can only automate simple tasks. But for enterprise-scale automation tasks, perhaps RPA should suit well. Because RPA can even automate a macro to get it done.

Can you see the difference?

I guess you should. 

But, you can gain an in-depth insight into this with their individual functions.

What Is Macro?

If your task includes doing something repetitively in a code, like modifying some texts into something else. A macro can greatly help.

Doing codes over and over again can be boring in the long run. Although it serves your job well, why not let the macro get it done?

A macro involves a short sequence of code. This code then converts into a set of instructions that turns into a process. This then enables a task to be done through automation.

Furthermore, a macro may include keystrokes, mouse shortcuts, or text substitutions. Also, it is noteworthy to say that macro can automate only a single task.

What are common examples of a macro?

Usually, macros work best with excel tasks. 

For example:

  • Unhide worksheets
  • Hide all worksheets except an active sheet
  • Unmerge all merged cells
  • Save workbook with a timestamp in its name
  • Sort worksheets alphabetically

What is RPA?

RPA, on the other hand, is the next generation of macros. RPA is defined as Robotic Process Automation.

As the ‘next generation’ of macros, RPA works smarter than macros. A robot can even decide when to execute macros. This is because robots are smart enough to respond to external stimuli. This is why RPA suits more complex tasks. Enterprise-wide scale processes, for instance.

Furthermore, unlike macro, RPA can work by itself. But it can also work by human triggers. So RPA works both ways. 

What’s the difference?

  • Attended Automation-is the automation that needs human interference. Perhaps through a single click or any trigger. 
  • Unattended Automation– automation that executes by itself. This means that it can run even without human interference.

However, both automation ways are highly beneficial. Not all tasks can be applied with unattended automation. Because even with the smart design of robots, they can’t outstand the wit of human brain.

Thus, in whichever task, automation can do the job for you.

WalkMe Can Help

Many businesses are greatly disturbed by the disruption technology brings. But gladly, the experts can help through the crisis.

WalkMe is a digital adoption platform designed to guide enterprises through their DX journey. Perhaps you can visit their website to learn more of what they can offer at

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Macro Vs RPA: What Is The Difference?

Macro vs RPA- these are two mostly interchanged functions. Some may ask for a need for a robot. But in some cases, a macro function can do the job. So what’s the difference between Macro vs RPA?

First, let us see each individual definition.

What Is Macro?

Macro involves a short sequence of code. This code can stretch into a set of instructions to perform a task.

Macro suits repetitive and mundane tasks that involve the use of codes. For instance, transforming text inputs through codes is time-consuming. Not to mention how repetitive tasks can therefore lead to human errors. 

So if you see yourself in the same situation, macros can aid you. You can therefore write a macro for your task. Perhaps when the situation calls for that same task, that saved macro can do the task for you.

Simple examples of macros are the following:

  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Mouse clicks and strokes
  • Text substitutions

Macro & Script

Macro is closely relevant to a ‘script’. You might have heard of Perl and Python. These two are examples of scripting languages.

‘Script’ is the generic term for a sequence of computer code. In like manner, this sequence of code can perform tasks or a series of tasks. This manner makes it closely related to macros.

However, scripting languages are rather interpreted. So this makes them run by lines. Whereas, this works unlikely with compiled languages. Compiled languages let the computer first understand the language before running.

What Is RPA?

RPA stands for robotic process automation. RPA works with the development of robots. In a sense, robots can do the tasks on behalf of humans. Yes, RPA is the new generation of macros.

Unlike macros, robots can easily adapt to tasks. Because robots can respond to external stimuli factors. Thus making it more independent compared with macros. Unlike macros that are dependent on what is in the code. Robots can adjust their performance depending on the situation. In fact, a robot can even choose when to execute macros.

Not to mention that RPA can either work attended or unattended. Thus making it work even autonomously. Which makes it dependable even without human interference. 

Which Is Which:  Macro Vs RPA

Both automation functions are usable and productive. However, it mostly depends on your intent of use.

For Simple Task Automation

Macros are often used for simple automation tasks. The most common example for macros is excel tasks. As mentioned, macros can record keystrokes, mouse clicks, and text substitutions.

For example:

  • Protect all worksheets all at once
  • Save a worksheet as a PDF
  • Insert multiple worksheets in a workbook in a single click

For More Complex Tasks

RPA suits more complex tasks. Making it more useful for big enterprises. For instance, robots can streamline repetitive business processes.

For example:

  • Invoice processing
  • System queries
  • Employee on-boarding
  • Accounting reconciliation

Consult With WalkMe

WalkMe is a digital adoption platform. It is serving global enterprises for its digital transformation solutions. Why not consult with WalkMe for your business automation tasks?