New Flexible Hotstring Features Added to AutoHotkey

Last February, AutoHotkey Release 1.1.28.00 Included Important New Hotstring Capabilities

A few months back while working on my latest book, Jack’s Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips, I encountered a new x option for Hotstrings. The x option enables the running of functions and commands rather than replacing text. This new feature surprised me since, in the past, a one-line Hotstring would only do text replacement.

I immediately recognized that this approach to one-line action Hotstrings could immediately shorten a long list of function Hotstrings. However, closer scrutiny of the new AutoHotkey release revealed further (and possibly more important) new Hotstring functionality. In addition to the x option, the February AutoHotkey release includes:

  1. A new Hotstring() function which adds dynamic capabilities to Hotstrings.
  2. A new method for creating function Hotstrings by defining the function immediately after the Hotstring(s).

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Pressing GUI Buttons with a Single Keystroke (AutoHotkey Tip)

Sometimes We Find It Easier to Hit a Key Rather Than Click a Button

An AutoHotkey forum user posted a question about using Hotkeys to activate buttons in a GUI window. He wanted to hit the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4, rather than clicking the individual buttons—but only for the active GUI window.

hotkeycover200While I discuss similar isolation of Hotkeys to specific active windows in my Hotkeys book, this blog provided another opportunity to show how to add more functionality to your GUIs without infringing upon other programs or Hotkeys. I attempted to make the script as simple as possible by using a number of AutoHotkey tricks. Continue reading

Updating the INI Data Table File (AutoHotkey Legal ListView Part 4)

While It Only Takes One Line of Code to Update the INI Data File, You Must Take Into Account the INI File’s Encoding. Plus, DIY Implementation of the Other Cool ListView Features

Last time, I added code to the LegalListView.ahk script to edit and update the ListView window. This time, I add one line of code to update the same data in the LegalListView.ini file.

By updating the data table file with the edits made via LegalListView.ahk, we save any changes for future use. Continue reading

Editing ListView GUI Control Data Tables (AutoHotkey Legal ListView Part 3)

Once Loaded into an AutoHotkey GUI ListView, You Can Add Tools for Editing Data

With the exception of the first column, AutoHotkey does not allow direct editing in a GUI ListView control. That forces us to create separate editing controls for changing and updating content in any of the other columns. We can either add the controls to the same GUI as in the AddressBook.ahk script (shown below)—discussed in my AutoHotkey Applications e-book—or we can create a second GUI which pops-up on demand. Since putting all the controls in the same GUI creates less confusion for the ListView functions (the functions always operate on the default GUI), you might find the AddressBook.ahk example easier to implement for your application. Continue reading

Searching Data Files and Other Scripting Ploys with Emojis (Secret AutoHotkey Tricks)

Who Knew That You Could Use Emojis in AutoHotkey Scripts Just Like Any Other Computer Character? More Emoji Magic! 😏

Emoji unicornAs I played around with the EmojiMenu.ahk script from my last blog, I tested highlighting an emoji as a search key. I inserted the unicorn emoji (🦄) into a document, highlighted it, then hit CTRL+ALT+E. To my pleasant surprise, it worked! As shown on the right, AutoHotkey searched the EmojiInsert.ahk Hotstring file, located the emoji character for a unicorn, then inserted it into the pop-up menu. (I added the ::!fantasy::🦄 Hotstring—which doesn’t appear in the original EmojiInsert.ahk Hotstring file—after posting the file.)

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Waiting for Web Data to Download (AutoHotkey Quick Tip)

A Look at a Manufactured Looping Technique Using the Goto Command to Ensure the Download of Web Page Source Code in an AutoHotkey Script

EatCheeseBurgerCartoonI ran into a problem with the SynonymLookup.ahk script. On occasion, the menu would appear showing only the original bold and bulleted search term as its sole menu item. This occurred when the script finished processing before downloading the source code from the Thesaurus.com page. As often happens when working on the Internet, the Web connection took a little too long to perform its job.

A common headache with any AutoHotkey script which uses the Web, the time it takes to interact with a site and download its content profoundly fluctuates. In the case of the SynonymLookup.ahk script, I needed to ensure that the variable containing the Web page source code existed and contained text before continuing to parse the synonyms.

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Use BoundFunc Object [Func.Bind()] to Pass GUI Control Data (An AutoHotkey GUI Revelation)

Added as a Special Feature to AutoHotkey V1.1, You Can Quickly Bind Unique Data to GUI Controls for Passing to Functions—It’s Even Easier in V2.0. Add This One to Your Bag of AutoHotkey Tricks!

Sometimes in my explorations, I come across an unexpected gem. I dig into many aspects AutoHotkey merely because they exist—having no idea how a technique might affect my scriptwriting. Whenever I uncover a feature that switches on a light, I must admit I get a little excited. Interestingly, if I had not been rummaging through AutoHotkey V2.0, I may not have ever understood the significances of this latest revelation for GUI pop-up windows in V1.1 scripts.

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GraphicSoundsIn a GUI (Graphical User Interface) pop-up window, passing the right data to a gLabel subroutine (or function) from a GUI control can get complicated. A couple of the more common methods includes calling the Gui, Submit command to store control values or using a technique for capturing control information, such as the MouseGetPos command or the special gLabel alternative function:

 CtrlEvent(CtrlHwnd, GuiEvent, EventInfo, ErrLevel:="")

While I can usually find a way to solve the data passing problem, I often find the answer awkward. Continue reading