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Miscellaneous Software

Automate Windows via Customizable Hotkeys

SUMMARY: AutoHotkey is an open-source tool where you can set up hotkeys for complex automations.

Several applications exist for Windows that let you automate tasks and make them accessible via global hotkeys, such as HotKeyz. If you need an application with more advanced options, and scripting does not scare you, consider the open-source AutoHotKey.

AutoHotKey lets you create hotkeys that can perform all types of operations such as expanding abbreviations, performing operations when the system is shut down, reading from and writing to the Windows Registry, muting the sound, performing mouse moves and clicks, changing window titles, and much, much more.

For example, the following simple script lets you define Ctrl+Alt+R to say "Best Regards, The Webmaster":

Send Best Regards,{Enter}The Webmaster

A tutorial is available. For examples, the support forums contain scripts shared by the community. These include adjusting the screen brightness via the mouse scroll wheel, detecting file changes in a directory, capturing a screenshot, copying and pasting text to/from multiple clipboards, and even a game or two.

AutoHotKey can be downloaded from the following site. A portable version is available:

* AutoHotKey

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.