by Aug 23, 2010Tech3 comments

One of my favorite little programs is AutoHotkey. You can write nearly any macro script you can think of to perform nearly any task you do often.

I’ll give one example. I found that I was regularly having to find my tagged link for Amazon books, copy it, and paste it into a blog post or e-mail.

So I wrote a little script that would just print it out for me, and I assigned it to Alt+F10:

When I needed the link, I would go to Amazon, grab the ISBN for the book I was linking to, and manually put it where the link says “ISBNHERE.”

Then I realized that I might as well grab the ISBN first, then have AutoHotkey paste it in for me:^v/?tag=marklwardjr-20

Notice that instead of “ISBNHERE” I have “^v”—that stands for Ctrl+V, which pastes whatever’s in the clipboard into my link. So now I get this when I hit Alt+F10:

Here’s the AutoHotkey script:


I have scripts for creating em dashes and other common symbols, switching Unicode keyboards, and lots of other common tasks.

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  1. James

    And (as a good friend told me once before) Spark is a great program for the same functions on a Mac – assign shortcut keys to text strings, AppleScripts, application shortcuts, etc.

  2. Mark L Ward Jr

    Right! I like Spark, too! It has a much nicer user interface, like almost all Mac OSX programs.

  3. Jeremiah

    On OSX,
    option – = – (en dash)
    option shift – = — (em dash)
    option ; = … (ellipsis)

    That’s with a standard keyboard layout, of course.