Saving Default Data in the Windows Registry (Part Six: Finishing AutoHotkey GUI Scripts)

Many AutoHotkey Users Save Settings in an INI File…However, the Windows Registry May Offer More Security and Stability

We tend to feel nervous about working with the Windows Registry. After all, a wrong step could conceivably cause harm to the operating system setup. Yet when taking the appropriate steps, this built-in Windows database can offer us a number of benefits:

  1. The Windows Registry is always there.
  2. It’s not easy to accidentally delete a Windows Registry entry.
  3. The average computer user won’t know where to find these special data entries.

Caution: When writing or editing the Windows Registry ensure that you use new, unique entry names and do not duplicate previously existing data items. Use Windows the RegEdit utility—Run (+R) RegEdit—to check for possible conflicting Registry entries.

In the InstantHotstringMenuBar.ahk script, I separated the setting of the default loading file from the SaveHotstrings subroutine (discussed in previous blogs) into a separate Label activated through the Set default file menu item or the Ctrl+D shortcut key combination. Plus, I added a new option to remove the default file setting:


RegRead, OpenFile, HKCU\Software\InstantHotstring, DefaultFile
If (OpenFile = 0 or !OpenFile)
    DefaultFileName := "No current default file"
    DefaultFileName := "Current default file" . OpenFile
MsgBox, 3, , %DefaultFileName%
	!`rChange default file
        ?`rYes       — Change current file on Startup
        !`rNo        — Remove setting (no default)
	!`rCancel  — Keep current default file!
  IfMsgBox, No
    RegWrite, REG_SZ, HKCU\Software\InstantHotstring, DefaultFile, 0
  IfMsgBox, Cancel
  IfMsgBox, Yes
If WindowTitle != ""
	SaveFile := WindowTitle
If (OpenFile = 0 or !OpenFile)
  FileSelectFile, SaveFile , S, %A_WorkingDir%\Hotstrings, , Hotstrings(*.ahk;*.hsf)
  FileSelectFile, SaveFile , S, %FilePath%\%SaveFile%, , Hotstrings(*.ahk;*.hsf)
If ErrorLevel     ; "Cancel" button, close, or Escape
RegWrite, REG_SZ, HKCU\Software\InstantHotstring, DefaultFile, %SaveFile%


This subroutine allows the user to set a new default, remove the filename, or maintain the current default (if any) in the Registry.

First, the SetDefaultFile subroutine uses the RegRead command to read the current value of the setting in Windows Registry:

RegRead, OpenFile, HKCU\Software\InstantHotstring, DefaultFile

The MsgBox displays the current value of the default file and drives the file selection decisions (replace, remove, or leave in place).

Finally, the subroutine uses the RegWrite command to save changes (if any):

RegWrite, REG_SZ, HKCU\Software\InstantHotstring, DefaultFile, %SaveFile%

For more information on how to work with the Windows Registry, see “Save AutoHotkey Script Settings in Your Windows Registry” and “How to Use the Windows Registry to Save Data Table Records.”

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

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