Put Your Emoji Hotstrings in a Pop-up Menu (AutoHotkey Trick)

Unless Endowed with a Photographic 📷 Memory, Who Can Memorize All the Activating Texts ✍ for Over 1000 Emoji 😀 Hotstrings? Use This Menu 🍱 Technique to Find and Insert Emojis 😀 Taken Directly from Your Hotstring Script

Who wouldn’t want all the emojis available at their fingertips? The last blog “Add Emoji Characters to Any Windows Document (AutoHotkey Hotstrings)” does just that. However, with the exception of the icons you use all the time, you won’t find remembering the activating strings easy. We need a quick lookup table to remind us of the activating strings for each image. Even better, why not a pop-up menu which both gives us the Hotstring keys and inserts the emoji? Fortunately, we can do this with a short AutoHotkey routine which searches the original EmojiInsert.ahk Hotstring file for our favorite characters.

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More Hotstring Tricks Using the Input Command and a Data Table (AutoHotkey Legal Lingo Tips)

The AutoHotkey Input Command Makes It Easy to Use the LegalInput.ini Data Table in Multiple Ways

A few weeks back I demonstrated how to build an INI data table for driving AutoHotkey scripts. I used the INI file format (LegalInput.ini) because it includes one index for quickly looking up records. In the file, I created four-character codes for accessing records which include the English legal definition, the Latin term, and a description (if any).

Legal Input Lex Scripta

While essential to the AutoHotkey feature discussed last time, you’ll find the INI file structure incidental to the technique discussed in this blog. You can use an INI file either for its index or as a standard data table with no special capabilities. As demonstrated in this piece, you’ll find a number of different ways to take advantage of a data table—without requiring an INI file. An INI file gives you a convenient means for quickly accessing data, but (especially for short files) you’ll discover numerous other methods for extracting the information you want. Continue reading

The SynonymLookup.ahk Web Data-Driven App Fails (AutoHotkey Adjustments)

If the Source Code for a Web Page Changes, You May Need to Rewrite Your Web Data-Driven Script, Plus More AutoHotkey Tips

Because I do a great deal of writing, I’ve fallen in love with my SynonymLookup.ahk script which pops up a menu of alternative words for instant replacement in my documents. It’s pretty cool—even if I do say so myself. However, the other day, it ceased working.

After highlighting a redundant word, I initiated the Hotkey combination searching for an equivalent term. Nothing happened! No matter how much time passed, the script displayed nothing.

After investigating, I discovered that (exactly as I had contemplated in the first SynonymLookup.ahk blog) Thesaurus.com had changed the formatting of the target page source code causing my Regular Expression (RegEx) to fail. The manufactured GoTo loop I used to increase the reliability of the Web download created an infinite loop.

I needed to adapt. Continue reading

Build Your Own Dream Thesaurus Word Replacement Tool (AutoHotkey Web Application)

How to Use the Web to Feed Data to Your AutoHotkey Application—A Pop-up Menu to Replace Boring Words in Your Documents

Synonym Page
I highlight any word and hit the CTRL+L Hotkey combination. AutoHotkey downloads the code from the target Web page and parses the synonyms using RegEx—placing each in a pop-up menu. Click on any item and AutoHotkey replaces the selected word in any document or field open for text editing. In the example, the menu lists possible replacements for the word •PAGE—the first item in the menu. Click •PAGE to open Thesaurus.com at the target location.

I immediately added this short AutoHotkey script to my primary toolbox. It immediately provides me access to a list of alternative words in menu form (shown at right). Click on one of the entries and it instantly replaces the previously highlighted word. The apps beauty lies in the fact that I can utilize the Web for the database of synonyms. The script extracts the menu items directly from a Theraurus.com Web page without opening my Web browser or processing any of the code—no ads. For writers and editors (or anyone who wants to expand their vocabulary), this one script provides enough incentive to plunge into regularly employing the free AutoHotkey Windows utility language.

If Theraurus.com ever notices, I suppose this script may not make the owners of the site very happy. Any revenue they derive comes from the advertising. My app ignores all of it. They could change the formatting of the page, but then I would adjust the Regular Expression I use to extract the data. They might make an attempt to block my efforts, but I guess any such blocking technique would also block regular users. They could block my IP, but that would be a lot of work for just one person. (I would simply switch to another site offering synonyms.) In any case, I plan to continue using this AutoHotkey script until it stops working—for whatever reason. Then, I’ll fix it. Continue reading

Building a Lookup Table with an INI File (AutoHotkey Reference Tip)

In AutoHotkey, You Can Use an INI File as a Database for Relating Lookup Table Items

Admittedly, AutoHotkey lacks sophisticated database tools for storing, sorting, and reporting sets of information. While you can piece together commands to create pretty good database file systems, AutoHotkey does not hold a candle to specialized data handling software packages which use SQL and other high-powered relational tools. However, AutoHotkey does support a simple form of a database called an INI file with built-in commands which make it easy to read and write data. These features give us a method for building a lookup table to relate our AutoHotkey Version 1.1 commands to 2.0 functions references. Continue reading

A Quick Tip for Matching Something Inside a Variable (AutoHotkey Tip)

With Many If Comparison Commands on the Chopping Block in V2.0, Here’s a Trick for Both AutoHotkey V1.1 and  V2.0

RobotMakeSenseWhile driving with her girls buckled in the back seat of the car, my daughter informed her attentive three-year-old and five-year-old of some important details about the day’s activities. After finishing up her explanation, she asked, “Now, does that make sense?” Both girls responded in unison, “Yes, Mommy!” That seemed to settle things until she overheard the three-year-old while leaning over toward the five-year-old whisper, “That doesn’t make any sense!”

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Comparing Today’s AutoHotkey Version 1.1 and the Future Version 2.0 (Part 4—Fixing %Var% Variable Replacements)

With the Removal of Most Forms of %Var% Variable Replacement from AutoHotkey V1.1, Expressions in V2.0 GUI Functions Require Special String Concatenation Attention

In the previous part of this series on “Comparing Today’s AutoHotkey Version 1.1 and the Future Version 2.0 (Part 3—RegExs for Converting to V2.0)“, I introduced Regular Expressions (RegEx) for converting certain AutoHotkey V1.1 commands into V2.0 functions. While generally effective, the conversions left any %var% variable replacements untouched. Continue reading