• Become a Power user Intro to AutoHotkey Intermediate AutoHotkey Intermediate Objects GUIs are Easy w/AutoHotkey Painlessly switch from V1 to V2

AutoHotkey FAQs: Discover the simple answers to your AutoHotkey questions! [updated in 2023]


AutoHotkey FAQAutoHotkey FAQs / AutoHotkey Frequently Asked Questions

What is AutoHotkey?

AutoHotkey is a free, open-source scripting language for Windows that allows users to automate repetitive tasks in a fast and efficient manner.

How do I get started with AutoHotkey?

To get started with AutoHotkey, you can download the latest version of the software from the official website and install it on your computer. You can then create a new script by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting “New > AutoHotkey Script” from the context menu.

How do I write a script in AutoHotkey?

AutoHotkey scripts are written in a simple, easy-to-learn syntax. You can use the “Send” command to send keystrokes and mouse clicks to the active window, or use the “Hotkey” command to bind a specific action to a key or combination of keys. You can also use variables, loops, and conditional statements to create more complex scripts.  AutoHotkey uses very clear words to describe what it will do.

How do I run a script in AutoHotkey?

To run an AutoHotkey script, simply double-click on the script file. The script will automatically be loaded into memory and will remain active until you exit the script or log off your computer. You can also use the AutoHotkey tray icon to pause, reload, or exit the script.

Can AutoHotkey be used for malicious purposes?

Like any tool, AutoHotkey can be used for good or evil purposes. However, AutoHotkey is not inherently malicious and is often used for legitimate purposes such as automating tasks, creating custom keyboard shortcuts, and controlling media players. It is important to use AutoHotkey responsibly and to always obtain the necessary permissions before using the tool to automate tasks on someone else’s computer.  This tool helps you evaluate AutoHotkey scripts

Is AutoHotkey only available for Windows?

Yes, AutoHotkey is only available for Windows. However, there are other similar tools that are available for other operating systems, such as Hammerspoon (for MacOS) and AutoKey (for Linux).

How do I get help with AutoHotkey?

There are several resources available for getting help with AutoHotkey:

Can AutoHotkey be used to create graphical user interfaces (GUIs)?

Yes, AutoHotkey can be used to create simple graphical user interfaces (GUIs) with buttons, text boxes, and other UI elements. You can use the “GUI” command to create a GUI and the “Control” command to add UI elements to the GUI. You can then use the “GUI, Show” command to display the GUI and the “GUI, Add, Control” command to add UI elements to the GUI.  Check out our amazing GUIs are easy course

Can AutoHotkey be used to interact with web pages?

Yes, AutoHotkey can be used to interact with web pages through its built-in “ComObject” functionality. You can use the “ComObject” command to create a COM object and the “ComObjActive” command to activate the object. You can then use the object’s methods and properties to interact with the web page.

In this webinar we discuss 9 ways to Web Scrape with AutoHotkey

How do I debug a script in AutoHotkey?

AutoHotkey includes a built-in debugger that allows you to step through your script line by line and inspect the values of variables. To use the debugger, you can use the “Debug” command to set a breakpoint in your script, and then use the “Debug” command again to start the debugger. You can then use the “Step” command to execute the script one line at a time, and use the “Print” command to output the values of variables to the console.

Can AutoHotkey be used to create standalone executables?

Yes, AutoHotkey can be used to create standalone executables that can be run on any Windows computer without the need for AutoHotkey to be installed. To create a standalone executable, you can use the “Ahk2Exe” tool that is included with the AutoHotkey installation. This tool allows you to select your script and any additional files that your script may depend on, and then creates a standalone executable file that contains everything needed to run your script.

How do I include external libraries in my AutoHotkey script?

AutoHotkey does not have a built-in mechanism for including external libraries in your script. However, you can use the #Include directive to include the contents of another script file in your script. You can then use the functions and variables defined in the included script as if they were part of your script.

Can AutoHotkey be used to create games?

While AutoHotkey is not primarily designed for game development, it is possible to create simple games or game-like applications using AutoHotkey. You can use the built-in “Gui” command to create a window and draw graphics, and use the “SetTimer” command to create a game loop. You can also use the “SoundPlay” command to play sounds and the “PixelGetColor” command to detect user input through mouse clicks or keyboard presses.  Hellbent creates a lot of games with AutoHotkey on his CiveReborn YouTube channel.

How do I use AutoHotkey to automate tasks in other applications?

AutoHotkey can be used to automate tasks in other applications by using its built-in “WinActivate” and “ControlSend” commands. The “WinActivate” command activates a window, and the “ControlSend” command sends keystrokes and mouse clicks to the active window. You can use these commands to simulate user input and automate tasks in other applications.  Here I cover 17 ways to automate programs in AutoHotkey 

How do I install AutoHotkey on my computer?

To install AutoHotkey on your computer, follow these steps:

Download the latest version of AutoHotkey from the official website. (If you don’t know which version is right for you, check out this video.)

  1. Double-click on the downloaded installer file to launch the AutoHotkey Setup Wizard.
  2. Click “Next” to proceed through the wizard.
  3. Select the installation directory and click “Next” to continue.
  4. Select any additional tasks or components you wish to install, such as creating desktop and start menu shortcuts, and click “Next” to continue.
  5. Review the installation summary and click “Install” to begin the installation process.
  6. Wait for the installation to complete, and then click “Finish” to exit the Setup Wizard.

AutoHotkey should now be installed on your computer and ready to use.

How do I update AutoHotkey to the latest version?

To update AutoHotkey to the latest version, follow these steps:  ( I also cover installing AutoHotkey here)

  1. Download the latest version of AutoHotkey from the official website
  2. Double-click on the downloaded installer file to launch the AutoHotkey Setup Wizard.
  3. Click “Next” to proceed through the wizard.
  4. Select the installation directory and click “Next” to continue.
  5. Select any additional tasks or components you wish to install, such as creating desktop and start menu shortcuts, and click “Next” to continue.
  6. Review the installation summary and click “Install” to begin the installation process.
  7. Wait for the installation to complete, and then click “Finish” to exit the Setup Wizard.

AutoHotkey should now be updated to the latest version.

How do I uninstall AutoHotkey from my computer?

To uninstall AutoHotkey from your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and click on “Control Panel”.
  2. In the Control Panel, click on “Programs and Features”.
  3. In the Programs and Features window, scroll down to find AutoHotkey and click on it.
  4. Click on the “Uninstall” button to begin the uninstallation process.
  5. Follow the prompts to uninstall AutoHotkey from your computer.

AutoHotkey should now be removed from your computer.

Can AutoHotkey be used to create custom hotkeys for specific applications?

Yes, AutoHotkey can be used to create custom hotkeys for specific applications through its built-in “Hotkey” command. The “Hotkey” command allows you to bind a specific action to a key or combination of keys. You can use the “IfWinActive” and “IfWinNotActive” commands to specify that the hotkey should only be active when a specific window is active or inactive.  We cover Hotkeys in our Intro to AutoHotkey course

Can AutoHotkey be used to create custom mouse gestures?

Yes, AutoHotkey can be used to create custom mouse gestures through its built-in “Gosub” and “Return” commands. The “Gosub” command allows you to jump to a specific label in your script and execute the commands there, and the “Return” command allows you to return to the point where you left off. You can use these commands to create a loop that waits for the user to perform a specific mouse gesture, and then executes a specific action when the gesture is detected.

How do I create a script that runs when I log in to my computer?

To create a script that runs when you log in to your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new script and save it to your “Startup” folder. The “Startup” folder is located at “C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”.
  2. Add your commands to the script.
  3. Save the script and close the editor.

The next time you log in to your computer, the script will automatically be loaded into memory and will remain active until you log off or exit the script.  The other option is to get our tool that will add it to your Windows Startup process for you.

How do I create a script that runs when I press a specific hotkey?

To create a script that runs when you press a specific hotkey, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new script and save it to a location of your choice.
  2. Add the following line to the top of your script: #NoTrayIcon
  3. Add the following line to bind a specific action to a hotkey: Hotkey, <Key>, <Label>
  4. Replace “<Key>” with the key or combination of keys that you want to use as the hotkey, and replace “<Label>” with the label of the action you want to execute.
  5. Add the commands for the action at the label in your script.
  6. Save the script and close the editor.

Now, whenever you press the specified hotkey, the action will be executed.  If you have keys that you don’t know what they are you can watch this video to discover the mystery key

Comments are closed.