Quick Fix for Inserting Color Data into Windows Paint (AutoHotkey Tip)

Auto-Fill Windows Program Data Fields Using RegEx—Plus, Alternative for Pop-up Messages

While the Coloretta Viva script copies pixel colors, transferring codes to Windows Paint gets awkward. This AutoHotkey data filling technique for multiple fields works in any Windows program. Plus, we look at another method for popping up user messages.

I recently highlighted the AutoHotkey Coloretta Viva color picking app at ComputorEdge Software Showcase. As a color matching tool, I consider the script an excellent start. However, I offer a couple of observations. Continue reading

Mea Culpa — The Forgotten Millisecond

It Seems that I Have a Millisecond Blind Spot

I know that a millisecond lasts one-thousandth of a second. However, it seems I have a proclivity for calling a millisecond a microsecond. I have no excuse. As a physics major, I know the difference. Somehow my brain tends to use “microsecond” in place of “millisecond.”

RobotResponsibilityA reader recently brought to my attention that I incorrectly placed “microsecond” in one of my books when referring to the time delay used in the AutoHotkey Sleep command. Not only did I make the error in that book, but in a couple more of the earlier books and other timing commands. I have no excuse. The online documentation has it perfect.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been notified of the problem. In fact, I had deluded myself into thinking I had already corrected the error in my books. (It must have slipped my mind or become trapped in my blindspot.) I have since gone back and fixed the problem in the earlier books. How could this go on for so long?

The Forgotten “Milli”-second

Let’s face it! The prefix “milli-” doesn’t get much respect these days. Ever since the introduction of the microprocessor, we stopped caring about anything bigger. Nobody uses “milli” in advertising when “micro” or even “nano” adds more emphasis. In my books, even though I knew I was talking about thousandths of a second, I kept calling it a microsecond (millionth of a second).

We might measure a blink of an eye in milliseconds (300-400ms). It would be ridiculous to say a blink takes 300,000 to 400,000 microseconds. Yet, when it comes to computers, I’m always ready to talk in terms of a millionth of a second.

Fortunately, my examples and the calculations in the books work out fine, so very few people would actually find themselves misled. It still seems like a bonehead mistake to make.

I updated the problem books (A Beginner’s Guide, Digging DeeperAutoHotkey Applications, and AutoHotkey Tricks) with the correction. If you purchased your copy at ComputorEdgeBooks.com and have no downloads remaining, please submit the following form for increased downloads:

Sorry about the confusion,



Blocking Mouse Action (AutoHotkey BlockInput Tip)

Clarification of Earlier AutoHotkey BlockInput Command Tips

While working on a couple of chapters in my new book, I noticed that I had effectively blocked inadvertent mouse movement while running a demonstration of a Windows Paint automation routine. In the script DrawSquiggle.ahk, AutoHotkey turns off the mouse while it executes various other mouse movements. Otherwise, any accidental manual movement of the mouse cursor might screw up the final result. Most importantly, the command to block mouse action worked without raising user privilege levels or running the script as an administrator.

The DrawSquiggle.ahk script demonstrates how AutoHotkey can control the selection of tools and mouse actions in Windows Paint.

Continue reading

Working on a New AutoHotkey Book

Compiling Material for My Biggest Book Yet!

I’ve started bringing together the parts for my next AutoHotkey book. I have over thirty AutoHotkey tips in the form of previous (no longer published) articles I wrote for the old ComputorEdge Magazine and another thirty, or so, I thought there would be pie!I’ve written since that time on various topics without a specific theme. As I organize the chapters, I see various motifs running through them. I plan to include numerous recent insights as I rewrite and edit each piece.

None of the above repeats work previously published as chapters in my other books. However,  I’m also considering including, with proper emphasis, my most important AutoHotkey epiphanies and “best practices” which do appear in the other books. This new, heavier e-book should be a good reference for almost anyone. Continue reading