What is AutoHotkey?

Joe Glines
A free video tutorial from Joe Glines
AutoHotkey expert / Robotics Process Automation Guru
4.7 instructor rating • 5 courses • 4,596 students

Lecture description

In this session I talk to things that you can automate with AutoHotkey.  In truth, there is little that cannot, with enough effort, be automated.  Having said that, I touch on the "big ideas" that can save a ton of time.

Learn more from the full course

Intro to AutoHotkey / How to hack your Windows PC with AHK

Take your first step in learning how to easily Automate your Windows PC with AutoHotkey! Desktop Automation

05:15:25 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • All the basics of Installing and using AutoHotkey to automate your Windows PC
  • What Desktop Automation / Robotics Process Automation is and where AutoHotkey fits in it
  • How to Automate tasks on your Windows computers
  • How to hack your computer and make better use of time management
  • How to work smarter, not harder and get more done in less time with this free desktop support tool
  • How and why AutoHotkey is the best alternative to: Powershell, AutoIt, iMacros and JavaScript
  • Which version of AutoHotkey they should use
  • Which Editor / IDE to start with
English [Auto] What is auto hockey. It's a scripting language tool that was created by Chris mallet. Chris was a developer for auto it and so auto hotkeys is basically a fork of it. Back in 2003 he had some directions. He thought it should go the auto it community decided that they didn't want to go that direction and so he created this. And it's a wonderful thing he did because after that auto it became no longer open source it's closed source. You don't have to pay for it but you can't just distribute it without doing some other stuff. There are other tools out there for doing both desktop automation and server based automation and like automation anywhere UI path and a blue prism. All three of those they I think at least two of them offer a free license version to to a minimum use. But many of them cost ten thousand dollars per license and so for every app or they call it bought robot that you create. You have to have a separate license and then also if you have a you know if you have one for the development you can. You'd have to have one for both development and then for your actual live implementation. So for one bot that's like 20 grand. So as you can see it's price wise it's great with auto hockey right it's free. You can't sell the quote unquote auto hockey script it's the source code. But if you compile the script a lot of hockey or you share your your your scripts with other people that's no problem at all. I do want to emphasize here though both Russians have both UI automation automation and where UI path blue prism. All of those are gooey based. And so you have drag and drop things. Now that was done purposely to try to make it easier for people to pick up and to use so people can come in and write a script like we'll have a programmer come in here lay it out. Now I should say program because not programmers are that much more understanding with the process of things and so they come in and they lay out how the scripts going to work and then the idea is that people will stay behind. I'm sorry people at the company that they've developed at one of them will be dedicated to keeping it updated and tweaking it. Having said that it usually doesn't happen right. They end up having to hire out back to the original company that did it because not many people in the office actually picked this up. So yes the coding programming side of things takes a little longer than just using a gooey however once you get used to it. I find it much much faster when I've looked at other things compared to like automation anywhere or UI path I can do stuff on auto hotkey in seconds whereas for that it takes you know can take a while of course it depends on how much of a library you have and whatnot as well. The scripts themselves are text files and so you can open them in Notepad or any thing that I read a text file. I'm going to demonstrate here in a couple of minutes. The editors will use after we install it. It can be run without being installed so you can actually have the executable like on a thumb drive and then launch it from there. But it is easy you can right click and copilot and so we'll demonstrate that here in a minute. But that's that's the gist of what hockey is it's a tiny file itself it's I think about a make it a half super small and then each of your scripts depending on how many lines they are they generally speaking they're still under a meg. Right. I don't think I have any other over a mag so they're very small lightweight. The thing is for the most part auto hotkey it has some core stuff itself but it's really leveraging a lot of stuff built into windows through that Windows API. So a lot of the viewers you use the list boxes the previews those are all actually leveraging the the windows api. And so it doesn't have this big overhead that other programs might have. Python I know can be much larger in also Python when you install it and other scripting languages like that don't necessarily come with a core and you have to download all these libraries. You'll definitely be working with libraries and hockey at some point but it's not nearly as frequent of an issue as it is with some other languages. Cheers.