If you frequently use computer shortcuts (like Ctrl + z), spend a lot of time copying and pasting the same things, or have files you open repeatedly in the course of a day, it might be.
This guide will take you through the basics--how to install AHK on your machine and create basic scripts--but if you need further instruction, we will include resources for those too. The website has some great instructions and explanations about the program. But for the purposes of this libguide, much of this will be glossed over.
AutoHotKey is an easy way to customize shortcut keys on your computer. It's a free program that lets you create your own customized code (known as a "script") to create shortcut keys (like CTRL + v to paste). You can create "keys" to:
As you will see them explained in this libguide, these scripts come in two main categories
Especially working in ILL and reserves, there will be a number of files you have to open repeatedly, form emails you have to send out, or phrase you have to input. AHK not only makes these tasks easier, but it keeps things consistent (and keeps you from forgetting where that file you only use twice a year lives).
I recommend making your AHK script run on startup. This way, you don't have to remember to run it every day when you come in (I spent many days wondering why a key wasn't working until I remembered I hadn't started the program yet). There's a good tutorial on how to do this here. Just remember that any time you update your script, you will need to replace it in the start folder.
If you do this, remember to pin the AHK icon (small green box with a white H) to your taskbar for ease of access to your script.
In many of my other libguides, when I talk about AHK, I usually mention something along the lines of:
But what is the shortcut key?
A shortcut key is any key that you frequently use in combination with other keys to create the AHK script. When I say shortcut key, I mean this:
It's the key just under the Esc key. And honestly, I don't think I ever used it before installing AHK. If it's a key that you frequently use, however, I recommend establishing a different shortcut key.