Monday, March 30, 2009

Scripting Hot Keys & Making Life Easier

This past weekend, I had a fellow geek in town visiting and I noticed he was doing some pretty wild things without touching his mouse.  When diving in deeper, I figured out he was using a program called AutoHotKey.

Mouse and keyboard macros and hotkeys.AutoHotKey is a small (2mb RAM footprint) program that intercepts keys from the keyboard and can perform actions on those hot keys.  It’s pretty flexible too! you can have it execute hot keys only on specific applications, or globally to the system.  The hot keys are all controlled and programmed by you, so you can add or remove any specific ones that you want.  You can have it change text for you, so if you say “BRB”, it’ll can automatically expand it to “Be Right Back”, and so on.  Once you’ve mastered the easy stuff, you can also use it create GUI!

What caught my intention was the ability to write a short script to “Paste as Clear Text”, if you want to strip out all that rich text for an email or some other purpose.  I find myself having to use specific clear text all the time!

You can download AutoHotKey and start immediately using their documentation.