AHK developing a GUI script tool & Cursor Highlighter

I’ve been fossiking for AHK scripts that are of some use. There are some simple hot key actions, such as Date/Time and some other ones such as opening multiple websites and making Button URL links. I’ve been gathering them together, and I wanted some way to have them accessible without having to remember all the hotkeys I’d assigned to them, as I do not envisage using many on a day to day basis, but I would like them “to hand”.

Popup GUI list

I came across a script that pops up a GUI list and started to transfer a lot of the useful scripts across onto that. Once the script ran it stayed in background until you pressed F1 key and then the popup box came up in top left side.

That was good, it is a handy way to have a list of scripts/items that you want, but only need to pull them up when you need them.

Linking script to another for auto-load

I linked the script to my KEYs.ahk script, which is the main one I load for hotkeys for email addresses etc using #include. So this one loads and sits in background until the F1 key is pressed, then the pop-up window appears, Always on Top, so handy when you are hopping between programmes (eg Browser for URL to copy and Email you want to paste URL button into).

Tooltips and GUI buttons instead of GUI list

There is a brief description of what the items in the list do by their names. But when I thought about it , having tooltips to tell you what the list items do would be handy, the thinking being, I wouldn’t use them too frequently so may need extra info on how to use them.

When looking for how to make tooltips with AHK GUI’s I came across another script that did tooltips, but with buttons. So , instead of a list, I decided to adjust the script to buttons.

The problem with the buttons, is that when you go to click on the button you have come out of the programme that you want the action to occur for say text , eg Notepad++ or Email, so the script does not actually run in those programmes as you’ve moved the mouse across to the popup to press the button (this didn’t seem to happen with the list).

added hotkeys to buttons

So I added hotkeys 1 to 9 to buttons and “x” to exitapp. These sort of work. The code I took this from needed #IfWinActive, Tasks to operate, but I changed that to #IfWinExist,ย Tasks so that I could have my cursor in other programmes (otherwise it only works when you are in active Window with the buttons (not that much use). This then disabled the number keys and “x” working in text programmes, so you need to close programme to get these keys back.

Also another issue is the window was Win always on Top, so when I pressed the 1 key I initially had Open URL tabs assigned to that, so it would suddenly open all 10 tabs, so I’d have to go and manually close them all again, a bit irritating.

Another issue, on exiting app, it was no longer available, so you’d have to restart the app each time, run one item then it would completely shut down. That was not my intention.

WinHide instead of ExitApp

The solution to shutting down the app was to use WinHide, this closed the GUI but the script would still be running in the background and could be brought to the fore again with the F1 key. This allowed the number keys to be used in text fields “AS LONG AS GUI WIN is NOT SHOWING”.

Some of the scripts can run, then at the bottom you can add WinHide and it closes the GUI window, others, like Cycle through Explorers you cant use that, so you have to hide the Gui window separately. For most of the others I’ll use winhide at the end. So generally , apart from Cycle through open Explorer files the pop up will hide after doing action. So this should suffice.

To stop the opening of lots of tabs when using the 1 button when the Gui was active I rearranged the buttons. So 1 is now hide window, so should help a bit.

Cursor Highlighter script

I use OBS for my vids so finding a highlighter to show where the cursor is is handy. I found this video with a demo for using it in OBS:

You can download the AHK script here. It is from Boisvert Lab website.

It sits in your tray and has some quite good settings such as “Focus”. You can change size, colour & transparency of highlighter too.

End comment

Gui script tool

I saw a few other tools, in fact, the Quick Access Popup will most probably do this for me. Another I saw was a generic one called DockIt that you could add items to.

So this one is a bit limited, but I built it from cobbling small items of code together to get something that I wanted. I just need to remember the F1 key.

I’m pleased with its development, a bit too bespoke, but some good learning, and a good place to cluster bits of code that I use, but mainly infrequently. It may help when I’m doing some Revit stuff, although the PieKeys is possibly the better method for that.

Its given me a bit of confidence in developing a tool, being able to make it additive, so adding features as I go along, and the de-bugging issues that have arisen to get a functioning tool, not necessarily really robust, but robust enough for me.

I can reflect on this and maybe build it in a different way next time., or just add to it.

OBS highlighter

This is a really cool tool, and I’ll definitely be using it in my next video to try it out. There was another tool for writing and zooming on screen with hotkeys but although that was useful, it was hard to use while videoing. I may need to revisit that one as it had some nice drawing features.

Definitely looking forward to playing with this one though.