When to Use Virtual Keys and Keyboard Scan Codes with AutoHotkey (Beginning Hotkeys Part 14)

Add Missing Keys or Take Advantage of Extra Keyboard Keys with AutoHotkey Scan Codes and Virtual Keys

In preparation for this blog I tested numerous different Hotkey configurations with Virtual Keys and/or keyboard Scan Codes. To say the least, knowing when to use what gets pretty confusing. While many setups might not work, there are multiple other configurations which do the same thing. For that reason, before digging into any details, I’m offering a summary set of thumb rules for figuring out when you might want to use either of these special key codes. (See this previous blog to review Virtual Keys and Scan Codes.)

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AutoHotkey Scan Codes, Speech, Sound, and Splash Images in Children’s Apps (Beginning Hotkeys Part 13)

Write Toddler Educational Hotkey Scripts by Combining AutoHotkey Scan Codes, the SoundPlay Command, the SplashImage Command, and ComObjectCreate() for Speech

I started digging deeper into the weeds of identifying and using AutoHotkey Scan Codes and Virtual Key Codes (introduced last time), when I decided to take a diversion into a little fun, but practical approach to using Scan Codes for educational programs. Sink your AutoHotkey scripting teeth into this educational example. It covers a simple approach for teaching little ones keyboard numbers and letters by combining Hotkey techniques from earlier blogs, plus speech, sound, and SplashImages from chapters in the AutoHotkey Applications book.

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Understanding AutoHotkey Keyboard Scan Codes and Virtual Key Codes (Beginning Hotkeys Part 12)

Learn the Difference Between AutoHotkey Keyboard Scan Codes (SCnnn) and Virtual Key Codes (VKnn) and When to Use Them for Hotkeys

Not all keyboards are equal. Detached desktop keyboards may include many extra keys while smaller laptop keyboards might be shortened versions of their larger cousins. When setting up Hotkeys, you must work with the keyboard you own. That means using the available keys and the usual AutoHotkey key names and techniques. However, you will likely find key action names in the AutoHotkey Key List with no corresponding key on your particular keyboard (e.g. AppsKey). At other times, you may find keys on your keyboard which don’t appear in the AutoHotkey list. These situations may call for a unique approach to setting up Hotkeys.

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AutoHotkey Tips for Mouse Click Hotkeys with Seldom Touched Keys (Beginning Hotkeys Part 11)

Make Your Hotkeys Easier by Combining a Rarely Pressed Key and a Simple Mouse Click…or Not! Plus, Take Advantage of More Little Used Keys in Hotkey Combinations

While the Hotkeys from two blogs ago for switching errant letters and the last blog for word swapping are simple enough—merely place the text cursor between the targets of the swap and hit the key combination—they can be made even easier my activating the Hotkeys with a click of the mouse. Rather than using two moves—placing the cursor, then hitting the Hotkeys—combine both into one action by making your left mouse button click part of the Hotkey.

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