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IDEA: I dream of a non-creepy keystroke logger

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I can't find one of these.

All of the keystroke loggers I've found are designed to be hidden from the user and are apparently for nefarious purposes like spying on people and surreptitiously stealing their passwords, or geared toward parents who want to spy on their children, or whatever. I'm not interested in that; I just want a friendly and simple keystroke logger that gives me a form of backup protection when applications crash and take with them all of my hard work when I've not saved recently.

I want a visual indication that it's running with a systray icon. I don't want it to hide or be capable of being hidden, there's plenty of that creepy junk for sale. I don't want it to be aware of the network or capable of sending its log file anywhere. I just want it to hook the keyboard and record my keystroke activity for my use on the local machine ONLY.

I want to be able to right click on it and have it suck the contents of the clipboard into the log; that way if I've worked on a piece of text for a while in separate sessions but it's in a single textarea/textbox control, I can select all, copy, click the tray icon, and have the whole thing appear in the log at once as if I'd typed it on the spot.

I also want it to display the keystrokes it's logged, and I want it to be smart enough to group keystrokes by the window title that they were typed in. So in other words if I have a notepad window, a Word window, and a browser window, and I've typed in all three, it should know to group everything I've typed in the notepad document together, everything that I've typed in the Word window together, and everything I've typed in the browser window together.

It should also have a "keystrokes playback" mode that "types" a given section of a keystroke log into an active window , because I have AllChars and I use it to enter symbols and accented characters by chord-composing them, Mac and Unix style. So to get é I type ctrl;e;' and to get ö I type ctrl;o;" and to get € I type ctrl;e;=. The ;s are short pauses, I didn't use notation like "ctrl-e-=" because you might think I was holding ctrl down. I do NOT want it to record or play back keystrokes where two or more keys are held down, like ctrl-tab, alt-tab, alt-space, alt-f4, ctrl-q, etc because I don't want it to trigger unexpected application behavior when it's playing the keystrokes back. The only exception to this is ctrl-v. I don't want it to record the ctrl-v itself, but I do want it to notice that I pasted text in, and I want it to append the pasted text to the log file.

Thanks a million million times, if one of you decides to write this.

A window title exclusions list would also be wonderful, so I could exclude keystrokes in certain windows from being recorded like my Find And Run Robot or MSN Messenger window (Messenger Plus is already logging my IM conversations very nicely thank you:)).

it seems to me that this is a very good idea -
a key logger who's primary purpose is to maintain a kind of backup log.
i can see not just being able to exclude windows, but maybe just to specify a few select applications where such logging would be desired.

there are a lot of keylogging tools out there, it seems to me that one of them is likely to already be suitable for this.  this is probably a program a little outside of scrope of a coding snack once you get into all the extras and stuff, but its not a huge project (though i can see all the little details taking a lot of time to get right).

it might be something that we would write, if we really knew that there isn't a tool to already do this, which i suspect there may be somewhere..

unleash the google experts and softoholics!

Hmmm...  Sounds like a timely topic, of general interest to users, & shouldn't be as big of a project as the screencast review just completed.  Sounds like a review topic to me mouser.   ;)

Brian Keene

Ever used ActMon?


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