Macros for Windows

Find macro’s useful? I do, but I wish I could use macro’s anywhere, not just in one program. Enter AutoHotkey. This is a free and open source utility that allows you to create macro’s that will run anywhere in Windows.

For example, I’ve got a macro that activates when I type “gc<space><space>” – that’s my shortcut for GMail Compose. I can be editing a document, at a command line, anywhere just about, type that in and it takes out those four characters, and fires up my GMail Compose email windows for me. I find this useful as I’ll be working on something and find that I need to ask someone a question or update them on the progress, so rather than change programs or windows, I just type in “gc  ” and a new email windows pops straight up, I’m able to type up the email, click send and I’m done, back to the program I was in to start with.

There are plenty of other short cuts you can create for yourself, the AutoHotkey site contains a number of examples.

Sheepdog rounds up windows

One of the tools I’ve found very useful is SheepDog. Like the real world sheep dogs, it rounds things up, in this case stray windows.

Working with a laptop, I often plugin a second monitor, however, when I next fire up the laptop, windows may open up but not be visible on my laptop screen, they ‘remember’ that they were placed on the second screen, which is no longer connected. SheepDog rounds them up and moves them back to my primary monitor.

If you’re using a laptop or netbook, I recommend you take a look at it.