AutoHotKey is one of the best Windows automation programs that can perform the simplest of actions to the hardest of tasks. In case you don’t know, AutoHotKey is a free and open-source program which uses its own scripting language to automate any of your daily Windows tasks. Even though the “scripting language” sounds intimidating, it is very easy to use, and you can do all sorts of cool things.
Let me share my favorite and most-used AutoHotKey scripts which make my daily tasks a little bit easier and that may help you.
Before starting, I assume that you already know how to install and configure AutoHotKey. Moreover, please note that the lines starting with
; are comments.
1. Repurpose Those Function Keys
Most of us hardly ever use the function keys on our keyboard, except for F2 (rename), F5 (refresh), and F11 (full screen in the browser). Using AutoHotKey, you can repurpose those unused functions to do a variety of things like launching web pages, launching programs, etc. For instance, I use the function keys to launch my most used programs like Snagit, Sublime Text, Photoshop, Calculator, Thunderbird, etc.
To launch a program, simply use the script below. Don’t forget to replace the program path with your favorite program.
;Launch Sublime Text F7::Run "C:\Program Files\Sublime Text 2\sublime_text.exe" return
2. Open Webpages Quickly
Just like launching your favorite programs, you can create your own custom shortcuts to launch your favorite websites. For instance, I use “Ctrl + Shift + T” to launch MakeTechEasier. Use the following script to launch your favorite web page. Don’t forget to replace the web address with your favorite site.
; Launch MakeTechEasier ^+t::Run "www.maketecheasier.com" ; use ctrl+Shift+t return
Just like the one above, you can create you own shortcuts using a combination of ctrl(^), shift(+), alt(!), and win(#) keys.
3. Open Favorite Folders
Along with opening web pages and programs, you can also open your most-used folders with just a simple shortcut. For instance, most of us access the Downloads folder often, and to make it easier we can use a simple script like the one below. You can customize the script to change the shortcut and the folder path according to your needs.
; Open Downloads folder ^+d::Run "C:\Users\Vamsi\Downloads" ; ctrl+shift+d return
4. Move Up a Folder in File Explorer
When you are in a folder, you often need to move up one folder. In previous versions of Windows, the backspace key has done the job. But now the backspace key moves you back in history. This is useful to many, but I still hate to click on that little icon to move up a folder. So I use the below script to move up a folder by clicking the middle mouse button.
If you want to, you can also reconfigure the useless tilde (~) key on your keyboard to do the same action.
5. Adjusting Volume
Even though it doesn’t have any multimedia keys, I love my keyboard, but the lack of volume control buttons is a bit uncomfortable for me. So I use the following script to control the volume of my system.
6. Set Default State of Lock Keys
Using AutoHotKey, you can easily set the default or permanent state of the lock keys on our keyboard. e.g. Caps Lock to be turned off, Num Lock to be turned on and Scroll Lock to be turned off. This simple script is so helpful, and even if you press them accidentally, the lock state won’t change.
7. Reconfigure Caps Lock
After turning off the Caps Lock, you might want to reconfigure it to act as the Shift key. To reconfigure the Caps Lock key, use the below script.
; Caps Lock acts as Shift Capslock::Shift return
8. Empty Recycle Bin
You can use the below script to quickly empty the trash bin. This simple script saves me from using my mouse to do that same task.
; Empty trash #Del::FileRecycleEmpty ; win + del return
9. Window Always on Top
Sometimes you just want a window to be always on top no matter which window you are working on or is in focus. For instance, when working on a spreadsheet, you might access the calculator app frequently and having it on top of the spreadsheet is quite handy. Using AutoHotKey, you can easily do this with a single line of code.
; Always on Top ^SPACE:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A ; ctrl + space Return
The script was originally published by labnol.
10. Temporarily Suspend AutoHotKey
The shortcuts created using AutoHotKey may sometimes interfere with some programs. In those cases you can temporarily disable AutoHotKey using the below script. Of course, if you don’t want to use a shortcut, then simply right-click on the AutoHotKey icon in the taskbar and select the option “Suspend Hotkeys.”
; Suspend AutoHotKey #ScrollLock::Suspend ; Win + scrollLock return
As you can see, all the scripts shared above are basic but do make things easier. Besides the easy stuff, you can do all sorts of complicated things like automatically send emails, manage programs, automate certain Windows tasks, automatically correct spellings, etc.
I hope the above scripts help you. If you are using AutoHotKey, then do share your favorite scripts in the comments form below. I’m so looking forward to it.