Learn how to Save Time and Kind Quicker With AutoHotKey

You’ve gotten the hold of e-mail filters or keyboard shortcuts. You’re prepared to start out moving into some extra superior productiveness hacks, however leaping into Python appears too intimidating. Happily, there’s a device that’s strong sufficient for energy customers however accessible sufficient for everybody: AutoHotkey.

What Is AutoHotkey?

At its most simple degree, AutoHotkey is a Home windows utility that lets customers remap keys and create easy shortcuts. So, for instance, you can put your Caps Lock key to higher use by turning it right into a mute button. That is particularly helpful when you use applications with sophisticated keyboard shortcuts. That one obscure Phrase perform that’s assigned to Ctrl-Alt-Shift-] could be lots simpler to make use of if it was simply assigned to F3, wouldn’t it?

Nonetheless, when you’re prepared to study some minor scripting, AutoHotkey can do much more than merely remapping buttons. It will possibly launch purposes, reformat textual content, or fill in lengthy blocks of textual content with shorthand—for instance mechanically filling in “[email protected]” while you kind “@me”.

Each AutoHotkey script could be written in a fundamental textual content editor, like Notepad. To run the scripts, ensure that AutoHotkey is downloaded and put in. Write your script in a textual content editor (which we’ll present you learn how to do down beneath) and put it aside as an .ahk file. You possibly can then run any of those scripts and pause or shut them from the taskbar. More often than not, AutoHotkey will run invisibly within the background, doing no matter you programmed it to do and in any other case staying out of the best way.

Learn how to Write AutoHotkey Scripts

Since Autohotkey is designed to be as accessible as potential, you don’t must have a background in coding in any respect with a purpose to know learn how to use it. For instance, let’s say you retain by accident hitting Caps Lock while you imply to hit Shift, and also you’d prefer to remap it so each buttons are Shift keys. To do that, you’d solely want the next line:


On this line, “::” remaps what’s on the left of it (on this case, Capslock) to no matter you placed on the best (Shift). When you solely need one key to behave like one other, that is essentially the most sophisticated syntax it’s good to know. There’s a full checklist of key names right here so you possibly can customise this nonetheless you need.

After all, that’s simply remapping one single button to a different. What if you wish to remap a mixture of keys? For that, AutoHotkey makes use of prefix modifiers. These are symbols that correspond to modifier keys like Management (^), Shift (+), Alt (!), and the Home windows key (#). Once you use these symbols in a script, AutoHotkey expects a keyboard shortcut. So, for instance, on this line:


The keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Alt-N would now be mapped to Capslock. Which you’re a lot much less more likely to by accident hit. You possibly can even put each of those traces—and as many different shortcuts as you want—in a single file.

Past these fundamentals, AutoHotkey comes with a library of instructions that may do much more than simply turning one key combo into one other. For instance, let’s say day by day while you get to work, you open up the identical web site. As an alternative of opening your browser and typing within the tackle, you should utilize this line:

^!t::Run "www.wired.com"

The Run command can be utilized to launch exterior purposes or, as is the case right here, an online web page. So, with this script, urgent Ctrl-Alt-T will mechanically launch Wired.com. All with a single line of code!

AutoHotkey instructions and scripting goes lots deeper than most individuals most likely want. Nonetheless, you could find loads of present pattern scripts on the market that may do what you want with out having to study to code your self.

Regulate the Quantity and Extra

Fundamental instructions and key remaps are simple with AutoHotkey, however if you need one thing extra complicated, you possibly can nonetheless normally get by on what useful builders throughout the web have already executed. The corporate even has its personal Script Showcase the place you possibly can see featured scripts and get your individual concepts.

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