Monthly Archives: August 2005

AutoHotkey — Cool windows toy of the day

While having a look at some various bits and pieces in blogland, I stumbled across AutoHotkey, a free tool for windows that allows scripting of commands, and association of the said script with a hotkey. It is a great little tool for automating the mundane day to day tasks.

I am starting it off to simplify changing between the frequently used windows. At the moment I am almost always running FireFox, a couple of different editors for LaTeX (some subset of TexLipse, TeXnicCenter, jEdit, and gvim), Thunderbird, and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The program is a great little toy for automating the simple windows tasks. For the windows gui programmer/tester, there are some interesting other uses, such as scripting user interface tests.

The language for writing scripts is simple, and provides a useful set of commands for interacting with windows. Installation is easy, and can be performed with a windows installer, or extracting a zip file (the zip option is nice for those people who are working in an non-administrator environment :)).

The AutoHotKey website contains above average documentation, including a getting started tutorial, the obligatory wiki, program documentation and a good little article that talks through a couple of scripts that are more useful than the typical “Hello World” example often found in open source projects.

All in all AutoHotKey is a great little utility that is worth the time to download and learn.