AutoHotkey Tip of the Week: Save Time with CodeQuickTester for Testing and Modifying Scripts

Stop Creating Temporary Files to Check Out the New Scripts You Find on the Web—CodeQuickTester Directly Runs AutoHotkey Code without Saving

Since I consider educating motivated users about how to write and implement AutoHotkey scripts my primary purpose in life, I rarely recommend specific “user-friendly” AutoHotkey tools. Although they make scripting simpler, easy-to-use programming apps often interfere with a person’s understanding of the inner workings and hidden mechanism of AutoHotkey.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not against anyone using any tools that make life easier but my job is to teach how to get it done—not deliver canned, finished products. That’s why I rarely review other AutoHotkey scripts. However, every once in a while, I find an AutoHotkey app (such as Ryan’s RegExTester) which enhances understanding while making the coding process a little easier. CodeQuickTester by GeekDude falls into this category.

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I happened upon CodeQuickTester while perusing the AutoHotkey “Scripts and Functions” forum. In that collection of posts, you’ll find literally thousands of scripts for almost every Windows purpose. In fact, the sheer numbers of scripts and functions (currently 2179 topics) make it possible to miss many of the most valuable offerings. I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon the post “CodeQuickTester – Write and run code without saving to a temporary file” by GeekDude.

CodeQuickTester as an AutoHotkey Script Processor and Editor

You can find many other AutoHotkey script editors available but I usually just use Windows Notepad or Notepad++. (You might say that I don’t want too much help because it might interfere with my own AutoHotkey education.) However, the words “write and run code without saving to a temporary file” attracted me to CodeQuickTester. If you do much experimentation with AutoHotkey scripts written by other people, then you know the hassle of setting up a tempory file, copying and pasting the code, then running it—then saving and running it again after making a slight modification. There lies the strength of this code tester/editor.

Light and fast, CodeQuickTester provides an intuitive AutoHotkey script editing environment. You might feel like you’re using a souped-up version of Windows Notepad except you never need to save the code before you run it.

CodeQuickTester
The action bar at the bottom of the CodeQuickTester window (Run or Kill) toggles between loading the script in a temporary window and killing that process. No need to save anything between changes.

After opting to enter or paste code, open an AutoHotkey file, or Fetch .ahk code from the Web, merely clicking the Run bar at the bottom of the CodeQuickTester window interprets the code and launches the process. No file to save! In fact, you can make as many changes as you like while quickly relaunching (Kill, then Run) the script between modifications without ever saving the code to storage.

How to Download CodeQuickTester

CodeQuickTesterDownloadYou can download the latest version of GeekDude’s work at his GitHub CodeQuickTester page. Use either the CodeQuickTester_vx.x.ahk link or CodeQuickTester_vx.x.exe link (for a portable version). Find the links at the bottom of the version section under “Assets” (as shown at the right). Once you download the app, loading it with a double-click opens the window shown above.

As I said, I downloaded the script for its file-free testing capability. I wasn’t looking for a full-blown AutoHotkey editor. While CodeQuickTester contains extra bells and whistles (auto-indenting, word recommendations, etc.), as far as I know, you get just as much from many of the other AutoHotkey script editors—maybe more. But for me, CodeQuickTester includes everything I need.

Notable Features

While I don’t yet understand the purpose of everything found in the CodeQuickTester dropdown menus (e.g. PasteBin), I note a couple of features worth mentioning:

  1. Fetch—Enter the URL of an AutoHotkey script download link and automatically pull the code into CodeQuickTester. This skips the download save or copy-and-paste.
  2. Publish—Gather all of the pieces (#Includes) and save them in one file.

In the past, I’ve often forgotten to create a separate file before starting script modification. That approach usually messes up my original file until I separately save the new work. Even then, if I want to revert to the original version, I must go back and remove the changes. (I know…I should have created a new working file in the first place.) Now, I can load any of my AutoHotkey apps and immediately start testing modifications without affecting the original file or creating a new file. If the changes work out, I can save the new version of the script to a different file name.

The other advantage I gain by using CodeQuickTester involves the instant testing of random code. As I dig through the AutoHotkey “Scripts and Functions” forum, I can quickly test anyone’s posted code in the CodeQuickTester to determine if it deserves further investigation—or saving.

Note: To put CodeQuickTester through its paces, I have been working on a technique I’ve been considering for quite a while—using the Windows Registry as a data table (sets of records not merely settings) for AutoHotkey apps.

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jack

This post was proofread by Grammarly
(Any other mistakes are all mine.)

(Full disclosure: If you sign up for a free Grammarly account, I get 20¢. I use the spelling/grammar checking service all the time, but, then again, I write a lot more than most people. I recommend Grammarly because it works and it’s free.)

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