03/01/2005

Adding to Windows Shortcuts

Anyone remember WordPerfect 5.1? While this was an old DOS word processing programs, one of its wonderful features was the ability "macros" — a series of recorded keystrokes that could be (a) replayed at will and (b) assigned to key combinations such as Alt K.

Some of the computer tasks I do all day are just plain repetitive, and I've missed this feature greatly in Windows. For instance, I use a signature line in email (name, address, links, phone number) which is inserted by my email client into every email I write. Thing is, when responding to an email, even though I've specified that replies are to be *above* the sender's message and the cursor is duly inserted above the message, my signature lines are below. That means scrolling to the bottom to copy, and scrolling to the top to paste, for every email I respond to. Multiply this by 10-50 emails 24/7/365.

Short thread at cre8asite forums regarding few handy shortcuts for Windows — links to two programs that enable recording of macros:

quickeys.com
and
Perfect Keyboard

While it appears (at first glance) that Quickeys may be the more advanced (and expensive) of the two, it may also do more. I've just installed the trial version of Perfect Keyboard, started it up, wrote my first macro, assigned it to a keystroke, and used it in email. No more scrolling around to cut/paste signature lines. Heck, I can write different signature lines for friends/clients/whoever.

I'll be trying the other versions too.

5 Comments to "Adding to Windows Shortcuts"

  1. Tom Raftery says:

    Diane,

    you don't mention what email client application you are using – possibly try changing email apps to sort out the problem. It might be cheaper than buying macro software (Thunderbird is free, for instance)

    Tom

  2. DianeV says:

    Well, Tom … ::cough:: I've been using the Netscape4.x email client ever since I upgraded to it many years ago.

    I'm playing around with Thunderbird right now, but am not looking forward to importing the 1Gig+ email I have in NS4. The other thing I found a little disconcerting is that *all* email accounts are shown in one window; I'm thinking that that's an accident waiting to happen.

  3. teli says:

    Actually – with Thunderbird, you can seperate email accounts during the set up process by unchecking the "use Global folder" button (I don't remember the exact steps there) and then each account will have it's own folder.

  4. DianeV says:

    Ah, okay. I missed that. Actually, I quite like the program other than that — and it allows you to paste screenshots right into email (rather than going the whole Photoshop route). I'll have a go at the reinstall this weekend. Thanks to you both!

  5. DianeV says:

    I've been using PerfectKeyboard for a month, and purchased it after the trial ran out.

    Thing is, the recorded macros run on Windows, which means they are (conceivably) accessible from within any program running on Windows. I've also found that pauses can be included within the macros, which pretty much sealed the deal for me. For instance, I might like something like this for typing URLs into web pages, forums or a blog:

    <a href="pause" target="_blank">pause</a>

    I've found that you can also use the Windows Ctrl V (paste) operation within the macro — for instance, while it is pausing — which makes posting URLs faster.

    I've just barely touched this program, but I'm finding it a great help in automating keystrokes. Either that, or I'm easily amused. Or both.

Have your say ...

First-time comments will be held for moderation (but comments are appreciated). Otherwise, just be courteous. If your name is a bunch of keywords, your comment will be deleted. Don't post links unless highly pertinent. Posters must be 16 or older.

Manage your subscriptions

Archives
© 2004-2017 DianeV Web Design Studio. All Rights Reserved.
34 queries. 0.232 seconds.