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Addon Spotlight: Macros, macros, macros


Macros. They're great. For certain classes and gameplay elements they're almost required, and for many others they're terribly useful. Macros can do things like create a keybind that fires your damage mitigation cooldowns and uses a healthstone. Perhaps you want to stop casting whenever you hit your interrupt? No problem. They can allow you to use modifiers to cast your abilities on your focus instead of your target, or to use all your damage increasing cooldowns at once. But the macro interface, as one of WoW's older ones, leaves a little to be desired.

Therefore, today, we're looking at addons that make macros easier, particularly those that generate more space for their use. As you can see from the above, you don't get much from the default system. So let's get started with one addon whose whole purpose is to give you a bit more room to play with.


BindPad is an addon designed to give you space, both on your action bars and in your macro pane. What it does is really pretty simple, so I'm not going to allot it a ton of space for explanation. Downloading and installing it is really pretty much the only setup that you need, there are no real settings for this addon. Once you have it up and running, type /bindpad or /bp into the chat to open it up and you'll be presented with a window. As an aside, I couldn't get it to generate a button in the macro window, which might be a great addition.

Once this window is up, it's really very easy. Click the little + or right-click to open the dialog to make a macro, exit to save and then left-click to bind. If you bind a key to a macro that's bound already, it will pop up and warn you, which is extremely useful for issues like modifier binds that then get overridden by the Blizzard UI. If you want to unbind, there's a button for that.

The great things about BindPad are that it creates a lot more macro space. Your character-specific binds are now spread over 3 pages, and you've got a lot more general ones too. You also don't have to put the binds on the action bar in order to use them -- so if you don't need to see them you don't have to clog up your bars. BindPad also allows you to copy profiles from one character to another, making it far easier to move macros around.


MTarget is an addon I adore. It's a bit of a niche requirement, I grant you, so I'm not going to spend too long on it. But if you have macros or would like to have macros that include a specific target or type of target, such as tanks, healers, and so on, it's brilliant.

The best way to explain it is with an example. At this point I should note that I'm just picking something super-simple to explain how it works, the scope of this addon is far wider than this example. So, as a shaman healer, you want to cast your Earth Shield on the Main Tank in a given raid. Create a macro that reads as follows:

/cast [@$maintank,help,nodead][] Earth Shield
And then hit the "Template" button in the macro panel. Now what happens is that when you zone into a Raid Finder, you right-click the main tank and look for the MTarget menu in the drop-down, and set them as maintank. Say the tank is called Bobthetank. Your addon will be rewritten as follows:
/cast [@Bobthetank,help,nodead][] Earth Shield
It's pretty simple at this point. Like I said above, there's better ways to do this specific task with addons such as Clique, VuhDo, Healbot, etc., but it shows you what the addon can do. I heal with macros, using modifiers for each target, so mine look like this:
/cast [mod:ctrl,mod:alt,@$ctrlshifttarget] [mod:alt,@$alttarget] [mod:shift,@$shifttarget] [mod:shift,@ctrltarget][nomod,@$me][] Riptide
Before MTarget, I had to write the party names into every one of these. For some reason my brain prefers names to @party1, @party2 and so on. But again, this gives you an idea of what the addon can do! You could also use it to always misdirect to the tank, always Intervene to a healer, set markers, and so on. It will also do hostile targets, if you want. What's more, with the prevalence of tank macros in the addon, you can set it up via the options screen to automatically set $maintank and $mainassist to the main tank and off tank whenever you join a group.


MacroBank is just exactly what you'd expect. It's a place where you can store your macros and access them from character to character. It's just like a far larger version of the General tab in your macro window.
As you can see, it generates a rather ugly button in my ElvUI macro panel, clicking it opens up the MacroBank to the right. I can select any of the macros on the left, and click Save in MacroBank, moving it over to the right. Once it's there, it can be accessed by any of my characters, any faction, any server. They can be categorized, they can be in several different categories, they can be loaded in groups, edited within the program, and moved in and out of your usual macro panel. You can even send them to other MacroBank users. Simple, but effective!

Macro Toolkit

Macro Toolkit is the big daddy of macro addons, of the ones I've found so far. Remember, I never assert to know every addon that can do every task. But this one's a good one. It's up in the header image, but let's just take another look.
What we've got here is a completely revamped macro pane. We've got the usual general and player tab at the top, as well as one called Key bind only, which basically does what BindPad does, allowing you to create macros with keybinds that don't have to appear on your action bar.

The other thing we can see on this screen that I really like is how it colors different parts of the macro. It's coloring the conditions, as well as the targets, and the /use and #showtooltip commands. This just makes macros so much easier to read, as they can be a bit of a jumble of text. You'll also note several errors in the panel to the right, and while it doesn't tell you how to fix the errors, at least it knows they're there. Clearly, it doesn't play nice with MTarget!

Customization and conditions

But this is really only the start of what Macro Toolkit can do. Well beyond the realms of what the average player needs, well beyond what I need, but it will allow you to do things like create custom scripts, name them, and use those names in macros. So if you want to use a script that plays a specific sound, and call it thatsound, you can then use it in a macro.

It also has special commands you can insert for things like buying, selling, mounts, items, targets etc, and a useful list of all your slots to insert with /use into a macro. Gloves and cloak are oddly omitted from this, by the way, but it's still handy.

But the best part, the part that really blew my mind, is the "Conditions" section. For some reason this is off by default, so you'll need to open up the config and enable the button under Interface. Once you do, you can click "Conditions", and this is what you'll get.
You can see here that there are several drop-downs. I've selected some random options from each one so you can see roughly what it's doing. The target and target status ones are nothing too amazing, but are a really great and easy way to build a macro from scratch. But the "Additional Conditions" are what blew my mind. They're a mixture of conditions applicable to you and to your target, but did you know a macro could check for channeling? I didn't. So say you're a Mistweaver, you could set a macro to cast Soothing Mist if you're not channeling, but Surging Mist if you are.

With any macro addon, their power is in your hands. The functionality they provide is only any good if you want to use it, or can work out how to.
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email

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