We’re getting closer to AHKCon which is going to be on August 6th and 7th. Each day we’ll be starting at 10:00 a.m. EDT and going for four hours each day. If you haven’t already signed up to be notified of updates, you can do so here
To be sure we provide content that is helpful for attendees we’re making a few assumptions
You can understand English
You’ve been using AutoHotkey for 6 months (or have 1 year+ programming experience in other languages)
The Conference will be held in a Zoom Webinar and sessions will be the following two formats:
Lectures (people present a “how to” do something with AutoHotkey
Panels (a group of AHK experts discuss a given topic)
While we have a good handle on the topics for the panels, we’d really like to get you to vote on the topics for AHKCon lectures.
A long time ago the AutoHotkey forum used AutoHotkey.net to store files. Unfortunately it was hacked and the community lost a lot of great resources. While much of it was gone, people put together a nice list of scripts that were lost. In case you’ve never seen it, I made a short video and uploaded them here. Please keep in mind, I didn’t test all of the scripts in here so “Buyer beware” 💀
mySQL / ODBC connection
Have you tried to work with a SQL database but needed to get your connection string? The trickiest part to it is that, once you configure the driver / string you don’t have to do it again (it’s a “one and done” setting). So it’s easy to forget how to do it. For that reason Isaias and I made ourselves a video to document where we were getting it from for the mySQL ODBC connection. BTW I have a SQL Playlist in case you’re wanting to learn more about AutoHotkey & SQL
A while back we had a great webinar on V2️. I asked Dimitri Geerts and Isaias Baez to join me in another discussion to better understand what to look out for in V2, some of the new features, and what is most likely to trip you up. There were some really interesting things mentioned at the very end of the video. Not trying to make you stick around for the full two hours but the last 15 minutes had some things that you’ll want to know!
No matter where you live, it’s impossible to not feel the effects of gas prices & inflation! Current estimates have the rate of inflation in the US between 6-10%. That’s crazy high however, given what’s going on in the world with Ukraine / Russia, I think it’s just the beginning of sky-rocketing prices. Why? Because nearly everything is delivered by vehicles! These gas price increases are going to be driving up the prices very soon!
So why am I bitching about it in the 🅰️🇺t🇴🇭🇴tk🇪🇾 🇳ewsletter? Because I 💯% believe the best way you can get a raise 💵is to BE WORTH MORE! One of the best ways to be worth more is to invest in yourself! People that learn AutoHotkey:
Get work done faster
Are more productive
Produce fewer errors
Provide more consistent work / deliverables
Are less likely to quit
Of course employers LOVE all the above! As a direct result they try and reward them. The #1 way of doing such is to 💰 pay them more! So commit to yourself today to find ways to be worth more!
Learning AutoHotkey is just one of many ways to improve yourself! Of course the best part of this is where’s the risk? If your employer doesn’t increase you’re pay you’re STILL WORTH MORE!
In case you missed the video I did ranting about being worth more, you can see it here; it’s one of my personal favorites!
I was amazed how many people that do some coding are not aware of Regular Expressions. When I first became aware of them I thought they were neat but that I rarely had the need. But the more programs I wrote, the more I realized parsing text is a very common task to have! In this Intro to RegEx video I cover the basics. You can see my RegEx playlist here. I also highly recommend Jack Dunning’s book on RegEx. I bought it years ago and it really helped me learn them quickly and easily.
Speaking of parsing text, the other day I released a video showing both the Command StringSplit and the function StrSplit(). It’s one of the things that often confuses people new to AutoHotkey so I talk through both and why I prefer functions over commands.
MS Word Macro recorder and COM
I’ve recently made a few videos demonstrating using AHK & COM to automate MS Word. In this video I didn’t have an example to borrow from so I showed how I used the built-in Word VBA macro recorder to generate the VBA code and then adapt it to AutoHotkey COM code. COM is an amazing way to, programmatically, connect to and automate Word!
Using AutoHotkey to auto-generate numbers & delimiters
I’m not in love with how the script was implemented, but I love the idea and that he’s made a video showing how you can easily generate numbers parsed by a character. I’d make some tweaks to it but very cool to see others pushing out AutoHotkey examples!
In this AutoHotkey Expert interview I talk with a master Marketing guru that uses AutoHotkey among many other tools to automate his work. Ryan’s a super-bright and innovative guy that readily picks up any technology to solve his need.
Productivity tips ⚡️
Everybody has a time of the day that we’re “on fire”. A time when our brains are just kickin-butts and takin names. Interestingly we’re all different as to when that time is but, I’m willing to bet, you know when your time is!
The tip for this week is to make sure, during that window of time, you do the most tasking/ difficult work you have. Don’t do things you can “do in your sleep”. For me, the time is about 1 hour after I wake up. In the early afternoon I typically cool-off and then I handle things like replying to emails, etc.
When is your “take no prisoner” time?
A spot of Humor 🤣
Priceless! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used that key phrase…
Quick Access Popup news
I learned a bit last week regarding how to add a “close this menu” option to Quick Access Popup. Very easy way to make sure you don’t end up with a hung window. Note, you’ll only need this if you’ve created a hotkey to open a submenu (which I highly recommend)
Quotable quotes 🗣️ 💭
Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own. — Bruce Lee
It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit — Joe Glines
Do the hard jobs first. Easy jobs will take care of themselves. — Dale Camegie
You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six — Yogi Berra
Say “sorry” and “I love you” often and without self-consciousness — John Carlton
March is here and I’m looking forward to getting outside to take advantage of our new horseshoe pit and volleyball net. 😊
For the 🐎horseshoe pit I found a nice place that will get afternoon shade. Unfortunately, the backstop for the first one got set up a bit off-angle which would put the other side a bit out in the Sun. I could have left it but I knew, every time I’d be out there sweating, I’d be cursing myself for not doing it “right” the first time. It reminds me why I learn to use API approaches (COM, Controls, Windows Messages) over Human approaches (Sending keystrokes or mouse clicks). If you take a bit more time at the beginning you’ll be much happier with the results! While API techniques are a bit more complex, they’re also much more reliable and faster than imitating a human. If the overall concepts are confusing to you, RaptorX and I discuss it in this video. Speaking of which, Isaias Baez (RaptorX) should be back starting next Monday! 😊
The other day I was updating my AutoHotkey resources file that is in my Udemy Bonus Lectures and decided to document some of the process. In the video I cover various things I do on a regular basis. How I add tracking to the documents so I can tell what works (and what doesn’t). I even show my MS Word script for search & replacing hyperlinks.
Searching for Text across files 🔎
Are you sometimes looking for files with specific text in them? Or want to search/replace text within multiple files? GrepWin is a great FREE tool for doing just that! I recorded a short video showing how easy it is to use . I’ve used it for longer than I can remember and it’s saved my butt many times!
API Calls, Fiddler, SMS Texting and more
I was talking with Denilson Padilla about using APIs, monitoring network traffic with Fiddler and other things. Denilson is in Brazil and has a YouTube channel in Portuguese. I think we’re going to have regular calls on Monday evening so look for more videos with us discussing various AutoHotkey things. I’m considering letting others join the call (for a nominal fee). If you’re interested in being a part of this, shoot me an email.
Automating Outlook emails
In our AHK Facebook group I’ve been seeing several questions about using AutoHotkey with Outlook. I recently demonstrated how easy it is to get: Name, email, subject line, etc. but we also covered Outlook in this webinar which had several great examples. Automating Outlook with COM is an amazing!
Back in 2018 I chatted with Charlie Simmons / Tank (AutoHotkey forum admin). Tank’s got a long background in automation and used to travel around implementing Automation Anywhere. We discuss using the DOM (Document Object Model) can greatly improve your web scraping ability (and make your code more reliable). He also gives some insights to the pricing and negatives with Automation Anywhere.
A spot of Humor 🤣 – Look I’m Superman!
I was looking for an old video and stumbled upon this gem which I made ~25 years ago when I was going to college to work in TV production. The class requirement was to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) that was exactly 30 seconds long. In the video you’ll see me jumping off a roof. I’d put a couch down below but it was really hard to force myself to jump (and not land on my legs). Sorry about the quality, I honestly didn’t think I had any copies of it so I’m glad I found this one!
I had a “hung window” in Quick Access Popup the other day and asked Jean how to avoid this. He gave me a tip and I quickly added a “close this window” to my submenu. Very quick tip to avoid it! Check out the video here.
Quotable quotes 🗣️ 💭
People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. — Thomas Sowell
I will always hire a lazy person to do a hard job, because they will always find an easy way to do it — Bill Gates
A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore — Yogi Berra 🤣(with inflation these days it’s very true!)
Lead by example, not big talk. In fact, shut up until you’ve earned the right to talk by honing your chops. — John Carlton