Jack’s AutoHotkey Blog

Updated: December 5, 2016

AutoHotkey Library Deal
AutoHotkey Library Deal

In this week’s blog, we take up Ryan’s RegEx Tester again to extract data from a Web page for insertion into an INI file as key=value pairs.

Updated: November 28, 2016

Getting back to the AutoHotkeyQuickRef.ahk script which uses the hidden index in the AutoHotkey.com site, I highlight a technique which sets up an INI file for dealing with letter case-sensitivity problems—although it has other advantages.

Updated: November 21, 2016

The Fourth Edition of the Free E-Book AutoHotkey Tricks is now available for download at the ComputorEdge Free Book Site. This edition includes the “Table and Contents” and “Index” from the new AutoHotkey Hotkeys book.

Updated: November 16, 2016

hotkeycover200You can now find the new AutoHotkey Hotkeys e-book at ComputorEdge E-Books. Plus, I’ve put together an AutoHotkey Library Mega Bundle which includes all seven e-books in all three formats (EPUB for most reading devices and computers, MOBI for Amazon Kindle, and PDF for printing or almost anything else) at a reduced price.

Updated: November 12, 2016

I now introduce the “blah, blah, blah” RegEx to remove the extraneous garbage from Web page HTML code (or any other text document). Don’t forget about the free webinar coming up next week.

Updated November 4, 2016:

Now that the AutoHotkey.com hidden index is back, I’ve started on a tool to take advantage of it.

Updated November 1, 2016:

Rumors of the demise of the secret indexing features in the AutoHotkey.com site (mostly spread by me) were greatly exaggerated. While working on a blog which changes direction for scripting an AutoHotkey Quick Reference, I checked the old capability only to find that it’s back! Now, I’m not sure what to do—stick with the new direction or go back to the old. Maybe both.

Updated: October 30, 2016

Pretty busy this week. I’m working on the new AutoHotkey Hotkey book. I initially thought I was writing a beginning Hotkey book, but I now realize that it’s much more than that. While the book builds from a beginning level, it includes numerous important AutoHotkey tips, tricks, techniques, and best practices valuable to any AutoHotkey user. Who knew? The book should be available in a week or two.

Last week’s blog turned out to be a bust.  (November 1, 2016—or maybe not.) The world has changed and I must deal with it. I now plan a series of blogs on how to steal Web site data for personal use. I’ll use AutoHotkey.com as the test site while building AutoHotkey reference tools using—you guessed it—AutoHotkey scripts.

This time I wrote a short piece on what just occurred and the problem with using Web pages in AutoHotkey scripts.

Updated: October 26, 2016

piechartcartoonSorry about last week. Apparently, the phenomenon I discovered about the AutoHotkey site has gone fishing (disappeared). Must be an act of nature.

Not sure why this has happened, but it has me thinking about alternative ways to use the reference site in AutoHotkey scripts. Hmm…

I’m a little disappointed. I was expecting pie.

Updated: October 20, 2016

Maybe you already know this one, but I recently discovered an interesting fact about the AutoHotkey.com Web site. It’s important information for any AutoHotkey user. I’ve never seen it documented before, but I may have just missed it. You’re going to like this one!

Update: October 14, 2016

This week’s blog looks at a script which automatically opens a Web thesaurus and searches for a previously highlighted word. The short blog I wrote about Visual Thesaurus for ComputorEdge Software Showcase sparked this idea.

In the process of working on this one, more inspirations sprang forth for making AutoHotkey scripting easier through the online reference site. Plus, I stumbled upon a secret feature of AutoHotkey.com. (It’s only a secret because it isn’t well publicized.) I’ll address those epiphanies in coming weeks.

Update: October 13, 2016

Joe Glines and Jackie Sztuk offer their next live AutoHotkey webinar on October 18 at 4:00pm (EDT).

Updated: October 7, 2016

This week I discuss a common AutoHotkey problem with System Tray icon menus.

Plus, I took a close look at Nutcache Project Management in the ComputorEdge Software Showcase. If you manage collaborative tasks or merely need to bid jobs or bill clients, then Nutcache offers a powerful, yet free, system.

Updated: September 29, 2016

If you work with both Windows and Linux, then you may want to see a version of AutoHotkey available for the Unix-like operating systems. The pickings are pretty slim as I discuss this time in “AutoHotkey and Linux.”

Plus, if you want to pack your high-tech résumé, check out “Build Your Career by Learning Linux” in the ComputorEdge Software Showcase.

Updated: September 22, 2016

I recently started a new blog called ComputorEdge Software Showcase where I write about partner software products. That means I’ve found their program or service in the ShareASale affiliate program useful and signed up to help market the software through ComputorEdge sites—just as other affiliates market my AutoHotkey books.

In my first post, I write about Grammarly proofreading and grammar checking software. That prompted me to take a closer look with this week’s blog at the GooglePhraseFix AutoHotkey script which provides a clever way to analyze potential grammar problems.

Updated: September 17, 2016

Joe Glines and Jackie Sztuk offer a new live AutoHotkey webinar on September 20 at 4:00pm (EDT).

Updated: September 14, 2016

Join the ComputorEdge E-Books affiliate sales program and earn extra income on Jack’s AutoHotkey books.

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Updated: September 13, 2016

AutoHotkey_Tricks_150
Get this introductory e-book free!

I’ve signed up with the ShareASale affiliate marketing program to share earnings on AutoHotkey book sales with other Web site owners. For more information, check out this week’s blog.

Updated: September 5, 2016

On Labor Day, it’s only appropriate that I announce that I’m in the process of launching a new marketing program which is likely to cause me a great deal more labor. Specifically, the program markets AutoHotkey to general Windows users. It has taken years to put the pieces in place and it’s a bit of a financial risk, but the time is right.

Rather than the passive approach I’ve taken in the past, I plan to get more aggressive by signing up as a merchant with a third-party affiliate network. I have no expectation that I will see instant results. It will take work to build my network of affiliates. I may get a little behind in AutoHotkey tips and tricks specific blogs (and I have another book to put together), but if things go as I envision, it will benefit the entire AutoHotkey community.

Updated: August 26, 2016

ComputorEdge AutoHotkey E-BooksI’ve worked with a number of different programming languages—although I don’t consider myself a professional programmer—and I’ve come to realize that for anyone who wants to learn about programming, there is no better language than AutoHotkey.

For that matter, if someone does not want to learn how to program, but wants to do more with their Windows computer, AutoHotkey is still the best software for the job.
Updated: August 21, 2016

Peeking Inside the Clipboard, Part 2. A script which picks the right app for the job.

Updated: August 13, 2016
Take a peek at what’s inside your Windows Clipboard.

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New to AutoHotkey? See “Introduction to AutoHotkey: A Review and Guide for Beginners.”

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Updated: August 4, 2016

Make strange window shapes with WinSet, Region.

Updated: July 28, 2016

How to make most of a window invisible to both the eye and mouse-clicks with WinSet, TransColor.

Updated: July 22, 2016

This week we look at making a window mouse-click transparent with Extended Window Styles and the WinSet command.

Updated: July 13, 2016

This week we add X-ray vision (make a window transparent) to our always-on-top windows.

Note: It appears that our Dropbox download page is on the fritz again. Use our “Free AutoHotkey Scripts and Apps for Learning Script Writing and Generating Ideas” page for all the downloads. You’ll find it easier and more informative.
Updated: July 8, 2016

As a beginner tip, I’ve highlighted AutoHotkey always-on-top techniques. It’s simple and uses the WinSet command. After taking a closer look at the WinSet window manipulation tools, I’ve decided to dig deeper in upcoming blogs.

AutoHotkey_Tricks_150Updated: June 29, 2016

Get your free download of the e-book AutoHotkey Tricks You Ought to Do with Windows. The new Third Edition includes a number of useful AutoHotkey techniques, plus the Table of Contents and the Indexes from the other five e-books. Pick it up as an easy download in any of the three formats: EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.

Updated: June 23, 2016

Three useful AutoHotkey techniques in the current blog:

  • Isolating features by using expressions in the #If directive.
  • Adding informational pop-up windows with the Tooltip command
  • Turning quick release Hotkeys on and off with the Hotkey command

Updated: June 16, 2016

The two most recent blogs discuss AutoHotkey techniques I used to update Web links on the “Free AutoHotkey Scripts and Apps for Learning Script Writing and Generating Ideas” page. The first simple technique uses the InstantHotkey.ahk script to create a text insertion Hotkey thereby cutting the Windows Clipboard action in half. The second more complex, yet more powerful method uses a Regular Expression (RegEx) to create multiple HTML links simultaneously.

Updated: June 3, 2016

The Dropbox download site is back up, but I’m changing direction. I decided to turn the ComputorEdge “Free AutoHotkey Scripts and Apps for Learning Script Writing and Generating Ideas” page into the main script download page. It will just be easier for everyone—as discussed in this blog.

(I know…you’re wondering what took me so long?)

May 27, 2016 Download Site Update

Apparently, Dropbox is getting too much traffic on the AutoHotkey download page and we’ve been cutoff—at least temporarily. I’ve moved all of the download files to ComputorEdge.com and am currently in the process of updating links. I guess that as traffic dies down Dropbox will start working again, but I’ll continue using http://www.computoredge.com/AutoHotkey/Downloads/ as the main site for obtaining free example scripts.

So much for using Dropbox to offer downloads.

Descriptions for all but the most recent scripts can be found at our “Free AutoHotkey Scripts and Apps for Learning Script Writing and Generating Ideas” page.

Updated: May 17, 2016
This week’s example of using forced expressions in AutoHotkey commands was a real eye opener for me. It’s like swinging a door open to a new level of AutoHotkey possibilities—even though it was there all along. I just didn’t see it.

Updated: May 13, 2016

Continuing with the MousePrecise.ahk script from last time, we turn the numeric keypad into a compass rose of mouse cursor micro movement Hotkeys. Plus, in this blog, we implement a feature for temporarily adding the Hotkeys to any window.

I’m excited about next time when I discuss forced expressions and the ternary operator. These techniques offer cool tricks which every AutoHotkey script writer will want for expanding the power and flexibility of most AutoHotkey commands. (Does that sound too nerdy?)

Updated: May 5, 2016

I always prefer it when I can include an AutoHotkey script which offers immediate practical application. That’s the case this week with the short series of blogs I started about creating Hotkeys for accurately positioning the mouse cursor. This little script gives me the opportunity to explore script writing while including, tips, tricks, and best practices. But even more importantly, the AutoHotkey script is a graphics editing enhancement which can be added to any Windows program. It’s already made my life a little easier.

Updated: April 29, 2016
This time I offer guidelines for when to use Virtual Keys and Scan Codes in your AutoHotkey scripts.

Updated: April 20, 2016

In this blog I took a look at using AutoHotkey for children’s educational software. There’s plenty of room for creativity.

Updated: April 14, 2016

Using Scan Codes and Virtual Key Codes in Hotkeys is more an intermediate level topic, rather than beginning, but I felt it was worth the time to clear up any confusion between the two and how they can be used. These codes are certainly useful for building specific types of Hotkeys, although, you should probably attempt to solve any problems first with the regular Hotkey approaches.

Updated: April 7, 2016

In this week’s blog, a left mouse click is added to a Hotkey combination.

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

Joe Glines and an associate have hired a research company to do an AutoHotkey survey. As an incentive, they are offering a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift certificate for anyone submitting the survey by April 30. Personally, I’m all for anything that helps more people become addicted to AutoHotkey.

You can take the survey at: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/535955cb44c3

I did. Now I’m just waiting for the Amazon gift card drawing. Continue reading

Ryan’s RegEx Tester for Building INI Data Files (AutoHotkey Quick Reference Script, Part Five)

Sometimes It’s Quicker and Easier to Use Ryan RegEx Tester Rather Than Writing an AutoHotkey Script

I used Ryan’s RegEx Tester in an earlier blog to create Web links without writing an AutoHotkey script. This time I take advantage of this powerful tool by using it to extract data for insertion into the regexrobotcartoon INI file discussed in the last blog on this topic. The fact that you can paste any text into the top of the RegEx Tester, add a Regular Expression (and a substitution expression for RegExPlace()), then extract the altered text from the bottom pane makes it a unique AutoHotkey app. This capability alone can motivate someone to learn how to write Regular Expressions.

Note: This series of blogs discusses the evolution of the AutoHotkeyQuickRef.ahk script which takes advantage of the hidden index in the AutoHotkey.com Web site.

Continue reading

New AutoHotkey Hotkey Automation Book Available at Amazon

As much as I don’t like feeding the Amazon collective, I had to publish the new AutoHotkey Hotkeys book on the Internet behemoth. I’ve never cared for the heavy handed way that Amazon treats independent authors. However, since they dominate the e-book market, it would be foolish for me to boycott the e-tail giant. Plus, I don’t want to make it more difficult for those people who love their Kindles. Continue reading

Using INI Files for Web Address Letter Case-Sensitivity Problems (AutoHotkey Quick Reference Script, Part Four)

The Wrong Capitalization of Letters in URLs Can Cause Page Access Failure—A Trick for Using an INI File to Solve Case Problems in AutoHotkey

In an effort to take advantage of the hidden index built into the AutoHotkey.com site, I’ve started writing a script I call AutoHotkeyQuickReg.ahk which parses the downloaded pages. The first step involved those searches which downloaded a command page.

AutoHotkey Library Deal
AutoHotkey Library Deal

The original version of the AutoHotkey Quick Reference script pops up a MsgBox which displays the syntax of the command, then offers the option to open the Web page in the default browser. Recently, I added a new feature which parses and displays information about the built-in AutoHotkey variables whenever detecting the “Variables and Expressions” page. However, I had to find a way to deal with the problem of letter case (capitalization) sensitivity. Get it wrong and either the Web page doesn’t come up or the right data won’t load. Continue reading

New Hotkey Book! (AutoHotkey Tips and Tricks)

AutoHotkey Techniques and Best Practices E-Book for Automating Your Windows Computers with Hotkey Combinations—Includes Something for Everyone!

Whether you’re a noobie to AutoHotkey scripts or an advanced programmer, of all my books, AutoHotkey Hotkeys may be the most important for new little-known tricks and useful ideas. It’s not that the other books don’t cover significant features of AutoHotkey, but this book includes some of the most practical tips for adding power to your scripts. I didn’t plan it that way. Continue reading

Regular Expressions (RegEx) for Parsing Text (AutoHotkey Quick Reference Script Part Three)

The RegExReplace() Function Makes It Easy to Extract and Cleanup Text, Plus a Quick-and-Dirty RegEx to Strip All HTML Tags

commandsyntaxLast time, we accessed commands at AutoHotkey.com using its hidden built-in index. Whenever the script downloaded a command page, we identified it by the embedded HTML code <pre class=”Syntax”>. Not only do the <pre class=”Syntax”>…</pre> tags identify the command pages but they surround the proper syntax for that command. Since this easily located HTML format appears in every command page, it can be used to launch a quick reference pop-up window. We only need to parse the command syntax with the RegExMatch() function, then clean up any extraneous HTML tags. Continue reading

AutoHotkey Quick Reference Script (Part Two)

The AutoHotkey.com built-in Index Reappears—Now to Build a Reference Tool!

autohotkeybooks160x600As I ventured in a new direction toward creating AutoHotkey reference scripts, I once again tested the previously discovered hidden AutoHotkey.com index (which had vanished). It re-emerged!

This left me in a quandary. Do I continue in my new direction or take up the original quick reference tool I began building with this AutoHotkey.com secret capability? Since the hidden index offers so much power, I decided to continue on my first course. (The possibility that the feature may disappear again looms over my work, but any Web site can change.) Continue reading

The Problem with Accessing Web Data with AutoHotkey Scripts

The Trouble with Scripts Which Use Web Page Information, Plus AutoHotkey Tools for Downloading Web Page Source Code

While it doesn’t usually happen this fast, AutoHotkey scripts which depend on downloaded Web page data can go bad at any time. Last week, I discovered a clever index in the AutoHotkey site which allowed quick access to commands and other documentation. Now, I find that the site has changed and only a couple of the previous searches work. Continue reading