AutoHotkey webinar: Connect to running scripts from Explorer Context Menu

Video Hour 1:  High Level: Connect to running scripts from Explorer Context Menu

  1. Context menus at work
    1. Quick Access Popup real life example
  2. Pieces of the puzzle (Here is a link to the below files)
    1. Receiver (script or compiled): Receiver.ahk
    2. Messenger (compiled): Messenger.exe
    3. Testing at command line: Test.bat
    4. Setup context menus: RegEdit import InstallContextMenus.reg
    5. Remove context menus: RemoveContextMenus.bat
    6. Questions

Video Hour 2: Coding and Q&A

Script Highlight: Random code generator.ahk by Maestrith (Author of AHK Studio)

  • Generate a list of random characters
  • Control what is in the unique list
  • How many unique “Keys” are generated
#SingleInstance,Force
Random:=[],Dup:=[],Items:=[]
for a,b in StrSplit("0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz") ;put whatever characters you want in here
	Random.Push(b) ;Add each character to Random Array
InputBox,Count,How Many Codes,How Many Codes do you want?
InputBox,Length,How Long For Each Code,How Long?
While(Items.MaxIndex()<Count){ ;Keep iterating until you have enough "keys"
	Out:=""  ;Clear out variable
	while(StrLen(Out)<Length){
		Random,Digit,0,% Random.MaxIndex() ;keep max lenght of random at right level
		Out.=Random[Digit] ;append the Random digit to out.
	}
	if(!Dup[Out])
		Items.Push(Out),Dup[Out]:=1 ;Add key to object
}
for a,b in Items ;Iterate over list
	Total.=b "`n" ;Add to total with new line

msgbox % Clipboard:=Total

AutoHotkey webinar- Intro to GUIs

In this AutoHotkey Webinar we covered: Introduction to GUIs  (Here is a link to scripts shared during the webinar)

Video Hour 1:  High Level:

  • Why you should create a GUI
  • Pros / Cons about Using a GUI
  • Pros / Cons about Programming a GUI
  • Rules of Thumb / Tips
  • Overview of various GUIs available in AutoHotkey
  • Resources: Tutorials & Tools for building GUIs

Video Hour 2: Coding and Q&A

Script Highlight: TaskDialog from just me and TaskDialog Creator from


When should you consider a GUI

  • Help select from a list of items that changes frequently
  • Use dropdowns , radio buttons, etc. to control what can be selected
  • Target audience using the tool is non-tech savvy
  • The list you want to choose from is available progromatically (files in folder, different accounts, etc)
  • You want to display data and be able to sort by columns keeping the rows intact
  • You want to lock-down use of the tool
  • You want to make sure certain values/fields get updated (tags for an email, subject line, etc)
  • Your code is long and key data points that you change are mixed throughout the script
  • Dealing with Images / Video files- Preview of image helps humans classify what “it” is

Pros / Cons of Using GUIs

Pros of Using GUIs

  • Non-programmers can do a lot while knowing little
  • Color / Animation can ease functionality / Usage
  • Graphics can convey data
  • Build in ways to reduce errors
  • input box for path, etc
  • “wizard” can be a template for end-user

Cons of Using GUIs

  • Non-programmers can do a lot while knowing little (make sure you build-in safeguards*)
  • Not as flexible / can typically only do what has been defined by designer
  • Manually have to repeat process each use
  • Poorly designed UI can be very painful

* Hawaii Missile-Alert Crisis


Pros / Cons of Programming GUIs

Pros of Programming GUIs

  • Can “lock down” interaction (have drop-downs, radio buttons, etc. ) with specific commands (instead of free-form typing by user)
  • Can reduce errors / mistakes by limiting options

Cons of Programming GUIs

  • Users can do actions, in any order, at any time (Not procedural)
  • Different screen resolutions
  • Various input (Mouse, Keyboard, touch,etc.)

Rules of Thumb / Tips

  • KISS- As they say, “less is more”.
  • Use Tabs to help separate tasks
  • Always “destroy” the GUI before you create it (yes, even the first time)
  • Name your GUIs
  • Label your inputs with pre-selected text or text control (e.g. edit fields)
  • Keep your design-focus on the End-User
  • Remember GUIs are EVENT driven (not linear – user can start “anywhere”)
  • Listviews & Treeviews- Disable redraw, Put in new info, Enable redraw
  • Build-in safeguards against users making mistakes

Quick Demonstrations  (See this file for the scripts)

  • Input box (multiple edit fields)
  • Tabs, Checkboxes, Radio Buttons
  • Resizable Edit
  • ListView
  • TreeView
  • DropdownList, ComboBox, Context sensitive help
  • On-Screen Display
  • Installation / Progress Bar
  • Editor with Menu bar
  • Menus

Tutorials

Use HTML & CSS in your GUIs by JoeDF

Tools

AutoHotkey Merchandise-White Stress ball


Report Generation- Crank out automated reports!

report generation

Report Generation

In market research I would very frequently have to crank out a ton of different versions of reports for a given study.  In the corporate world, like it or not, PowerPoint is still king.  🙁   By building a generic template I was able to drastically speed-up my report generation.

Setting up the template takes a little time at first however, in the long run, it will save you an amazing amount of time!

There is a lot more I automated however having a flexible template is always a great place to start!

Autocorrect replace text- Use abbreviations to automate writing!

autocorrect replace text

AutoHotkey Merchandise-White Stress ballAutocorrect replace text

Hotstrings from AutoHotKey are an amazing time saver! If you’re not using them now, stop what you’re doing because they are very easy to use and save you a lot of time on a daily basis!

You’ve probably used Microsoft Word’s autocorrect to replace misspellings or perhaps the Copyright sign ©.   Imagine if, instead of replacing one word, you could replace three pre-defined letters with paragraphs of text!   Simply one of the best ways to crank-up your productivity in a very short time!

Another video I did demonstrating the usefulness of Hotstrings can be seen here where I demonstrate how I use it with SPSS to crank-out reports.

 

Ms-office – Word – Use AutoText Or Don’tIt’s Your Choice Tutorials

AutoCorrect’s “Replace text as you type” feature is great for fixing typos, but you can save much more time by creating AutoCorrect entries for text items that you …