I hope 2️0️2️2️ is treating you well. Other than a stomach bug🦟, things are plugging along with me. 😊 What are you working on? Are you blocking out time 📅on a regular basis to automate the mundane? I highly recommend you block at least 2 hours a week to be learning something new that will improve your life. AutoHotkey is an amazing tool but, of course, there are plenty of other things that can help you improve your situation (which is what you’re doing every time you write a new AutoHotkey script!)
Have you added AutoHotkey to your LinkedIn profile? It’s a great way to signal employers, head-hunters, etc. that you’re working smarter, not harder. I’d also add some key words like “Robotics Process Automation” and “Desktop Automation”. While you’re there, if you’ve worked through Udemy courses, you should add the certification to your profile. BTW- I currently have 16,584 1st-level LinkedIn connections (!1,200 of which have AutoHotkey in their profile). Are YOU one of them %name%? If not, be sure to connect with me as it will increase your reach and visibility. On another channel I have a playlist discussing how/why to rock LinkedIn.
Using Fiddler to assist your Web Scraping🕷️
Do you struggle with web scraping? I’ve found using Fiddler to monitor your network traffic is a great way to discover what is really going on “behind the scenes”. I have a lot of other tutorials and videos on using Fiddler (not to mention a couple of scripts to convert your fiddler code to API calls in AutoHotkey.
Using a SetTimer to mimic multi-threading🧵
You’re probably aware that AutoHotkey_L is a single-thread environment. In this video I review how to use a set-timer to mimic multi-threading. Incidentally, AutoHotkey_H is multi-threaded! You can learn more about it from these videos.
A few weeks back I shared this video which was an archive I had with Maestrith and HellBent discussing how to adapt a script to
utilize the magic of ActiveX 😲. When I found that video I also found another series with
the three of us. In this video we’re discussing using objects and classes. It’s just part 1 but it did have some good discussions about using Objects. If y’all enjoy it I’ll work through the other videos and try and release them as well.
I know they’re not “sexy” but, in my opinion, HotStrings are the lowest hanging fruit for everyone!
You might not think much of them but you really should! Here I demo some of the basics of using HotStrings.
We do have a Udemy course on them and you can get a discount here.
AutoHotkey New File Template
Do you frequently right-click in Explorer and create a “new” AutoHotkey file? Wouldn’t it be nice to set that template to have what you want? In this video I show where that file is stored and how to adjust it.
Shutting down your email is one of my favorite ways to get more done! Let your clients (and boss) know that you’re only going to respond to emails during certain hours and then stick to it! We’ve all got hot-spots where we’re very productive. This is NOT the time to be replying to emails! Personally I’m most productive about 1 hour after I wake up. I try and take the first hour to do something that I could “do in my sleep”.
Email is often one of those things so I often reply to emails while I’m having coffee and waking up. Then, when my brain is “fired up” I shut down email and focus on things that require a clear head. Later, right before lunch, I’ll open up my email again and do ~30 minutes of emails. Then shut it down again until the late afternoon. You can easily adapt this to your preferences but I guarantee you you’ll get much more done on a given day!
January 13th, 2022 – January AutoHotkey Newsletter
Is 2022 going the way you wanted? I saw a video the other day and it reminded me of how my colleagues would react when I’d show them some of my AutoHotkey scripts. I’d then spend ~1 hour showing them how simple it is to start using AutoHotkey. The vast majority people would thank me, profusely, for the demo and then go on their merry way (never bothering to spend any time to Learn AutoHotkey. %Name%, I hope you realize that YOUare not one of these people! It’s one of the best things I realized about other AutoHotkey users. We’re all long-term thinkers that are willing to spend more time up front and start working Smarter, not harder.
BTW I had a good call with HellBent the other day. He’s taking an updated version of AutomateMyTask and adapting it to use his Image class so we can re-enable DPI but not have scaling issues. 😊 Hopefully I’ll have a new release in the coming weeks.
If you haven’t played with AutomateMyTask , it’s a great, simple, AutoHotkey syntax writer. You can search for images and click where it’s found, send text to edit fields and more. Here’s an Intro video.
In this video I demonstrate a Regular Expression I wrote that helps me quickly write this newsletter. When I’m writing the newsletter, I typically put in the thumbnail for the video and hyperlink to it. Unfortunately there are a LOT of formats for a YouTube video. That’s where RegEx can really help you out!
Hotkey for Pasting an Image
If you have specific images that you’d like to be able to, quickly, paste into various documents you might like this video where I show how to create a hotkey for pasting images.
Various Excel File attributes
Do you do much work with Excel? In this video I show how you can easily get, and set, many of the attributes. This can be really helpful but is definitely a “long-term” win.
Simple Flexible Resizable GUI function
While I have ways to easily dump text to SciTE, AHK Studio, and VS code, sometimes I do want to dump a lot of text into a resizable GUI. In this video I show an update to the simple GUI function I wrote (with Maestrith’s help)
One of my favorite, simple, tips is to be decisive and “touch it once” (that’s what she said…lol). The basics are, if you touch something, act on it. Don’t put things off over, and over, and over. Also don’t pickup things that you, clearly, don’t have enough time to work on. Here’s a great video going deeper.
A spot of Humor 🤣
It’s an oldie, but have you ever seen the “exploding whale” video? Back in the 70’s a whale was beached in Oregon. Their ingenious idea? Blow it up!
Quotable quotes 🗣️ 💭
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. — Mark Twain
If you’re a giver learn your limit, because takers don’t have any!
You can observe a lot by just watching — Yogi Berra
Is it just me, or did the first week of 2022 FLY by💨? Did you make any resolutions about being more productive this year? If so, what steps have you taken to ensure you meet them? Yesterday I spent a fair amount of time working through the Intro to Classes tutorial Jean Lalonde led. Of course I’m planning a video to help document my progress and help others. 😊
Speaking of Jean, A great productivity tip is to change the default icon for your Windows folder. In this video Jean and I discuss how you can change the default icon for your folder. It’s a great way to work smarter! Jean also showed me how you can apply your Quick Access Popup icon to the folder for Windows!
I was verifying phone numbers and realized I could make a short API video documenting the process with AutoHotkey. In this short video I walk you through how I did it with API calls in AutoHotkey. API calls are amazing!
Troubleshooting your scripts
When you’re automating programs, the Windows UAC (User Account Control) can be a pain in the neck! In this video I discuss how it can be, temporarily, disabled. It’s one of the first things I do when troubleshooting. That and running your script as an Admin.
Do you have something you don’t want to do? Tie an appropriate-sized reward to doing it! For instance, when I was in college I’d reward myself after studying by watching an episode of Seinfeld. I also would go shopping after a big test. You’ll re-train your brain to actually look forward to the activity!
A spot of Humor 🤣
If you’ve never seen the Crazy Hot matrix, you’re in for a real laugh! I remember the first time I watched this laughing so hard it was embarrassing!
Quick Access Popup news
I know I talk a lot about Quick Access Popup however I really think it’s one of the easiest ways for people of all skill levels to work smarter, not harder. In this video I walk through some of how I use the tool. It’s amazingly powerful for both non-AutoHotkey users and those of us that are developing tools in AutoHotkey (or other languages)!
The Magic of ActiveX
In case you missed it, this tutorial with Maestrith 🧙♂️ and HellBent is a great one showing how you can simplify your GUI using an ActiveX GUI. Even if you’re not building GUIs,
it’s always fun to sit-back and watch Maestrith get his groove on!
Quotable quotes 🗣️
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
Put systems in place that will allow ordinary people to do extraordinary things — Joe Glines
I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. — Thomas Jefferson
Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours. — Yogi Berra
Notes from Create and connect to new Chrome profiles with AutoHotkey
00:09 There’s been a lot of confusion on Chrome profiles. What they are, why you should concern yourself with them when using AutoHotkey.
00:23 Your Chrome profile is what keeps you logged into websites, connected to Google, etc. Most of the time you won’t need access to your entire Chrome profile. But you might want to start with a blank slate if you’re distributing your code to people. Or you want to create a new instance of Chrome that you don’t want attached to an existing Chrome tab. For any of those, you need to have a Chrome profile
01:17 This is because most people don’t have the remote debugging flag on their default shortcut. If you launch chrome with debugging code, it will automatically group it with the current process window.
02:38 So instead of spawning a new Chrome window that is listening to the debug window, it will open a new page on the existing Chrome instance without the debugging access (even though you specified debugging)
02:52 So in order to get Chrome to open a new instance, you need to use the Chrome profile.
03:51 Create a folder (name it what you want) and tell Chrome to use it the profile flag. “–user data-dir” with your directory i.e. “–user data-dir-C:\temp\newProfile”
05:18 Looking in the profile folder, you can see Chrome has generated a bunch of files. Things like Cookies, browser history, etc. Everything Chrome remembers…
05:47 If you’re targeting portable Chrome, making sure you have this profile set correctly can be a big deal! If you use AutoHotkey to launch portable Chrome, it might still load the default profile. Make sure you specify the Chrome profile!
07:32 Everywhere you would have used Chrome. In your script, use ChromeInst. (i.e. Instead of Chrome.GetPage use ChromeInst.GetPage.
07:32 That tells Chrome to look for this new / specific instance of Chrome instead of the default version. Remember, it’s only “new” right after you make it.
Here we continue with GeekDude working with Chrome and AutoHotkey extracting data from a webpage. This session we focus on getting lists and leverage JSON, Chrome.Jxon_Dump, JSON.stringify, Chrome.Jxon_Load and jQuery.
The great news is that GeekDude explained how we can see the Reddit site the way it was the below video!