A while back I wrote a series of articles on using AutoHotkey for Windows program automation. They appeared in the old ComputorEdge Magazine. I used Windows 10 Paint as the example program demonstrating a number of approaches to program control. I temporarily put the articles in a makeshift PDF for artists and intend to include them in a future book—along with a couple of other unpublished Windows program automation articles. I extracted some of those columns from the original ComputorEdge issues and combined them into one free PDF download: AutoHotkey for Artist.pdf. The links may be obsolete, but the info is still good!
Both Hotkey Modifiers and Special Characters Might Disappear When Used in Regular Text. Usually, You’ll Find the Raw Mode the Easiest Solution for Vanishing Characters. Plus, a Secret AutoHotkey Hotstring Trick!
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When I started working on this blog I thought I would hammer out a simple explanation of when to use the Raw option in AutoHotkey…and to a large degree I do that. However, in the course of testing both the Raw option and the backtick Escape Character, I discovered a secret undocumented feature of Hotstrings. In some special cases, it may come in handy for changing Hotstrings on-the-fly.
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Exploring the Existential Mysteries of AutoHotkey Code and How It’s Often Misunderstood
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. Continue reading
Run Your AutoHotkey Scripts as Standalone Apps or Add Them Unaltered to Master Scripts by Creating Hermetically Sealed Auto-Execute Modules
If you’re anything like me, you’ve written a number of scripts which you use regularly. You can run each app separately assuring that they don’t conflict but that tends to load the Windows System Tray with too many icons—making it a little difficult to track all of them.
On the other hand, combining the scripts into a single file presents problems of its own. Any script which contains its own auto-execute section must run this part of the code when it first loads. Simply using the #Include directive won’t do the job. Place it in the top of the file and the other script modules, such as Hotkeys, Hotstrings, and Label subroutines, stop the processing of the original auto-execute section. Yet, if you place the #Include at the bottom, AutoHotkey never sees or runs the new auto-execute section. The novice scriptwriter often solves the problem by breaking apart the script and separately adding the auto-execute section to the top of the master file while locating all the other code modules toward the end of the file.
Draw Icons for AutoHotkey Menus Directly from Windows Shortcuts
I talked extensively in an earlier blog about adding icons to the menus in the QuickLinks.ahk script by using the FileGetShortcut command. This AutoHotkey command digs out data such as the target program from the shortcut. At the time, I didn’t attempt to use the captured icon data (OutIcon and OutIconNum—icon location and number respectively) because, in most cases, the variables came up blank. Even using the standard context menu creation option (New⇒Shortcut) often did not save the icon data for viewing with GetFileShortcut. Frankly, that would have made the process too easy.
This Windows Trick Works in Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10
I first wrote about this hidden Windows technique years ago. You can find many references to it by searching the Web for the term “Windows God Mode” but I don’t know how many people make regular use of this feature. Continue reading
Many Changes to QuickLinks.ahk Previously Discussed, Plus a Few New Features Not Yet Covered! Now Available for Download!
I’ve finally posted the latest version of QuickLinks.ahk which includes all of the discussions from the past few weeks—plus a couple more features and fixes which I plan to talk about in the near future. Continue reading