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An Auto Hotkey Tutorial To Modify Windows Tasks

Auto Hotkey

If you work from home or attend classes online or have a daily repetitive tasks, then there's no doubt that you'll have phrases or words you have to type on a regular basis. Or maybe there's a specific file you need to open often, but not leave open. Whatever be the reason, Windows AutoHotkey can provide you a faster way to perform series of your repetitive tasks. 

What is Windows AutoHotkey?

Windows AutoHotkey is a free and open-source scripting language that gives room to its users to create scripts for Microsoft Windows initially aimed at providing easy keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys, fast macro-creation and software automation which allows users to automate repetitive tasks in any Windows application.

While it uses its own programming language, you don’t have to be a professional or skilled at coding to make use of the tool. It’s intuitive and very easy to pick up, especially given the numerous wealth of resources available online.

This tutorial will guide you through the basic steps involved when using Windows Autohotkey. One thing you should keep in mind is that this tutorial covers the basics only. Windows Autohotkey is a very powerful tool with far-reaching applications, too many to cover in a single tutorial. 

This tutorial will help you get ready so you can start experimenting.

Downloading and Building Your 1st Script

1. Windows AutoHotkey isn't engineered into the Windows OS, thus you'll ought to download and install from the AutoHotkey website:- www.AutoHotKey.com.

2. Once you've downloaded it, follow the on-screen directions. If asked to decide on between ANSI and UNICODE, choose UNICODE — it's wider support for non-English characters. Once you’ve put in the program, go to your Desktop.

3. Right-click any empty spot on the screen and choose New > Autohotkey Script. The script will appear as a file on your desktop. Provide it a name that creates it straightforward to spot and hit Enter. After this, right-click the file and select Edit script. 

4. This will open an editing writing screen, presumably in Notepad. For instance, we'll build a script that mechanically types:

Sincerely yours, Martyr Jetson

5. All you've do is to try to hit the hotkey. First, type:


6. The ^ image means that CTRL, thus you'll hit CTRL+J to activate this hotkey. If you’re confused concerning why that image means  CTRL, don’t worry — there'll be a lot on it later within the tutorial. 

7. Next, type this: 

Send, sincerely, Martyr Jetson

The command in this line is "Send". Anything after the comma is displayed on screen. 

8. Finally, type:


9. Once you've finished this, save the script. Right-click it over again and click on Run script. 

When all these are done, it ought to appear as this:


Send, sincerely, martyr Jetson


Now whenever you sort CTRL+j, the phrase “Sincerely yours, martyr Jetson” will appear. 

Creating a Hotstring

The above command was a hotkey. Currently we'll show you short cuts to create a hotstring, or a route that sorts a word or series of words.


This is the exact format used in typing “Windows Autohotkey” without you actually typing it.

The command is simple. Rather than using a double colon (::) to the right of the hotkey, you will surround the abbreviation with two sets of double colons, like this:

::wah::Windows Autohotkey

The text within the colons will serve as the shortcut, while the text that is to the right of the colons will be what appears when the command is been typed. 

Here are Hotkey Symbols and Their Meanings

This section can give a short clarification of the assorted symbols and what they mean. 

Symbol Meaning/Key

1. + Shift

2. !   Alt

3. ^ Control

4. # Windows Key

5. * Wildcard (This will activate the hotkey even if other keys are hit.)

6. < Use the left key of a set (ex. The left Shift key.)

7. > Use the right key of a set (ex. The right Shift key.)

8. & Use between any two keys to create a custom hotkey.

9. UP   When you use this in a hotkey, it triggers upon the release of the key.

These are known as the most basic symbols. There are several others that are very much complicated, but these aren’t necessary to state now for learning the basics. You should also know that multiple symbols can be combined together to make them work; for example, <!a means that the left Alt key will trigger the hot key.

Ready-Made Scripts

With any program that is as powerful and versatile as Windows Autohotkey, people will find ways for it to reach its maximum potential. If you want to view through a series of pre-made scripts that demonstrate exactly what this tool is capable of, look at the Autohotkey Forum.

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