The Duality of Curly Brackets in Hotstrings (Beginning AutoHotkey Tips)

Curly Brackets {…} in Hotstrings Both Insert Special Features and Neuter Hotkey Modifying Characters—When Properly Used, They Add Flexibility to AutoHotkey Hotstrings

Sometimes you want to do more than simple text replacement with your AutoHotkey Hotstrings. The key to adding those special features lies with embedding either manual keys within curly brackets (i.e. {Left 5}) or adding Hotkey action directly (without curly brackets) such as CTRL+I (^i for italics) or CTRL+B (^b for bold). The fact that the curly brackets {…} behave in two different manners can cause confusion. Continue reading

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Adding Italics to Hotstrings in Word Processing Software (AutoHotkey Quick Tip)

If You Work with a Word Processing Program (Local or Web-Based) Which Supports Control Characters for Special Formatting, Then, Possibly, You Can Add Auto-Italics (or Bold, Underline, Etc.) to Your Autohotkey Hotstrings

A little while back, I wrote the blog “Italicize Your Hotstring Replacements with this Input Command Ploy (AutoHotkey Tip)” which demonstrated tricks for adding special features robotaicartoonfor both the Input command and Hotstrings. While clever solutions (possibly too clever), I now realized that in many programs (and Web apps), there might exist a much easier solution—a “duh” moment. Continue reading

Beginning Hotstring Tricks for Expanding Acronyms (AutoHotkey Tips)

Hotstring Techniques for Expanding Abbreviations Only When You Need Them, Plus How to Sound British…Sort Of

One benefit I’ve discovered when using my InstantHotstring.ahk script includes quickly checking the effects of the various Hotstring options. Without re-editing and reloading an AutoHotkey script, I can test the assorted options and see how they modify the behavior of each Hotstring. This helps me understand how to solve some Hotstring problems. Continue reading

Add Single-Key Shortcuts to QuickLinks App (AutoHotkey Quick Tip)

Reader Uses Menu Shortcut Keys to Speedup QuickLinks.ahk Action

Alan posted the following comment on Pressing GUI Buttons with a Single Keystroke (AutoHotkey Tip):

Hi, Jack,

Thanks for making such useful contributions to AHK.

I found QuickLinks to be useful but then was looking to make it even more helpful by having key shortcuts. I figured out how to do it! You can let others know if you can point out adding an ampersand in front of the letter of the folder or shortcut.

Thanks, 

Alan

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I’m gratified that a number of people are using and modifying the QuickLinks.ahk script. It’s evolved considerably since I first introduce the barebones version in the book Digging Deeper Into AutoHotkey. In AutoHotkey Applications, I added icons using the Menu,…,Icon, command. In my most recent Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips, I modified the script to add a number of other features. More recently, I wrote a blog which highlighted changes increasing the power of the script by another reader, “Open and Print Files with the QuickLinks App (AutoHotkey Tip from a Reader)“. In all that time, I never thought to talk about using the single-key shortcut menu technique available in all Windows menus with the QuickLinks.ahk script. Continue reading

Swapping Variable Values (Beginning AutoHotkey Tip)

Rather Than Rewriting Code, Sometimes You’ll Find It Easier to Swap Variable Values

You may not need to use this technique very often but when you do, it can save you a lot of time.

Calculating Years, Months, Days Problem

I wrote the HowLong(FromDay,ToDay) function to calculate the difference between two dates in years, months, and days. The way the function operates it starts at the first date (FromDay) and works its way forward to the second date (ToDay). If the first date occurs after the second date, the function yields bad results.

HowLongOriginally, I added a trap to notify the user when the first date occurred after the second date—offering an opportunity to try again. However, I eventually realized that I only needed to reverse order of the dates to yield the right answer. Rather than rewriting a ton of code to create a backward-looking function, I left the original logic untouched by swapping the two date values when in reverse chronological order. Continue reading

New Book of Jack’s Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips

 

Jack’s Motley Assortment
of AutoHotkey  Tips

A Living Book

CoverImage200This first edition of my new book Jack’s Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips includes more than 80 chapters of AutoHotkey tips, tricks, and techniques. But, that only reflects the starting point for this Living book. Every six months to a year, I will add 30 or more new chapters based upon my current explorations of AutoHotkey. If you purchase this book, you will get all of these new editions free. You only need to buy this book once.

To review the “Table of Contexts” and “Index”, see this Motley Tips page. Continue reading

Add Emoji Characters to Any Windows Document (AutoHotkey Hotstrings)

Why Search Through Pop-up Tools When You Can Directly Enter Any Emoji into Your Documents, E-Mails, and Web Editing Windows with AutoHotkey?

“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.” 🙄

Years ago I wrote about an AutoHotkey app called WinCompose: a Robust Compose Key for Windows which adds special characters to any Windows document or Web editing field. It appeared to use the Input command in conjunction with a “Compose” key to enter memorable keystrokes for inserting special characters. WinCompose has since converted to a different programming language and added emoji support. Similar to emoticons, emojis add special cartoon-like pictograms to your documents. Unlike emoticons, many programs recognize emojis—as long as the software includes UTF-8 support. Continue reading