Save Confusion and Annoying Missteps by Creating Child Dialogs
I began working on the promised formatted date to DateTime Stamp conversion blog when I received this question from a reader:
I’ve created a series of pop-up boxes to help me in doing telephone-service. I have two problems, both with InputBox:
How can I put a comma in the prompt section? I tried things like \, and [,] but none work. I’m sure there must be a solution, but I can’t find it in browsing through your books.
It is possible to include an “always on top” control for the display of an InputBox? It does not seem to work to put ”WinSet, AlwaysOnTop, ON, A” before or after an Inputbox entry. Is there some way to make an Inputbox display automatically stay on top?
While studying the behavior of Label names in AutoHotkey scripts, I came up with the CheeseBurgerRecipe.ahk script which automatically moves to the next Hotkey recipe step with no additional code by dropping pass the next Label name directly into its subroutine. I didn’t expect to find another use for this technique so soon, but when I encountered the problem of losing track of invisible windows, this technique offered a quick fix. Continue reading →
Handy Window Transparency Wheel Using Macro Replacement Quickly Peeks Under a Window without Moving It, Plus the Difference Between % Var and %Var% Made Easy
The AutoHotkey online documentation goes into great detail about the traditional method for retrieving values from variables (%Var%) and the force expression evaluation method (% Var). It can take the new AutoHotkey user a little while to comprehend the differences between the two. In an effort to clarify the variations and help beginners to understand when to use which method, I offer an alternative way to view the operations. For the traditional method, I prefer using the terms macro substitution or variable name replacement. Once, you understand how it works, differentiating when and how to use each technique becomes easy.
The value-added trick comes when creating variables containing new variables on-the-fly by combining the two methods (i.e. forcing an expression % which contain a %Var% variable name replacement). The first step involves replacing the variable with its value, the new variable name (%Var%). The second step requires the forced evaluation of the new variable (% VarValue) as part of an expression.
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A while back I installed a volume control operated by the mouse scroll wheel. Simply hover over the Windows Task Bar and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to adjust the PC speaker volume level higher or lower, respectively. A progress bar (shown at right) pops up displaying the changing volume level. I’ve added this convenient tool to my standard AutoHotkey script and use it all the time.
At a later date, while playing with window visibility, I set up a menu for changing the transparency level for the active window (shown at left). At the end of that blog, I suggested, “If you want to get really fancy, then you might use the mouse wheel to set the transparency (or opaqueness) level.” I’ve done just that with my new SeeThruWinWheel.ahk script. Now, by holding down the CTRL key while scrolling the mouse wheel, the window under the mouse cursor becomes less opaque (WheelDown) or more opaque (WheelUp). In the course of writing this short script, I implemented a number of AutoHotkey tricks worth discussing. Continue reading →
After Always-On-Top and Translucent Windows, Use the WinSet Command to Make a Mouse-Click Transparent Help Window, Plus a Discussion of the Mysterious (and Confusing) Microsoft Window Styles/ExStyles (WS_XXX and WS_EX_XXX)
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 →