I’ve been a fan system tweaking for ages. Not only does it allow your system to look completely different from every else, but it also allows you to fit your system into the way you do your work. Which means at the end of the day, you work faster and more efficiently than you would before. One of the programs that allows me to do just that is AutoHotKey.
Don’t let the spartan design of the site or the size of the program fool you, this is probably one of the most powerful tool when you get the hang of it. Basically it allows you to customise your keyboard and mouse buttons to do almost anything you want on your system. No longer do I have to slowly click through and search for the folder that I frequently access. All I have to do is set it to a easy to press hotkey and it comes out when I want to.
For instance, I’ve changed it so that pressing the WinKey followed by “Z” opens the My Documents folder. Similar key sequences were done with other frequently access folders like the Control Panel or my Dropbox folder. Hotkeys can be set to run certain programs too. Some people who don’t have multimedia keyboards prefer to add hotkeys into opening their browsers, IM clients or emails. As long as you can run it on your system, AutoHotKey can allow you to quickly access it.
However, that’s not really all AutoHotKey can do. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve often found the CapsLock key useless and annoying especially when you accidentally hit it. With AutoHotKey, you can disable your CapsLock and turn it into another key (in my case, I turned it into an extra Ctrl key) and at the same time you can assign another hotkey to turn on your CapsLock so you don’t lose the functions altogether (which I did by assigning it WinKey followed by CapsLock).
If you’re not afraid to do a little more hands on scripting. The program has an in-depth manual on how you can expand on its capabilities such as resizing windows or adding consecutive actions from a single hotkey. If you find all these programing a little tough on you, there do showcase and offer pre-made scripts to add to your AutoHotKey. One of the best ones I’ve used is to emulate Windows 7’s window resizing shotcuts on my XP system. I really can’t give this program enough praise for such a small system footprint.
AutoHotKey just happens to be free and about 2MB in size, which wraps things up nicely for one of the best additions to your system that you could have. Get it and play around with it. You’ve got nothing to lose and chances are, you’ll love it all the same.