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Author Topic: Finally, a robust keyboard shortcut app!  (Read 21334 times)
zridling
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« on: June 01, 2005, 12:48:03 AM »

Found a link on Xtort.Net today to Hot Key Plus by Brian Apps in the UK. It's freeware and is the best keyboard shortcut app I've found yet. I wrote the author for three minor improvements and hope to hear back. I had been using WinKey, which is no longer developed by Copernic. Wow!

[UPDATE]: I now use AutoHotkey exclusively for all hotkey and keyboard shortcuts on my computer.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 03:26:36 AM by zridling » Logged

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imtrobin
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2005, 01:26:32 AM »

I use http://www.hotkeymaster.com, superb tool only 5 bucks.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2005, 03:30:08 AM »

a hotkey tool review would definitely be in order soon.
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wr975
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2005, 05:58:17 AM »

I'm using

http://www.thewonderfulicon.com/ (100% Freeware, no ads, no nags, no limitations)

since many years and never found something better.

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Scott
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2005, 09:35:22 PM »

Someome, please chime in and let me know that I'm not the only absentminded nut who has no use for a hotkey utility, because he can't remember all the damned hotkey combos?  Anyone?

feedback
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
mouser
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2005, 09:37:38 PM »

hahaahah exactly.
this is why i never care about hotkey configurations.. i simply cannot rememeber them.

in truth i have a couple global hotkeys i use, but i'm definitely in the same boat as you..  thats why i wrote f&r robot, so i could type names of programs instead of hotkey combinations smiley
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Scott
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2005, 09:43:40 PM »

Thanks.  I feel better.  smiley

I use a few of the basic Windows hotkeys, and Ctrl+Num+/- to alter my volume with Sound Control, but that's all my sleep-deprived brain can handle.
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
zridling
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2005, 01:08:35 AM »

You two would have been very frustrated in the DOS days of the 1980s, especially with WordPerfect 5.1. It had a detailed set of keyboard shortcuts, once mastered, allowed you to fly when working with that word processor. Back then, keyboards were sold with plastic templates that had those keyboard shortcuts for every function key — four deep for each — that served as a visual mnemonic device. (They also sold keyboard with a second set of 12 Function keys on the left side of the keyboard. I cried the day they stopped selling those workhorses.) It wasn't long before you had memorized most of the keys, thus giving you the advantage of speed over others. I work with a minimum of 23 different programs every single day no matter what, and having keyboard shortcuts to launch them is sweet! WK (WinKey)+CTRL+B launches BlogJet and WK+V launches Visual Thesaurus, for example.

I can accurately type 85wpm on the keyboard, and almost a 100wpm with 2-5 mistakes. For folks like me, the mouse is the slowest device on my system, and taking my hands off the keyboard throws everything into slow motion by comparison. Thus the need for a hot key app on my desktop.  smiley
« Last Edit: June 02, 2005, 01:10:17 AM by zridling » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2005, 01:13:30 AM »

imtrobin, Hotkey Master is sweet, thanks for sharing!
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Scott
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2005, 02:55:48 AM »

I think it's a matter of discipline and interest.  I can't be bothered to memorize 7,500 different hotkey combinations.
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
nudone
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2005, 04:11:34 AM »

i agree with pointlessness of trying to remember hotkey combos that aren't used often enough so that you can actually remember them - the secret is to just keep them simple and obvious.

i really despise hotkeys utils that expect you to memorise a combination of keys like 'ctrl+alt+X' or 'ctrl+shift+X' or was it 'alt+shift+X', oh sorry, no it was 'ctrl+alt+shift+X' to perform a task.

just make hotkeys like 'winkey+X' - use a letter key that matches the action that is going to be done, i.e.

'winkey+x' to open explorer (or xplorer2)
'winkey+w' to open your browser (the w stands for www)
'winkey+n' for notepad (or whatever you use)
etc, etc.

the point of using the 'winkey' is that is highly unlikely to conflict with other programs that have their own set of hotkey shortcuts. plus it's easier to remember instead of trying to figure out if it was a 'ctrl' or an 'alt' key combo you were meant to be doing.

i'm sure that all sounds very patronising but that's as complicated as it needs to be. i'm also sure everyone on this forum has heard of mnemonics and that is simply how a good hotkey should work. if it isn't obvious and immediate then there is no point to it.

maybe hotkeys are something that have to be forced onto you before you start to use them regularly. like Zaine i had to learn shortcut keys to make the programs i use workable and efficient. when i first started using photoshop there were things that could only be done with key modifiers and key combinations - ties your fingers in knots sometimes.
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2005, 11:18:24 AM »

imtrobin, Hotkey Master is sweet, thanks for sharing!

No problem. Great app for 5 bucks. I registered it right away.
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2005, 12:56:15 PM »

Oooh!  So much to respond to, & so little space & time.  smiley  Let me begin with:

Quote
Posted by: zridling
You two would have been very frustrated in the DOS days of the 1980s,
I disagree.  I am an old Un*x hacker & DOS user.  In those days (1980's) DOS didn't use hotkeys.  You had to remember a whole list of commands that weren't very nmenonic at times.  I found the best way to work was to memorize the cmd names & then look up the options I needed at the time I needed them.  You COULD equate this to memorizing a list of hotkeys in today's environment.  But its kind of tenuous if you ask me.
Quote
Posted by: Scott
I think it's a matter of discipline and interest.  I can't be bothered to memorize 7,500 different hotkey combinations.
I agree in a way with this.  Memorizing was never my strong point.  Just ask my 5 kids & wife when it comes to their names.  And I've been married for 23 years!  But when you use the keys almost daily, you get to know those 7,500 keys from familiarity, not memorization.  If I might paraphrase here.  Necessity is the mother of memorization, not interest.  You could hate what your doing but still have to memorize those 7,500 keys to do your job.

Quote
Posted by: nudone
i agree with pointlessness of trying to remember hotkey combos that aren't used often enough so that you can actually remember them - the secret is to just keep them simple and obvious.

i really despise hotkeys utils that expect you to memorise a combination of keys like 'ctrl+alt+X' or 'ctrl+shift+X' or was it 'alt+shift+X', oh sorry, no it was 'ctrl+alt+shift+X' to perform a task.

just make hotkeys like 'winkey+X' - use a letter key that matches the action that is going to be done, i.e.

'winkey+x' to open explorer (or xplorer2)
'winkey+w' to open your browser (the w stands for www)
'winkey+n' for notepad (or whatever you use)
etc, etc.

the point of using the 'winkey' is that is highly unlikely to conflict with other programs that have their own set of hotkey shortcuts. plus it's easier to remember instead of trying to figure out if it was a 'ctrl' or an 'alt' key combo you were meant to be doing.

i'm sure that all sounds very patronising but that's as complicated as it needs to be. i'm also sure everyone on this forum has heard of mnemonics and that is simply how a good hotkey should work. if it isn't obvious and immediate then there is no point to it.

maybe hotkeys are something that have to be forced onto you before you start to use them regularly. like Zaine i had to learn shortcut keys to make the programs i use workable and efficient. when i first started using photoshop there were things that could only be done with key modifiers and key combinations - ties your fingers in knots sometimes.
I pretty much agree with nudone here for the reasons stated above.  I'm from the old days when mice were scarce & keyboards ruled the day.  I type 85wpm as well & don't like having to take my hands from the keyboard to move that detestable thing called a mouse.  Unfortunately, most GUI programs (which 98% of all programs are) insist on your using a mouse.  Even if they do allow hotkeys, they never allow you to solely use the keyboard.  There are always at least a half dozen or more functions that MUST be done with a mouse, & usually they're functions you use all the time.

Where I disagree with nudone is the use of the winkey.  I usually have half a dozen programs running on my PC, & almost all of them use the winkey and/or other hotkey combinations.  Many times their hotkeys conflict with 1 another because they're trying to be nmenonic.  Windows also reserves certain hotkey combinations for itself.  Thus makeing it impossible for a nmenonic key combination to be assigned.  This is why I tend to not like hotkeys in general.  Since even if I COULD remember 7,500 hotkey combinations (which I obviously can't), half of them would probably be useless due to multiple program overlap.

I think "Cheat Sheeter" is a fabulous idea because it allows me to remember a small core set of hotkeys that will allow me to do ~80% of my work, & it will allow me to look up the rest of the 7,500 quickly & easily by useing the GUI to my advantage instead of it being a disadvantage to us keyboarders.

Regards
Dragonrider
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nudone
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2005, 02:10:07 PM »

i honestly thought that only windows and other hotkey manager utils used the winkey - i suppose i'm just lucky in that i use programs that don't use that keyboard shortcut.

won't it be fun when we can discuss what our favourite hand waving shortcuts are when we're using the 'minority report' style interfaces. at least it will keep everyone fit. what a stupid idea.
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zridling
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2005, 02:55:35 PM »

Quote
Posted by: zridling
             You two would have been very frustrated in the DOS days of the 1980s,
Posted by: DragonRider
             I disagree.... In those days (1980s) DOS didn't use hotkeys.

Just to clarify, I was thinking about specific apps under DOS, such as WordPerfect, which was on most business desktops in the mid- to late 80s.
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2005, 06:21:05 PM »

I've been using KeyText by MJMSoft Design <http://www.mjmsoft.com/> for a few years now (on the recommendation of a friend) and I've grown to miss not having programmable key macros/hotkeys on whatever system I'm using.

I don't use the Windows key for my key macros with KeyText primarily because it didn't support capturing the Windows key when I first started using it (it might do so now, or it still might not; I haven't checked). Instead, I use Ctrl+Alt and then another letter because Ctrl and Alt are easy for my left hand to hit with my pinky and thumb on my Dell laptop keyboard. Ctrl+Alt+P launches PuTTY (easily one of the most used key macros I have), Ctrl+Alt+D writes out a long date and time stamp, Ctrl+Alt+C opens a command prompt, etc. I also used to use key macros extensively for "typing" boilerplate bits of text into emails, and still do so for things like my standard text file header, my email signature (which isn't always set in some rarely used web mail programs), and the like.
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zridling
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2005, 03:22:48 AM »

Thanks for the recommendation, dnm!
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zridling
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2005, 01:09:36 AM »

Just an update, for now I've switched full time to AutoHotkey to my delight.
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2006, 02:48:52 AM »

Just want to ask....is there any software that tells you all the hotkeys you have on your system?

i used AutoHotKey and didnt want to override some of pre-exsisting hotkeys on my system....

It would be nice if it can show which combinations are not in use, so that i can define my own hotkey.... cheesy
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zridling
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2006, 03:24:43 AM »

Using AutoHotkey, you can overwrite even the existing system hotkeys if you want, such as those that use the WinKey (WK below):

WK+D,M
Show Desktop, Minimize Windows

WK+SHIFT+M
Undo Minimize Windows

WK+E
Windows Explorer

WK+F
Find Files using Windows Search

WK+R
Run...

WK+U
Windows Text Reader, Magnifier

WK+Tab
Select Task or App

WK+F1
Windows Help
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brotherS
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2006, 04:08:03 AM »

[UPDATE]: I now use AutoHotkey exclusively for all hotkey and keyboard shortcuts on my computer.
Welcome in the club! smiley I believe you read the first post in http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=1167.0 ?


Using AutoHotkey, you can overwrite even the existing system hotkeys if you want, such as those that use the WinKey (WK below):
[...]
WK+F
Find Files using Windows Search
[...]
Yes, I've replaced this (and a similar hotkey) to use the far better Locate: http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=1385.0

Kiss AutoHotkey Kiss
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reko100
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2006, 04:31:50 AM »

Yes...i know i can replace exsisting hotkey on my system using Autohotkey....

But that is what I am not trying to do....i am trying to map my hotkeys to unused combinations so that i dont erase "well known" shortcuts which i dont use now but might use later....Hope this is clear as i cant express myself in english as it is not my native language.... Wink
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brotherS
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2006, 05:42:11 AM »

Yes...i know i can replace exsisting hotkey on my system using Autohotkey....

But that is what I am not trying to do....i am trying to map my hotkeys to unused combinations so that i dont erase "well known" shortcuts which i dont use now but might use later...
Just have a look at the list of hotkeys above. Those are the main ones being used... if you are still worried, just press the shortcut you want to use before you add it to your AutoHotkey script - if nothing happens, there's a good chance it's not being used already Wink

Advice: simple, short hotkeys like Alt+h etc. are used in several programs already, that's why I like to use more complicated ones like Win+Shift+f etc. in AutoHotkey.
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2006, 05:49:05 AM »

reko100,

I think you mean, you want a way of listing what hotkeys are already in use now, and which ones are still free, so you can avoid ones already in use?

I suppose the best we can hope for is a way of listing the keys Windows itself uses.  So many programs have so many hotkeys set already, like The Bat! for example.
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2006, 05:58:49 AM »

For compeatists, here are a couple I found recently;

JDN Hotkeys
The author made a post on the NetEZ forum
here
with a few more details, like the fact that it has issues on Win98.  It does some unusual things, like using one hotkey to modify another.  In fact he recommends the simple, small and fast Hoekey, with AutoHotKey as a deluxe package, and his own JDN Hotkeys for experienced users.

Hoekey is incredibly small - the download is only 25K!


Like others, I find it hard to remember 1001 hotkey combinations.  Do any of these types of applications, preferably free or dirt cheap, allow you to pop up a menu and point and shoot?  I believe you can do so with Macro Express, but that's a big heavy application.  You can do something like it with PowerPro, which offers buttons with tooltips rather than a menu as such, but PowerPro is just too hard for most people.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 08:00:54 AM by brotherS » Logged
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