I ran across this tool while browsing Lifehacker
. I had been looking for away to create hot-keys for bookmarks. I have a huge bookmark list, and sometimes it is difficult to quickly find the bookmark that I want. And as anybody who uses a laptop knows, using hot-keys is much quicker than using the touch pad. I also wanted to have the ability to launch my browser and open to whatever page that I wanted. Anyway, AutoHotKey
can do this, and actually quite a bit more.
AutoHotKey is a scripting engine that allows one to do quite a bit in addition to merely assigning hot-keys. One can record macros and assign those to a hot-key. One can assign blocks of text to a hot-key and have it automatically inserted into emails, newsletters, etc. One can create an email template, manage files, do backups, and a myriad of other things. My desktop often gets cluttered with icons because I am bad at organizing them. I no longer have any icons on my desktop. All of my downloads are installed into a folder that can be opened with couple of key strokes. Yeah, I know, it would probably be quicker to download it to my desktop, then just click on it. The point is, I am forced to keep downloads in one place. I have a hot-key assigned to my documents folder so that I can automatically move documents directly into the documents folder. My IDE's, word processors, etc., are all remapped to the f keys.
Creating a script can be pretty simple. Once AutoHotKey is installed, right clicking in any directory, selecting new, and then AutoHotKey script will open a template in notepad that is easily edited. All one needs to do then is drop a shortcut into the startup directory, and the script will run on startup.
As an example of how simple it can be:
<b>^!f:: Run Firefox</b>
assigns alt-ctrl f to open firefox. If I wanted to get a bit fancier, I could do the following:
<b>^!f:: Run http:\\www.groovicus.com</b>
would open firefox to this page. In actuality, I use alt-1, alt-2, alt-3, etc. to open my most frequently viewed pages, but you get the idea.
One other feature that I like is that the script can be compiled into an executable and run on other machines. Since my laptop configuration is virtually identical to my desktop, I can easily transfer the executable over and keep the same key combinations on both machines. The built in error checking is great also since it shows the line that is throwing the error.My Script