Jack’s AutoHotkey Blog

Download AutoHotkey Tricks You Ought To Do With Windows (Sixth Edition) PDF File

This AutoHotkey Tricks Book Includes “Table of Contents” and “Indexes” from Eight of Jack’s AutoHotkey Books!
(For other e-book formats click here!)

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Library Benefits

May 31, 2020

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Using SplashText for Peace of Mind

May 28, 2020

New Intermediate Online AutoHotkey Course for Novices from “The Automator”

May 25, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: WinMenuSelectItem for Windows Automation

May 18, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Cramming a Multitude of Controls into a GUI

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May 14, 2020

Finding AutoHotkey Answers

May 11, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Cull Web Links from a Web Page and Activate Each in a Pop-up GUI

May 4, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Capture Web Page Addresses (URLs)

April 27, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Channeling Text to a Tagged Window

April 20, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Tricks for Tracking and Activating Target Process Windows

April 13, 2020

AHKcoursead1
Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Repeat Words and Phrases with RegEx Hotstrings

April 6, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Word Manipulating Dynamic AutoHotkey Hotstrings

March 30, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Guidelines for AutoHotkey Function Libraries

March 23, 2020

Light Bulb!

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: The Eval() Function for Hotkey Math Calculations and Text Manipulation

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New Intermediate Online AutoHotkey Course for Novices from “The Automator”

A New Udemy Course “Intermediate Autohotkey—Getting Past the Basics” from Joe Glines—Autohotkey Automation Guru

Not everyone learns in the same manner. Some of the best programmers I know taught themselves from scratch. They looked up the commands and figured out the rest themselves. They learn more advanced techniques by reviewing code written by other aficionados. While they do seek help for advanced topics, they don’t usually need beginning books or introductory courses. But, most people don’t fit into that category.

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AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: WinMenuSelectItem for Windows Automation

While It Works Only for Classic Style Windows Menubars, the WinMenuSelectItem Command Makes Changing App Settings Easy

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A Multitude of AutoHotkey Tips and Tricks

In Chapter 8.1.7 “Control Windows Program with the WinMenuSelectItem Command…Maybe” of the book Jack’s Motley Assortment of AutoHotkey Tips, I discussed the use of the WinMenuSelectItem command for Windows automation. While it has its limitations (it doesn’t operate with programs using ribbon-style menus), its power makes possible simple setup changes in apps such as Notepad, Notepad++, IrfanView image viewer/editor, and, most importantly, AutoHotkey GUI (Graphical User Interface) pop-up apps with menubars—such as one of my favorites,  CodeQuickTester by GeekDude. If you work with one of the compatible programs, then the command offers a number of advantages. Continue reading

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Using SplashText for Peace of Mind

Sometimes We Wonder If Our Hotkeys Work At All—The SplashText Command Tells Us That at Least It’s Trying

Note: I accidentally published this blog with the May 25, 2020 date when it should have been June 1, 2020. Trying to fix it only causes more problems, so I’ll leave it as is.

SplashText tells you about an AutoHotkey routine in progress.
SplashText tells the user about an AutoHotkey routine in progress.

I have a bad habit of leaving multiple programs and browser tabs open. Eventually, Windows gets confused and starts slowing things down. When this happens I sometimes wonder if my Hotkeys work. I execute one then sit and wait.

I know that I keep too many windows (and Chrome tabs) open and don’t reboot my computer often enough. This inevitably leads to computer lag. That means even the fastest Hotkey routines can slow down. When I hit a Hotkey and nothing immediate materializes, I wonder if the routine started at all. By adding the SplashText command to my Hotkey routines, at a minimum, I see that the process has gotten underway—even if I need to wait for the result.

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AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Cramming a Multitude of Controls into a GUI

AutoHotkey GUI (Graphical User Interface) Controls Gives Us Powerful Tools for Building Apps, But Sometimes We Need to Get Creative to Solve the Space Problem

WebPageLinks

My book AutoHotkey Applications: Ideas and Tips for Writing Practical AutoHotkey Scripts introduces the various GUI (Graphical User Interface) Controls available in the Windows operating system. I offer practical examples of how you can use single controls in a script. Yet each GUI control comes with its own particular limitations. Sometimes it takes a combination of techniques to get the full benefit from a unique control feature.

For example, you may find it a challenge to pack a multitude of items into a single GUI without expanding it beyond the screen. Many controls such as an Edit and ListView control allow you to limit the size of the control—then add scrollbars when the volume exceeds the confines of the space. Not so for AutoHotkey GUI Link controls.

In my last blog, “Cull Web Links from a Web Page and Activate Each in a Pop-up GUI“, I built a GUI pop-up window listing the external links scraped from a Web page (WebLinkFindURL.ahk script). In some cases, the number of links far exceeded the space allowed on my computer screen. Since the GUI Link control does not support scrollbars, I added Tab controls to expand the available GUI space without overwhelming the screen. Continue reading

Finding AutoHotkey Answers

Sometimes Finding the Right Answer to an AutoHotkey Problem Depends Upon Where and How You Look for It—Plus, a Free Reference Guide for Jack’s Books

When working on my blogs, I often encounter AutoHotkey problems requiring new approaches. I always wonder if someone else has already created a solution. I usually start with a Web search which includes a short description of the desired result and, of course, the word “AutoHotkey.” It surprises me how often this simple approach takes me directly to the right place—commonly a post in either the current or archived AutoHotkey Forum. I use that method for new techniques but when I need to refresh myself on topics I’ve previously discussed, I go to either my blog or one of my books.

AutoHotkey AutoHotkey Library Deal!

Searching my blog only requires entering keywords in the box in the upper right-hand corner. However, finding information in one of my eight primary books presents a more complex problem. I’ve written so much on so many topics that even I can’t remember where to find everything. That’s why I added the “Table of Contents” and “Index” from each book to the freebie book AutoHotkey Tricks You Ought To Do With Windows. When refreshing my memory about various techniques found in my books, I regularly consult this book. Continue reading

AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Cull Web Links from a Web Page and Activate Each in a Pop-up GUI

This Time I Combine a Number of AutoHotkey Techniques to Put Active Links in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) Pop-up Saving Space with GUI Tabs

As I pondered the GetActiveBrowserURL() function from last time, I looked for more ways to use this unique function by reviewing Chapter Ten, “An App for Extracting Web Links from Web Pages” from A Beginner’s Guide to Using Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey. By combining the function with the UrlDownloadToFile command and a couple of GUI controls (Link and Tab), I quickly wrote a script for collecting all of the external links from a Web page into a pop-up window displaying a list of active links—merely, click to follow one.

WebPageLinks
The GUI contains 10 tabs—most with 20 hot links each scraped from the ComputorEdge Free AutoHotkey Scripts page.

This process included a number of learning points worth discussing:

  1. I found the GetActiveBrowserURL() function more reliable and robust than using the Standard Clipboard Routine.
  2. Depending upon the target Web site, you may need to tailor your Regular Expressions (RegEx) to produce the most useful results.
  3. The GUI Link control creates hot Internet links for immediate action.
  4. The GUI Tab control wraps long lists for scenarios where no scroll bars exist and column wrapping proves impractical.

In this blog, I offer the script with a short discussion of the Regular Expressions (RegEx). In a future blog, I’ll discuss how to build a GUI pop-up window with an unknown number of hot Weblinks (almost 200 in the example at right) while not letting it get out of hand. But first, my thoughts on the GetActiveBrowserURL() function.

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AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Capture Web Page Addresses (URLs)

When Browsing the Web This Special Function Copies the Page URL without Any Extra Effort

Normally, you can find a Web page address in the URL bar at the top of the browser. Click in that address field and copy it with CTRL+C. That simple act may make the subject of this blog look redundant. However, when applied to last week’s CopyRegTagWin.ahk script, the GetActiveBrowserURL() function can save numerous keystrokes.

By using the user-defined GetActiveBrowserURL() function, a modified version of the CopyRefTagWin.ahk script can include both the title of the source window and, if from a Web page, its URL. If collecting data for research, this feature makes reconstructing sources much easier—without any extra effort. Continue reading