This Blog is dedicated to all things AutoHotkey, the most powerful free Windows utility ever. It explores the many aspects of AutoHotkey script writing and ways to improve Windows productivity.
Dropbox Download Site Alert: July 12, 2016
Apparently, the Dropbox AutoHotkey download page is down again—at least temporarily. I’ve moved all of the download files to the ComputorEdge Free Scripts Page. This is the second time we’ve been cut off. I won’t be pushing Dropbox anymore.
So much for using Dropbox to offer downloads.
Update: May 15, 2016
Four years ago I wrote my first AutoHotkey article as part of a Windows column for ComputorEdge Magazine. I was first introduced to AutoHotkey by a ComputorEdge reader. The more I dug into the scripting language, the more I realized how much it could help almost any Windows user with very little effort. My path became one of studying the online AutoHotkey documentation, searching AutoHotkey forums for ideas and techniques, testing various ways to write the code, then chroniclinging my insights in what eventually became a number of (mostly) beginning books.
I’m not a professional programmer, although I have written applications for running a Web site and converting those Web pages to e-books. Therefore, my books do not come from the point of view of an expert, but rather someone who’s learning how to write an AutoHotkey script from scratch. That means I ran into the same missteps and foibles in those columns that many beginners tend to encounter. As I learn what seem to be best practices, I pass them on—although it’s taken years to reach some of those inflexion points.
At times, I look back and wonder what I would have written if I knew then what I know now. There is a tremendous temptation to go back and reexamine my previous efforts in an attempt to add my latest epiphanies. While I have added many tips, the problem with that idea is the introduction of some of my recent insights—rather than clarifying—would probably cause more confusion for the noobie. They tend to be more advanced techniques.
Recently I wrote about one of my epiphanies—forcing an expression in AutoHotkey commands. The articles on this blog site hold many of my more important insights about AutoHotkey. Plus, I have no doubt that there are more to come.
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There are a number of mostly beginner AutoHotkey pages available through ComputorEdge.com. I will continue to add to those pages and update them. One of the most important is “Free AutoHotkey Scripts and Apps for Learning Script Writing and Generating Ideas” which doubles as the AutoHotkey scripts download page. This is a collection of free AutoHotkey scripts I’ve made available to any AutoHotkey user. 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.
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New to AutoHotkey? See “Introduction to AutoHotkey: A Review and Guide for Beginners.”
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If there are any particular topics you would like me to write about or questions you would like me to answer, please leave a comment below. If you would like to contribute your own tips and tricks to any of the blogs, feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of a comment at the most appropriate place. I continue my journey of discovery in the AutoHotkey world and immerse myself in learning even more about the powerful, free Windows utility language.
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I thank the many people who help me to continue my work (more books and this blog) by purchasing e-book copies of my AutoHotkey self-help series for beginners and intermediate script writers. While I love AutoHotkey enough that I would probably do the work anyway, each purchase feels like a pat on the back—not to mention how it helps support my efforts.
The ComputorEdge E-Books site continues to offer AutoHotkey Tricks as a 99¢ book, but that’s only for show. The same free direct download links appear on the ComputorEdge E-Books site bypassing the shopping cart. I don’t expect anyone to pay for it.
However, leaving a book available at 99¢ on ComputorEdge E-Books does allow people to make a low 99¢ contribution to the cause. AutoHotkey epiphanies and other inspired ideas which may result from reading any non-purchased copies of my AutoHotkey books might induce a desire to give credit where credit is due. I’m not above accepting monetary compensation for my efforts—whether for a book floating around the Web or this blog.
As expected, people have posted pirated copies of my books in a number of places on the Web. Since I don’t copy-protect my books, people can easily find non-paid copies. While I I do love writing about AutoHotkey (and I do do it for my health), I’m not adverse to getting paid for my labors. Yet, I approach the problem of illegal copies philosophically.
Most people who download a pirated copy of one of my books would likely never buy it in the first place. I really haven’t lost a sale, since, if forced pay, they wouldn’t even look at the book. I understand that well-intentioned people often like to try before they buy. At least, a misappropriated copy gives someone the chance to determine value before pulling out their wallet. I’m not beyond trusting someone to do the right thing. However, on the downside of this laissez-faire philosophy, many of these good souls forget to follow through—even if they found the book valuable.
I don’t want anyone to pay for any book which does not provide them some level of usefulness—pirated or not. But, if to any significant level (not merely one tip), I manage to help solve an AutoHotkey script writing problem or two for someone who did not purchase any of my books, then I would appreciate the recognition that comes from purchasing an appropriate download. However, if the price of a particular book is more than what someone thinks is warranted, then a copy (or two) of the 99¢ AutoHotkey Tricks must suffice. But, that’s a personal decision.
In the meantime, I hope that most people will find at least one useful tidbit in AutoHotkey Tricks You Ought to Do with Windows. No charge!