If the Source Code for a Web Page Changes, You May Need to Rewrite Your Web Data-Driven Script, Plus More AutoHotkey Tips
Because I do a great deal of writing, I’ve fallen in love with my SynonymLookup.ahk script which pops up a menu of alternative words for instant replacement in my documents. It’s pretty cool—even if I do say so myself. However, the other day, it ceased working.
After highlighting a redundant word, I initiated the Hotkey combination searching for an equivalent term. Nothing happened! No matter how much time passed, the script displayed nothing.
How to Use the Web to Feed Data to Your AutoHotkey Application—A Pop-up Menu to Replace Boring Words in Your Documents
I immediately added this short AutoHotkey script to my primary toolbox. It immediately provides me access to a list of alternative words in menu form (shown at right). Click on one of the entries and it instantly replaces the previously highlighted word. The apps beauty lies in the fact that I can utilize the Web for the database of synonyms. The script extracts the menu items directly from a Theraurus.com Web page without opening my Web browser or processing any of the code—no ads. For writers and editors (or anyone who wants to expand their vocabulary), this one script provides enough incentive to plunge into regularly employing the free AutoHotkey Windows utility language.
If Theraurus.com ever notices, I suppose this script may not make the owners of the site very happy. Any revenue they derive comes from the advertising. My app ignores all of it. They could change the formatting of the page, but then I would adjust the Regular Expression I use to extract the data. They might make an attempt to block my efforts, but I guess any such blocking technique would also block regular users. They could block my IP, but that would be a lot of work for just one person. (I would simply switch to another site offering synonyms.) In any case, I plan to continue using this AutoHotkey script until it stops working—for whatever reason. Then, I’ll fix it. Continue reading →
Use Simple Database Files to Both Write AutoHotkey Code and Create Flexible Scripts
In the last blog, I introduced a simple AutoHotkey app I call PictureSounds.ahk. When the user clicks on an image, AutoHotkey seeks the name of the sound file in an INI lookup table, then plays it. The script uses the image file name as the INI file Key. After loading a series of images, the script plays a different sound for each image. (It even plays videos!)
Using the INI file as a lookup table saved me from writing a different subroutine (or at least If condition) for each Picture control in the GUI window. Now, I show how to use that same data file to write the command code lines for adding the images to the pop-up files. Continue reading →
As Signs of the Impending Release of AutoHotkey V2.0 Crop Up in the Online Documentation, Questions Arise About Our Legacy Scripts
I start by admitting that I have no special insight into AutoHotkey V2.0. I’ve had no contact with anyone who has the answers. I base all my thoughts on information freely available in the online documentation, forums, and other AutoHotkey sources. You might consider my words rank speculation—although drawn from my years of working with AutoHotkey V1.1. Since I written so many AutoHotkey books, you could even say that I hold a vested interest in the current version of AutoHotkey. In spite of all that, I offer this blog as an aid to current and future AutoHotkey users in their version decisions.
New E-Book Bundles for Making Your Journey into AutoHotkey Scripting Easier
Every programmer suffers moments where he or she achieves a breakthrough and the code actually works. Their first impulse—tell someone…anyone. “Look what I just did!” Alas, they find no one nearby to praise the accomplishment. At least, no one who either understands or cares about their success. Maybe that’s why I write about my AutoHotkey journeys. I need to tell someone when (ironically?) some code I wrote does what it’s supposed to do.Continue reading →
The Standard AutoHotkey Loop Command Works Great for Incremental Series, But the For Key [, Value] in Expression Object Loop Offers Unique Flexibility for Associative Arrays
In my last blog, I introduced associative arrays to the InstantHotkeyArrays.ahk script for solving the connection problem between the Instant Hotkey combination and the insertion text. It works brilliantly—although novice AutoHotkey users might experience a slight learning curve.
On the downside of associative arrays, the standard AutoHotkey Loop command may not provide the access you need to all of the array items. Fortunately, AutoHotkey provides a command specifically for use with Objects such as true arrays: For Key [, Value] in Expression.
When You Find No Obvious Way to Link Specific Data to an Object or Another Value, You Might Try Saving It to a Variable within a Variable
Sometimes you encounter a scripting situation where saving data to just any random variable doesn’t do the job. While creating variables and storing values is simple enough, you may find it difficult to recall those values at the right time. It’s important to know you’re getting the right data when you want it. Maybe using the value of a variable as a variable name (two-deep) will give you what you need. Continue reading →
Draw Icons for AutoHotkey Menus Directly from Windows Shortcuts
I talked extensively in an earlier blog about adding icons to the menus in the QuickLinks.ahk script by using the FileGetShortcut command. This AutoHotkey command digs out data such as the target program from the shortcut. At the time, I didn’t attempt to use the captured icon data (OutIcon and OutIconNum—icon location and number respectively) because, in most cases, the variables came up blank. Even using the standard context menu creation option (New⇒Shortcut) often did not save the icon data for viewing with GetFileShortcut. Frankly, that would have made the process too easy.
This Windows Trick Works in Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10
I first wrote about this hidden Windows technique years ago. You can find many references to it by searching the Web for the term “Windows God Mode” but I don’t know how many people make regular use of this feature. Continue reading →
Using the Right Images Make Your AutoHotkey Menus Both Prettier and More Useful
It’s easy enough to put together a plain vanilla AutoHotkey pop-up menu without any icons. The sample QuickLinks script creates a menu from favorites Windows shortcuts in the QuickLinks folder. However, a stripped down menu looks pretty boring and makes individual items harder to find. Continue reading →