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Using AutoHotKey For Windows Macro Recording

Posted by nik on May 6, 2010

Something that old-school Windows users remember is the “Recorder” program in Windows 3.1, as in the macro recorder:

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(image credit)

This was a very short-lived but very useful program as it had the ability to record keystrokes and mouse clicks into a script and then be run later at any time. After Windows 3.1 this program disappeared, and people missed it dearly.

AutoHotKey is the ultimate solution to programming macros in Windows. Not only does it work a million times better than the old 3.1 Recorder ever did, but it also has some absolutely crazy custom programming abilities. If you like macros, you will love AutoHotKey.

Some of you may say, “I can do whatever macros I need done in Excel and don’t need anything else.” Wrong. You need this. I put together a small video on using AHK that just barely scratches the surface of what it can do. Bear in mind that AHK once running can be used universally across the Windows OS. It even has the ability to compile its own scripts into EXEs! Yes, AHK is amazing.

One thought on “Using AutoHotKey For Windows Macro Recording”

Stu says:
This is ABSOLUTELY the best hotkey/macro program around!! I’ve been using it at least 5 years – that’s the age of the oldest AHK script in my ahk\scripts dir.

There’s currently 86 files in there. Anytime I do something manually three times, I automate it using AHK. It can do virtually anything. See its webpage for a description.

Here’s a sampling of my most recently updated scripts:

AutoHotKeyStu.ini
this is my main operating script. It currently has about 3,500 lines. It virtually eliminates reaching for the mouse except to draw lines and click on webpages – that’s still easier with a mouse. I can start over 20 common programs from the keyboard.

i can run my daytrading program (which is designed to be purely mouse driven) from the keyboard. Much faster than aiming a mouse.

and much more …

DayTrade.ahk
starts the program, sets its colors, opens some daytrading webpages, opens the morning comics to read with breakfast – i live on the west coast, so I’m up early.

Booting.ahk
this is the ONLY thing in my startup group. It starts everything in order and arranges windows. Checks the date and starts the daytrading program on weekdays. Easy to add and remove items.

Start_Secondary_Programs.ahk
this is called by Booting.ahk when it’s done

and so on …

ExitDDplus.ahk
test.ahk
Thunderbird_start.ahk
Firefox_start.ahk
autoHotKeystu.ini.test
DDPlus.ahk
EMA_Prints_OnOff.ahk
FixDDpCharts.ahk
Copy of AutoHotKeyStu.ini
OpenMultipleWebsite.ahk
AutoHotkey.ini
Image_All_V2.ahk
FirefoxCheck.ahk
AutoHotKeyStu.ini.bkp
FullBack_ImageW.cmd
MyDefrag.ahk
Stoch_OnOff.ahk
FanSpeedWarning.ahk
CPU_Temperature_Warning.ahk
Stoch_and_EMAs_OnOff.ahk
jkDefrag.ahk
notepadtransparent.ahk
log.txt
stdout.txt
Caller.ahk
SetUpCharts.ahk
StartEmacs.ahk
DelayShutDown.ahk
math.ahk

I would be crippled without it!!

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