Quick and Dirty Web Data Extraction Script (An Easy AutoHotkey RegEx Trick)

A Simple Regular Expression (RegEx) Retrieves Your Daily Horoscope by Harvesting Data from a Web Page—This 10-Line AutoHotkey Script Demonstrates How to Build Your Own Web-Based Pop-ups

Regular Expressions (RegEx) can get pretty complicated, but for this desktop trick, you only need to learn one short wildcard expression. Anyone can implement this simple pop-up window trick—displaying virtually any selected data found on the Web without loading a browser. Perhaps you would like a message box displaying the current weather. Or, maybe you want to read your daily horoscope. If it’s on the Web, then you can probably turn it into a quick AutoHotkey app.

As a demonstration (and possible template for other pop-up apps), I’ve written a short script which, without a browser, accesses an astrology Web page and displays my daily horoscope in a Windows message box. You can find the code for this Horoscope.ahk script at the end of this blog.

Continue reading

Update to IPFind.ahk World IP Address Location AutoHotkey Script

The Original Stopped Working; The New Web Page Offers Better IP World Location Information

IPFind New

I plan to write a more detailed blog on the topic, but I recently discovered the IPFind.ahk script not working.

I’ve updated the IPFind.ahk world IP address location script with a different Web page. The original site stopped working and provided less information. (The image at left shows the new IPFind message box.) I’ve added the change to my list of future blogs. Continue reading

Loading Hotstrings into the InstantHotstring.ahk Script from Any AutoHotkey (.ahk) File

Reading Data from a Saved .AHK Files Makes Loading Hotstrings into the InstantHotstring.ahk Script Easy

In the blog, “Use the FileSelectFile Command to Save Instant Hotstrings to an AutoHotkey File.” I discussed how to save a set of newly created InstantHotstring.ahk Hotstrings in .ahk files. The other half of the file storage problem involves reading those saved (or any other) Hotstring data files back into that same app. Using the tools already built into the script made writing the file loading code remarkably easy. The subroutine LoadHotstrings calls on the previously written subroutines SetOptions and AddHotstring. This saves replicating of code originally used in those subroutines.

Continue reading

Dealing with Hash Marks (#) in Hotstrings (AutoHotkey Quick Tip)

When Using the Pound Sign (#) in Hotstring Replacement Text, We Must Take Special Steps to Prevent It from Going Missing…I Mean Disappearing

RobotHashtagCartoonSome would say that we should call the # character an octothorpe. Others insist upon using it in place of the pound weight (# not £). You’ll commonly find it used as the number sign—as in apartment #205 or #2 pencil. Editors use # to tell whomever to add space between two words. In some computer languages, the # sign precedes comments. In Web URLs, the # indicates a “jump to” link within the same page. On Twitter, people insert # to precede topic references as a hashtag (#jellybeans). (People often use the term “hashtag” to show off their technological smarts—#sarcasm.) In AutoHotkey, we use the # symbol as the Hotkey modifying character for the Windows key (microsoft_key). Continue reading

Using Regular Expressions to Convert Most Formatted Dates into DateTime Stamps (AutoHotkey Tool)

AutoHotkey Offers Many Techniques for Converting the DateTime Stamp (yyyymmdd) into Formatted Dates, But What About Going in the Other Direction? Use RegEx to Identify Date Formats!

DateStampThe HowLongYearsMonthsDays.ahk function calculates the difference in years, months, and days between any two dates. To manually set the two dates, the script employs two DateTime GUI controls—input dates saved in the DateTime Stamp format (i.e. yyyymmdd) and the output in years, months and days. But wouldn’t you find it easier if you could highlight the dates in any document or Web page regardless of format, then use AutoHotkey to convert and copy the DateTime Stamps directly into the DateTime GUI controls? Continue reading

Counting Words with AutoHotkey (RegEx)

How You Count Words Depends Upon How You Define a Word

AutoHotkey RegExWhile working on my new book, I finished up a chapter where, in response to a reader’s question, I demonstrated how you can count commas in a document with both the StringReplace command and the RegExReplace() function. The StringReplace command responds to the UseErrorLevel parameter to save the count while the RegExReplace() function automatically counts the number of matches for saving in an OutputCountVar variable. That gave me the idea to write a word count script using RegExReplace(). Continue reading

A Simple AutoHotkey RegEx Trick to Print a List

Sometimes I Find It Quicker to Use Ryan’s RegEx Tester to Make a Clean List

While working on my current book, I found that I needed a printed list to keep track of my progress. In many circumstances, computer-based lists work fine but sometimes I want a piece of paper which I can markup with checks, arrows, and extraneous comments. The paper sits on my desk as a working tool—never hiding behind an open window on the computer screen. It seems archaic but, for me, it’s just easier. My problem involved printing a clean list of chapters without a load of extras. Continue reading