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Get Started with AutoHotkey with this
“Introduction to AutoHotkey
A Review and Guide for Beginners“
* * *
April 18, 2019
A trick for moving MsgBox windows. How to Move a Message Box (MsgBox) Window (AutoHotkey Trick)
April 11, 2019
When to Rewrite Your AutoHotkey Scripts—a fix for the slow speed of the HotstringLoad subroutine for the InstantHotstring.ahk script.
April 4, 2019
March 29, 2019
Fixed the slow-loading problem in the InstantHotstring.ahk script. (Fixed the InstantHotstring.ahk Script Slow Hotstring Loading Problem.)
March 22, 2019
I think this is the first time I’ve taken a systematic look at setting fonts and colors in AutoHotkey GUI window controls (“Formatting Fonts and Colors in AutoHotkey GUI Window Controls“).
March 14, 2019
What really slowed down the loading of Hotstring files, AutoHotkey Script Speed Problems (Scripting Insights).
March 11, 2019
Sometimes we need a Progress window to convince us that our computer didn’t crash (Use Progress Bars When Loading Large Data Files (An InstantHotstrings Feature)).
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March 7, 2019
I’ve updated the IPFind.ahk world IP address location script with a different Web site. The original site stopped working and provided less information. (The image at left shows the new IPFind message box.) I’ve added the change to my list of future blogs.
February 28, 2019
February 20, 2019
February 15, 2019
February 8, 2019
January 29, 2019
For a look at how to save data using the FileSelectFile command, see “Use the FileSelectFile Command to Save Instant Hotstrings to an AutoHotkey File.”
January 25, 2019
I’ve recently realized why AI (Artificial Intelligence) will never present the threat that many believe. For one thing, we should call it artificial “sensing” rather than “intelligence” since it has nothing to do with intellect—except the human intellect and imagination which created it.
(Note to Jack: It’s very dangerous to make outrageous political statements in an AutoHotkey blog.)
* * *
The more I work on the InstantHotstring.ahk script, the more things I learn about AutoHotkey. This time I highlight an easier way to write a Hotstring which includes italic (or bold) style without too many gymnastics, “Adding Italics to Hotstrings in Word Processing Software (AutoHotkey Quick Tip).”
January 23, 2019
See this exploration of the flexible, powerful Hotstring X option, “Add Action to Your Hotstrings Using the New X Option (AutoHotkey Tip).”
January 16, 2019
Using the InstantHotstring.ahk script might be a good way to learn how to write basic AutoHotkey Hotstrings. (“Using GUI Checkbox Controls to Set Hotstring Options (AutoHotkey Technique)“)
January 15, 2019
You’ll find lots of eating and drinking in the InstantHotstring.ahk script—far beyond the Hotstring() function. I’ve just added the capability to save your new Hotstrings in an AHK filename of your choice. You can either run the file directly with AutoHotkey or load the Hotstrings into the InstantHotstring.ahk app. I have yet to write a number of the remaining blogs about the many script features:
- Dealing with the C1 (no case-sensitivity) Hotstring option as an exception in the InstantHotstring.ahk script.
- A look at considerations when using the X (execute) option in the InstantHotstring.ahk script.
- Using the FileSelectFile command to save/load Hotstrings by name.
- Adding color and style to GUI window controls.
- Tricks for adding a sample AHK saved file without using FileInstall command or a separate sample file. (No compiling required.)
January 13, 2019
I take a look at how to add Hotstring options to the InstantHotstring.ahk script (“Using GUI Checkbox Controls to Set Hotstring Options (AutoHotkey Technique)“).
January 9, 2019
Rick Corbett sent me “Errata to the Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips Book.”
January 7, 2019
See another way people use AutoHotkey: An AutoHotkey Tale.
January 4, 2019
I have a little ways to go but here is a taste of what’s new:
December 23, 2018
Alan points out a simple technique for adding single-key shortcuts to the QuickLinks.ahk script, “Add Single-Key Shortcuts to QuickLinks App (AutoHotkey Quick Tip).”
December 20, 2018
I’ve added “Using the AutoHotkey Hotstring() Function to Disable/Enable Hotstrings” to the InstantHotstring.ahk script.
December 14, 2018
I started work on a script which uses the new Hotstring() function to create instant Hotstrings.
December 6, 2018
Last February, AutoHotkey released a major update which added a number of new Hotstring features. In particular, AutoHotkey Release 1.1.28.00 included a new Hotstring() function, as well as, a new x option for running commands and functions in the same one-line Hotstring.
This time a discuss various uses of the Hotstring x option but I plan to dig into the new Hotstring() function in the near future.
December 1, 2018
I’ve looked at a number of scripts which save settings to the Windows Registry. In “Save AutoHotkey Script Settings in Your Windows Registry” I demonstrate how you can do it in your scripts.
November 21, 2018
I added a short blog for “Pressing GUI Buttons with a Single Keystroke (AutoHotkey Tip)” Sometimes it’s just easier!
November 8, 2018
I conclude with the DateStampConvert.ahk script—at least, for now.
November 2, 2018
October 30, 2018
Now, I offer a script to convert dates found in documents into the DateTime Stamp format required by most AutoHotkey date functions and commands.
October 19, 2018
I’ve added two new chapter to the “Second Edition of the New Beginner’s Guide” discussing how to use AutoHotkey to automate your PC software.
October 16, 2018
Solved the problem caused by an open MsgBox window: “Use Gui, +OwnDialogs to Glue Modal Dialogs Boxes to GUI Parent Windows (AutoHotkey Best Practice)”
October 11, 2018
Useful when you need it, “Swapping Variable Values (Beginning AutoHotkey Tip).”
October 8, 2018
I just published my latest book Jack’s Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips. It’s a big one with over 80 chapters of miscellaneous tricks and techniques. Click the links below to review the “Table of Contents” and “Index“, plus learn how AutoHotkey Library Members can get a discount.
September 28, 2018
Up for some word counts?
September 21, 2018
Want to mess with the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of your Windows operating system? See “Adjust Windows Registry Settings with the AutoHotkey RegRead and RegWrite Commands.”
September 14, 2018
A quick and dirty trick with Ryan’s RegEx Tester!
September 7, 2018
Working on the upcoming book. Here you’ll find some raw code and future topics “A New Hotstring Trick and Converting Dates in Documents into DateTime Stamps (Coming Soon!).”
August 31, 2018
For a close examination of the code in the HowLongYearsMonthsDays.ahk script, see “Calculating Timespans in Years, Months, Days in AutoHotkey, Part 2 (Understanding the HowLong() Function)“.
August 29, 2018
I’ve rewritten the age calculating function (years, months, days). I now understand how it works.
August 23, 2018
I just posted the last of the series on “Legal ListView Techniques“—at least for now.
I’ve started posting again at the AutoHotkey forum. Mostly to help people who may have questions on topics I’ve previously addressed in this blog. I may post some of my favorite scripts such as MousePrecise.ahk. Who doesn’t want to move their mouse cursor one pixel at a time?
I’ve speculated about how the AutoHotkey community will handle Version 2.0. I found insight in a four-year-old thread (“Future of AutoHotkey_L“—AutoHotkey version 1.1). These comments seem as valid today as they were then. It looks like it’s happening. We just don’t know when.
August 14, 2018
We add a second GUI pop-up window to “Edit the ListView Data Table.”
August 8, 2018
Moving on to step two, we write a short routine which finds redundant data in a file using the ListView GUI control.
August 4, 2018
I just posted the first part of a series on the ListView GUI control (ListView GUI Control for Viewing Data Table Files (AutoHotkey Legal ListView Part 1)) as an expansion of the Latin Legal Terms blogs.
Michael Todd authored a new AutoHotkey app he calls InfoWarp – A small multipurpose launcher with text store/view capabilities | Michael’s Tech Notes – Blog. I haven’t had time to look at it, but if you give it a try, let me know what you think.
July 25, 2018
Other commitments have precipitated a short period of inactivity on this blog. I won’t get started again until next week, but at that time, I plan to undertake the next part of the Latin Legal Lingo series.
The next series of these legal blogs will deal with the most powerful of the AutoHotkey Graphical User Interface (GUI) controls—the ListView. Ideal for displaying data tables, ListView can manipulate and update data, as well as, add more AutoHotkey features to any script.
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July 12, 2018
I’ve just posted a blog on sorting lists in AutoHotkey. This completes my AutoHotkey explorations of emojis. 😥 (At least, I think it does.) To review all of the AutoHotkey emoji magic, check out:
- Add Emoji Characters to Any Windows Document (AutoHotkey Hotstrings)
- Put Your Emoji Hotstrings in a Pop-up Menu (AutoHotkey Trick)
- Searching Data Files and Other Scripting Ploys with Emojis (Secret AutoHotkey Tricks)
- Sorting Lists for Emoji Menus (AutoHotkey Sort Command Tip)
Many of the techniques apply to any AutoHotkey project.
July 10, 2018
I didn’t know you could do this with emojis.
July 3, 2018
We put the emojis into Hotstrings. Now, we put the emojis into filtered menus using the same Hotstring file.
June 20, 2018
Add emojis to any Windows documents. 🦄
“I went to the 🏖 on a 🌞day. The 🌞 was so 🔆 that I needed to wear 🕶. I was lucky enough to see a 👩 in a 👙🖐 to me. I saw 🌊s, ⛵s, 🌈s, and a 🦄. Maybe, I had a few too many 🍻s.” 🙄
June 11, 2018
Have You Ever Purchased Any AutoHotkey E-Books at ComputorEdge E-Books? You Can Recycle Those Same Dollars When Upgrading to the AutoHotkey Mega Library Bundle!
June 7, 2018
Using AutoHotkey to figure out next Friday’s date for insertion into any document.
June 4, 2018
Clearing up confusion about AutoHotkey If statements: “A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding AutoHotkey If Statements.” I’ve made this mistake.
May 25, 2018
💡 Khanh Ngo made an improvement to the QuickLinks app which immediately got my attention. Why didn’t I think of that? “Open and Print Files with the QuickLinks App (AutoHotkey Tip from a Reader)” 🙄
May 18, 2018
Want to know how to create Hotstring which produce italics? See my latest blog: “Italicize Your Hotstring Replacements with this Input Command Ploy (AutoHotkey Tip).”
May 15, 2018
May 9, 2018
I return to data-table driven scripts and the Input command with “More Hotstring Tricks Using the Input Command and a Data Table (AutoHotkey Legal Lingo Tips)”
May 2, 2018
How do you know when a Web page finishes loading into your Web browser?
April 27, 2018
Did your SynonymLookup.ahk app stop working?
Thesaurus.com changed their page formatting causing the script to fail, so I changed the Regular Expression in the latest version. I now use the links in the page source code—which needed some adjustments, so you may occasionally see a strange character.
Plus, you might also get antonyms, so I marked them with a caution icon (). You’ll need to download the current script if you use a version older than this date. For information about the original version, see “Build Your Own Dream Thesaurus Word Replacement Tool (AutoHotkey Web Application).”
I’ll write about the changes soon. I love this one! It’s better than ever!
April 26, 2018
A quick tips testing for Internet availability.
Plus, you’ll love this one. I stumbled upon a way to create a Windows shortcut for virtually any of the Windows utilities!
April 23, 2018
Create a GoTo loop to ensure Web data download.
April 18, 2018
In this latest blog, I start building a legal lexicon with a data file composed of the Latin terms (first in a series). Next time, I plan to temporarily segue into demonstrating a couple of techniques for making Web data-driven scripts more reliable in the SynonymLookup.ahk script discussed last time. Then, back to the Legalese data-driven scripts.
April 11, 2018
Make yourself look smarter than you really are!
If you ever post anything or send e-mail, you’re going to love this short script! I’ve already added it to my primary AutoHotkey file. Instantly insert synonyms for stale words into any text editing field.
March 23, 2018
If you use many GUI pop-up windows, you’re in for a treat with this hidden secret: “Use BoundFunc Object [Func.Bind()] to Pass GUI Control Data (An AutoHotkey GUI Revelation)”
I wish the title were more exciting, but I chose accuracy over hype.
March 20, 2018
Write less code with database driven scripts.
March 15, 2018
Getting ready for the AutoHotkey Reference app: Building a Lookup Table with an INI File (AutoHotkey Reference Tip).
March 14, 2018
* * *
From Michael Todd,
“Jack, my newest app, Relevant Apps, allows users to stick Notes to Web pages, folders, and documents. Users can change fonts, window size/position, and color for each Note. The program, if run from a network share, runs in Network mode so users can share Notes with each other. In network mode, they can still change font and color but the windows always revert back to the upper right corner of the window they are attached to. Users can actually run a local copy alongside the network copy with different hotkeys as well.”
“Appreciate all your AHK blogs.”
March 9, 2018
Make swapping characters easy with one of my favorite AutoHotkey tricks.
March 6, 2018
I’ve started work on a new AutoHotkey Quick Reference script which accesses both V1.1 and V2.0 documentation. The tips apply to any script which accesses Web pages. I’ll add a little to the script with each blog.
February 27, 2018
Just Released! Jack’s New Beginner’s Guide to AutoHotkey.
February 26, 2018
If the AutoHotkey Online Documentation appears corrupted, you may need to do this.
February 22, 2018
If you find a parallel function available in AutoHotkey V1.1, use it now. “Preparing for AutoHotkey Version 2.0 (Even If You Don’t Need It)”
February 15, 2018
Here’s a trick for looking inside variables, “A Quick Tip for Matching Something Inside a Variable (AutoHotkey Tip).”
February 8, 2018
Converting from AutoHotkey V1.1 to V2.0 gets a little more complicated when dealing with V1.1 GUI gLabels.
February 3, 2018
Converting V1.1 GUI options which include %var% text replacements to V2.0 can get a little tricky. Fix it with concatenated string expressions.
January 29, 2018
In addition to a great deal, see the other benefits that come with an AutoHotkey Library Bundle:
- Free Updates and New Editions
- Lifetime Downloads and Updates
- Discounts on New Books
- Free Major Rewrites for the Upcoming AutoHotkey Version 2.0
- Exclusive Books Not Available Elsewhere
- No Digital Copy Protection
- Reader Support
January 26, 2018
Using Regular Expressions (RegEx) to convert from AutoHotkey V1.1 to the alpha release syntax of V2.0.
January 23, 2018
I’ve converted an AutoHotkey V1.1 MonthCal control to the alpha release syntax of V2.0.
January 17, 2018
Changing commands into functions in the AutoHotkey V1.1 to V2.0 conversion.
January 11, 2018
Run AutoHotkey V1.1 and the alpha version of V2.0 simultaneously: “How to Fool Around with the New AutoHotkey Version 2.0”
January 8, 2018
We see AutoHotkey V2.0 coming—but when?
January 2, 2018
First of the year! Spice up your AutoHotkey System Tray icon with the Menu command.
December 13, 2017
I checked out the WinMenuSelectItem command.
December 7, 2017
If you forgot about this one, take a look at the Main Window for debugging AutoHotkey scripts!
November 28, 2017
Didn’t want to know that much? We now offer two more AutoHotkey book bundles: one for beginners and one for intermediate level users.
November 27, 2017
Think you can’t alter Hotstrings on-the-fly? Think again! Using the Raw Option—Plus a Secret Hotstring Trick (AutoHotkey Tip) includes a trick for pasting the Windows Clipboard contents into any AutoHotkey Hotstring.
November 16, 2017
Turn the AutoHotkey icon in the Windows Systems Tray into a hot-button.
November 15, 2017
I’ve been in contact with Michael Todd for quite a while. He’s built an interesting library of mostly AutoHotkey applications. I keep meaning to review them, but other events seem to take over. Here for your perusal, I offer “Michael’s Tech Notes – Blog.” Let me know what you think.
November 15, 2017
From Joe Glines:
Our webinar next Tuesday November 21st from 4-6 EST is on: Working with multiple scripts/files
In this webinar we plan to cover:
- Breaking out scripts into separate files / functions
- Using #include
- Lib folder 📂
- Sharing data between scripts via:
- Passing via command parameters
- COM object
- OnMessage 💬
- Consolidating scripts from multiple files into one
If you would like to attend, please register for AHK webinars. Even if you cannot attend, if you register we’ll send links to recordings and resources shared.
November 10, 2017
I’ve just published my latest book, Beginning Tips for Writing AutoHotkey Script, which endeavors to clear up some of the mystery surrounding the way AutoHotkey works. You’ll find grasping how AutoHotkey processes AHK scripts a tremendous help. Quite a bit of the confusion encountered by novice AutoHotkey scriptwriters occurs through misunderstandings about the manner in which everything (life, the universe, and AutoHotkey scripts) fits together. I wrote the book with that muddiness in mind.
I’ve included both some of my earlier blogs on the topic, as well as, more recent ones—melding them into a gestalt whole for the book. As usual, the light turned on for me a number of times during the exploration. (The book includes “best practices” for writing script which you can easily integrate with other scripts while continuing to act as standalone apps.) Plus, I’ve included the book in the AutoHotkey Library deal along with Why AutoHotkey?
November 3, 2017
AutoHotkey uses a special loop (For Key [, Value] in Expression) for associative arrays.
October 24, 2017
Sometimes you can solve a multitude of problems with associative arrays.
October 20, 2017
October 17, 2017
Connecting data with two-deep variables.
October 13, 2017
Next, saving data with two-deep variables.
October 10, 2017
A demonstration of How to Write Easy-Merge AutoHotkey Scripts (Technique Example).
- How to create and use multiple GUI (Graphical User Interface) pop-ups on-the-fly in the same script.
- Saving data with two-deep variables.
- Using associative arrays (MyArray) for tracking data.
Follow Jack’s AutoHotkey Blog and receive notifications of new posts by e-mail. (E-mail addresses never used for marketing.) Click follow button in the sidebar or at the end of any blog. (Maybe not this blog because it’s way too long to reach the end.)
October 4, 2017
If you run lots of AutoHotkey scripts at the same time, you’ll like “Encapsulate AutoHotkey Code for Multi-Script Integration and Portability (Scripting Techniques).”
September 29, 2017
September 28, 2017
Add Windows Tools (God Mode) to your QuickLinks menu.
September 26, 2017
I just posted the new version of QuickLinks with all the good stuff I’ve been talking about.
September 24, 2017
September 22, 2017
September 1, 2017
Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you put things in an AutoHotkey script. Sometimes it does, “How AutoHotkey Reads Scripts (AutoHotkey Script Structure).”
August 25, 2017
Quickly add program and documents shortcuts to your QuickLinks app using QuickLinks.
August 18, 2017
Let’s eliminate Hotkeys entirely with the QuickLinks script.
August 3, 2017
Want a script which sets up any Windows program or script for auto-load at Windows startup? Try this technique found in EitherMouse.ahk.
July 17, 2017
July 7, 2017
Check out the AutoHotkey app EitherMouse for lefties and/or multiple mice.
June 28, 2017
June 23, 2017
New AutoHotkey app for picking colors: Coloretta Viva.
June 16, 2017
More book corrections.
Updated: June 8, 2017
June 2, 2017
Working on a new book.
May 30, 2017
Increase your reading speed with an AutoHotkey Speed Reading script.
Updated: May 27, 2017
May 21, 2017
I recently started working on my next book—which looks like my biggest one yet. It includes many AutoHotkey tips no longer readily available on the Web (ever since I took down the ComputorEdge Magazine Web server a couple of years ago).
As I was digging through the material, I realized that I had reviewed numerous AutoHotkey apps which compete in quality with any commercially developed software packages. I’ve decided that rather than updating those reviews and posting them here, I would repurpose the ComputorEdge Software Showcase site for the best of the best AutoHotkey apps—at least in my opinion. Rather than demonstrating the free scripts as learning tools, I emphasize their usefulness and how they work. (If you want to dig into the code, that’s up to you.) These apps represent tools which anyone can use—even if they don’t use AutoHotkey.
My first peek at useful AutoHotkey apps highlights TypingAid which adds autocompletion pop-up lists to any editing window.
Updated: May 17, 2017
A simple use of Label name behavior to reset Hotkeys.
Updated: May 12, 2017
This one might give you a better idea of when to use what:
* * *
May 12, 2017, From Joe Glines:
As a fellow AutoHotkey enthusiast, I wanted to let you know we have free monthly webinars where we cover various ways to use AutoHotkey to save time.
The next AutoHotkey webinar is next Tuesday, May 16th and we are going to be covering one of my favorite topics: Web Scraping. Here’s a high-level look at what we are going to review:
- Main differences between Web services / API call and Web scraping
- The DOM (Document Object Model)
- Build code:
- Log into website
- Extract all links on page
- Requests from Audience
- Additional resources & links for Web Scraping
- Q&A / Troubleshooting
You can use this link to sign up for the webinars which are every third Tuesday of the month from 4-6 EST. The first hour we cover the topic & the second hour we open it up to Q&A and develop code.
Updated: May 8, 2017
One more BlockInput command issue needing resolution.
Updated: May 4, 2017
If you plan to use the AutoHotkey BlockInput command, you want to read “Stop Accidental Deletions with the BlockInput Command (AutoHotkey Tip—Part One).”
Updated: April 28, 2017
The free AutoHotkey Tricks book can be found at Amazon.com, Apple iBooks and Barnes and Noble Nook.
I’ve completed the update of A Beginner’s Guide to Using Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey. Check here for how to update your copy.
Updated: April 26, 2017
Updated: April 21, 2017
Updated: April 19, 2017
Updated: April 14, 2017
Running out of menu space? Try “Stuffing More into AutoHotkey Pop-up Menus (AutoHotkey Tip).”
Updated: April 12, 2017
I’ve just published a new book written to give people reasons why they should use AutoHotkey—ironcally titled Why AutoHotkey? Today I offer a one-day giveaway on Amazon. The book is exclusive on Amazon so don’t look for it at ComputorEdge E-Books. For more information on why Amazon see, “New “Why AutoHotkey?” Book Available Free on Amazon.” (Next free Why AutoHotkey? book giveaway, Monday, May 1, 2017.)
I know…the title isn’t actually ironic—maybe eponymous.
Updated: April 6, 2017
Almost by accident, I’ve written an AutoHotkey routine which acts as a universal print function for Windows Message Boxes.
Updated: April 1, 2017
Updated: March 26, 2017
This week I updated the CheeseburgerRecipe.ahk script to include both an Animal-Style Cheeseburger and a Jack Stuffed Cheeseburger Animal Style. I take advantage of the unique features of the GoTo command to create the third recipe from the first two.
Coming Saturday! “Why AutoHotkey for Internet Trolls?”
Updated: March 16, 2017
Just Published! Why AutoHotkey for Teachers and Educators?
Updated: March 10, 2017
Just Published! Printing with AutoHotkey Made Simple (AutoHotkey Tip)
Updated: March 3, 2017
Once you understand how AutoHotkey Labels work, you’ll find new ways to use little-known tricks. This week, “Understanding Label Names and Subroutines (Beginning AutoHotkey Tip)”
Updated: February 27, 2017
I put together a simple, but fun, little script for “Jack Stuffed Cheeseburgers.” It comes from this week’s blog “Why AutoHotkey for Chefs and Dieticians?” You can find the entire series on the “Why AutoHotkey?” page.
Updated: February 21, 2017
Updated: February 17, 2017
Updated: February 10, 2017
Updated: February 7, 2017
If you work with GUI Edit fields and copy data from other sources, you’re going to love this use of the Control, EditPaste command.
Updated: February 1, 2017
Just finished “Why AutoHotkey for Students?“—a particularly long one. If worthy, send a link to your favorite student(s).
I discovered the Control, EditPaste command which I probably should have been using all along. Plus, I found a place where it’s important to use the BlockInput command. (Update February 17, 2017: The BlockInput command has many more complications than I suspected. Just putting it into a script is unlikely to work—but more on that sometime in the future.) My next blog addresses my lessons learned with Control, EditPaste and its limitations.
Updated: January 23, 2017
Window Message Boxes created with the AutoHotkey MsgBox command get extensive use in most scripts. This week’s blog talks about how to test the limits of the familiar control. Little by little, the script based upon the hidden index found in the AutoHotkey Web site, AutoHotkeyQuickRef.ahk, grows in usefulness.
Updated: January 17, 2017
Joe Glines and Jackie Sztuk offer their next live AutoHotkey webinar on AutoHotkey today at 4:00 pm (EDT). You’ll find that you can now register for future webinars through July 17, 2018.
Updated: January 16, 2017
My guess is that most poets use pencil and paper. It seems more authentic. However, just in case some use Windows computers, I’ve put together “Why AutoHotkey for Poets?”
Updated: January 9, 2017
Most engineers and scientist either already know about AutoHotkey or they should be told!
Update: January 3, 2017
Surprisingly artists and graphic designers may have some of the best reasons for using AutoHotkey. This week I offer a few ideas.
Update: December 17, 2016
The problem with the unforeseen is that it’s unforeseeable. That’s why I try to keep an open mind when I write an AutoHotkey script.
I’m a big believer in goals—not so much individual objectives. An objective isn’t much good if it turns out that it wasn’t where you really wanted to go. Goals you can hold in your brain pan to test your results each step of the way.
In any case, don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to make a major change in direction. This week I make some revisions to the AutoHotkeyQuickRef.ahk script which should ultimately make it a much more useful tool.
Update: December 16, 2016
Joe Glines and Jackie Sztuk offer their next live AutoHotkey webinar on AutoHotkey Webinar December 20, 2016, at 4:00 pm (EDT).
Updated: December 5, 2016
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
You 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
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
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
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
I’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.
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.
Updated: March 31, 2016
In this week’s blog, it’s worth noting that an ErrorLevel variable trick allows different Hotkey action for different circumstances. ErrorLevel is not just for trapping errors.
Updated: March 23, 2016
If you’re using the Windows Clipboard in some of your AutoHotkey routines, then you may want to review this week’s beginning Clipboard tricks for making your code more robust.
Updated: March 11, 2016
Another Reason Why You Should Use AutoHotkey!
In a recent blog, I addressed one of the more important motives for learning and using AutoHotkey. You can add consistency and standardization to all of your Windows program shortcuts. Rather than learning a multitude of different key combinations for each Windows application, combine those you need most into one set of consistent Hotkey shortcuts. They will work in your word processing software, your e-mail program, text editors, editing fields in any of the Web browsers, and many more apps.
Or, you can just keep a list of all your important keystrokes for each different application on a piece of paper next to the computer.
Update: March 8, 2016
I was especially impressed with the example script from the AutoHotkey site which turns the mouse wheel into instant volume control when hovering over the Windows Taskbar. (It’s incredibly short.) I used it in this week’s blog as an example for comparing the #If expression directive and the Hotkey, If (expression) command and their interdependence. I suggest a couple of different ways that this approach can be used, but it’s not limited to those few ideas.
I’m constantly amazed at how many new possibilities are sparked by merely looking at one simple AutoHotkey example.
Updated: February 28, 2016
This week I acquainted myself with the GroupAdd AutoHotkey command. It never ceases to amaze me how many important nuances can be found in this scripting language. Not only is the GroupAdd command excellent for simplifying context-sensitive Hotkeys, but it’s also a great tool for on-the-fly window manipulation. I can also see how a set of useful Hotstrings—using a script similar to the one I offer at the end of the blog— can be temporarily activated at any time for only one or two program windows. While it isn’t a tool for every script, GroupAdd is certainly a command worth adding to every AutoHotkey user’s toolbox.
Updated: February 14, 2016
I’ve started an in-depth look at Hotkeys. I learned so much during my trip with AutoHotkey Hotstrings that I decided to take a similar journey with Hotkeys. I’m not sure what I’ll uncover, but the chronicals should be useful to beginning AutoHotkey script writers. There may even be some useful insights for others with slightly more experience.
The blogs can be found by clicking “Beginning AutoHotkey Hotkey Techniques” in the “AutoHotkey Topics and Series” menu above.
Updated: January 29, 2016
As a convenience for people who don’t want to dig through the Web looking for the various pieces, I have now published the e-book Beginning AutoHotkey Hotstrings which is available on the ComputorEdge E-Books site and through Amazon. Regardless of whether you’re interested in the book or not, it’s worth your time to peruse some of the blogs linked at “Beginning AutoHotkey Hotstring Techniques” found under the “AutoHotkey Topics and Series” tab in the top menu bar. They just might inspire your next AutoHotkey script.
Updated: January 9, 2016
It takes me a little while, but there is now a link at the top right (under the Search field) that allows you to Follow this AutoHotkey blog. Whenever I publish a new blog, followers will receive an e-mail. If you add yourself to the list, it will save you from later having to come back to see if there’s anything new. Instead you will receive an annoying e-mail. (Or so I’ve been told.)
I’ve also added new links to the top menu bar which will make it easier to find blogs which are part of a series. Check out the “AutoHotkey Topics and Series” dropdown menu. I’ll be adding more to this menu as I get this blog better organized. I hope to make it easier for people to find things.
Updated: January 1, 2016
There are a number of mostly beginner AutoHotkey pages available through ComputorEdge.com. I will continue to add to those pages and update them as things changes. One of the most important is “Free AutoHotkey Scripts and Apps for Learning Script Writing and Generating Ideas.” This is a collection of free AutoHotkey scripts which I’ve made available to any AutoHotkey users. The scripts can be downloaded at the ComputorEdge download site. I wrote most of these short script and have included descriptions and how-to’s in my AutoHotkey e-books which are available at both ComputorEdge E-Books and Amazon. (Get the Spanish language version of A Beginner’s Guide to AutoHotkey—Guía básica de AutoHotkey—from Amazon.)
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See how to get the 201 page* e-book AutoHotkey Tricks FREE! (*According Amazon calculations)
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Work in Progress
I’m writing articles on a series of beginner AutoHotKey topics which when grouped together treat one AutoHotkey subject. Since they are not necessarily written (nor appear) in order in this blog, I’ve placed links below in the order that they should be read (if at all). Since this blog is pinned to the top it will always appear first, I will change the Published date seen above whenever I’ve added new AutoHotKey content. Of course, the latest blog should always appear below this one or is second in the Recent Posts list at the right (just after this one).
Using AutoHotkey HotStrings for AutoCorrect and Other Cool Tricks
HotString replacement and text expansion is one of the most common ways that AutoHotkey is used. This series explores ways to add power to your AutoCorrect script and add other useful features.
Visit the “Beginning AutoHotkey Hotstring Techniques” page for a list of the blogs included in this series.
Beginner’s Guide to How AutoHotkey Scripts Work
This topic may be a bit esoteric , but it is a tremendous help if you understand how AutoHotkey processes AHK script files. Quite a bit of the confusion encountered by novice AutoHotkey script writers is due to misunderstandings about how everything fits together. The following blogs were written with that potential confusion in mind. If none of this helps, then please let me know and I will try to clear things up.
This subject is not yet complete.