Alright, so let’s say you have a programmable keyboard and you have a lot of spare keys that still have no use other than for gaming purposes (MMO’s, etc), then you can easily use Autohotkey to assign useful shortcuts
The Software: Pre-Requisites
1. Step You obviously need a programmable keyboard, I suggest to buy the G510 from Logitech, which is 80 bucks on Amazon right now
2. Step The software you need for the G510 Logitech keyboard can be downloaded here
3. Step You will also need a copy of Autohotkey which you can grab here
If you own a different programmable keyword, get the drivers and software from the manufacturer’s site
Let’s start with preparing Autohotkey. You should know a little about it, if you don’t you may want to read our different articles on this subject here: Getting Started With Autohotkey
1. Step When you’re done installing it, right-click on the green tray icon and click on Edit this Script.
2. Step At the very top insert this, change the string to something you type a lot, like every day
String1 = /this/is/a/path/I/use/a/lot
SendInput % String1
3. Step Hit CTRL + S to save the text file and do not forget to re-load the script (right-click on tray icon again => reload)
4. Step The important code you also may want to modify is the ^1:: – the ^ stands for CTRL and 1 for the key 1 – do not remove the ::, they are required to make this function work.
What we’re doing here is tell Autohotkey to send the String1 whenever we hit CTRL + 1. You can modify that and change CTRL to ALT (! is the character for ALT)
Prepare Logitech Software
1. Step Open the Logitech Gaming Software and switch to the keyboard menu
2. Step Select a button you want to assign a keystroke to – in this case I assigned new strokes to G15 and G18, the keys closest to CTRL.
3. Step Assign CTRL + 1, CTRL + 2, CTRL + 3 or other keystrokes to the G buttons
Copy and Paste More Strings
Back in the Autohotkey text file, we can now copy and paste the existing code and add even more keystrokes like the ones we already added in the Logitech software (CTRL + 2,3,4,etc)
Experiment a little and you can do all sorts of cool stuff with a single button. Autohotkey is not just limited to outputting Strings, it can also modify strings. String manipulation is a powerful tool in the right hands
Here’s an example to spark your imagination:
Whenever I copy a picture name into the clipboard, my Autohotkey script modifies the string and appends the HTML tags. That way I never ever have to type HTML tags again. This saved me countless hours over the past years and if you’re serious about productivity, I suggest you do something similar!