Why AutoHotkey for Grandparents?

Remember All Your Grand Kid’s Birthdays and Their Ages! There’s No Limit to the Number of Ways You Can Amuse Your Grandchildren with AutoHotkey, Plus It Gives Your Brain a Much Needed Workout!

If you only have one grandchild, then you probably won’t have much trouble recalling his or her birthday or age. In that case, you may not have much interest in the grandbotslittle AutoHotkey GrandKids.ahk script. However, AutoHotkey offers much more which can enrich your offspring’s offspring’s education and entertainment—including a one-line script which verbalizes out loud the letters and numbers on the computer keyboard. But more importantly, learning to write AutoHotkey scripts exercises your mind—something everyone needs.

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Some of the scripts in this blog may not make AutoHotkey look easy, but you’ll find the first steps to AutoHotkey literacy quite simple. For a comfortable startup, check out this Introduction to AutoHotkey.

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Too Much Planning Can Get in the Way of Good Scripting (AutoHotkey Quick Reference Part Five)

While Preplanning Script Writing Can Be Useful, Don’t Take It Too Seriously—Sometimes It Only Makes Sense to Rewrite Everything

The AutoHotkey script writing process rarely runs in a straight line. Often I start with a vague concept of what I want to do then start fiddling with the tools. Unlike when building a toolshed or bookcase, I rarely begin with a complete plan or blueprint for an AutoHotkey script. In fact, the code may undergo numerous changes during the debugging and problem-solving phases.

sarcastictweetsFor anyone who builds things, this approach may be disconcerting. Afterall, you can’t afford to build a house by trial-and-error. The cost of wasted materials would be prohibitive. Traditionally, we spend a great deal of time in the planning phase to make sure we avoid expensive mistakes. Even in computer programming, large projects come together much better after extensive planning. But with smaller projects such as AutoHotkey scripts the opposite may be true. I often start a script with only a vague idea of what I want to do. As I work on it, the possibilities expand and I often change course. 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

Make Instant Web Page Searches Your Online Thesaurus (Intermediate AutoHotkey Tip)

Expand Your Vocabulary with This Quick and Dirty AutoHotkey Tip Or Modify This Script for Any Web Page Search

This week in ComputorEdge Software Showcase I reviewed Visual Thesaurus which offers a clever way to search for and understand English synonyms. Anyone who does a great deal of writing (or merely wants to self-educate) needs a good thesaurus. While the vocabulary enhancement androidprotestcartoonsoftware fascinated me and I certainly found it uniquely useful, it appeared to be insulated from the usual AutoHotkey techniques. (Other than by first saving the result to a PDF, I found no easy technique for copying a word to the clipboard. Plus, when opening, the app does not accept preloading a search term.) Beyond launching the program with a Hotkey, I didn’t see a simple method for automating the program with AutoHotkey. Other Web thesaurus sites make it easier to launch replacement word searches. Continue reading

Adding Actions to Windows System Tray Icon Menu (Intermediate AutoHotkey Tip)

Adding Hard-to-Remember Hotkeys to the AutoHotkey System Tray Icon Makes Sense—Plus, How to Best Activate the Last Window

I’ve put my MousePrecise AutoHotkey script on my own list of favorites. I like the mouse cursor accuracy it adds to any of my graphic applications. I find it particularly useful when selecting a portion of an image for cropping or moving.

However, I recently ran into an issue where the script stopped working in Paint.NET (more details on the source of the problem later in this blog). I tried reloading the script, but to no avail. I decided to use the Hotkey I implemented for adding the window class to the group (GroupAdd command). Humm…I couldn’t recall the key combination. This lapse of memory forced me to open the script and dig through the code. Continue reading

Windows Programming Made Easy (Why AutoHotkey?)

Never Programmed Before? You’ll Find No Better Language for Learning Than AutoHotkey!

Note: A free scripting language for Window computers, AutoHotkey provides simple techniques for controlling and adding power to your PC. Since today (and into the foreseeable future) Windows PCs continue to represent 90% of the desktop and laptop computers, knowing how to write simple AutoHotkey scripts adds significant experience to anyone’s résumé. Do it for fun and profit! Continue reading

Make a Window Transparent with the WinSet Command (Beginning AutoHotkey Tip)

When Setting a Window to Always-On-Top Make It See-through for Peeking Underneath

My last blog discussed a simple one-line script for forcing any Windows window always-on-top. The Hotkey works great and instantly toggles the feature on and off. However, at times when an window permanently sits over all other windows, it gets in the way of viewing the pages underneath. The AutoHotkey WinSet command allows us to change the transparency of that window so we can see right through it. Continue reading