Scripts & Macros
Scripts are used for many things on computers. Everything from customizing and automating repetitious tasks to changing the way the computer functions can be controlled with scripts. One standard script is type is a batch file and the most common one is the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. This script contains the steps that the computer goes through when turning the power on or resetting it. The CONFIG.SYS file controls how your computer's hardware is configure each time you restart it. These type of files contain instructions for your computer; one instruction per line. These instructions are usually DOS commands and can be modified in any text editor. Always be sure to make a backup before modifying a *.BAT file.
One of the most common scripts that the average user will come in contact with are macros. Most programs use some form of macro. A macro, at it's simplest, is a recorded series of keystrokes that help automate repetitive tasks. These tasks, once copied into a script, can be accomplished with a few keystrokes. You can use macros to help you write letters, create memos, or build reports. Some macros stop and beep when you need to enter information. Some present a screen with detailed information and multiple choices. Many programs allow the user to record personalized macros for their own unique use such as inserting your name and address.
Most computer users will use scripts in some way, perhaps without realizing it. One common script that users often use are Wizards or scripts that install new software. These type of scripts will take you step by step through complex processes and stop a certain points to offer users different choices.
There are many scripting languages and programming languages designed to be used with programming tools or as stand alone programs but, as this is an introduction to computers, lets stick to the basics for now.