Category Archives: programming

Launch Codes: Automate Tasks, App Launches & More for Windows

There’s a very useful, lightweight and simple-to-use productivity utility for windows called AutoHotKey. I used it to create a simple script to save time for myself with repetitive tasks.

I call the file Launch Codes, as it both launches apps, and it is launched automatically when Windows logs in. I achieve this by saving the .ahk file in the following location:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

I’ve provided the Autohotkey script in Github so you can use it as a starting point to build your own custom scripts. Use it as you see fit, all of the tasks within are collated or modified from stuff in the Autohotkey help file (which you get when you download the AHK download bundle), or from the extremely helpful Autohotkey forum.

What tasks do I use it for?

  • Launching common apps, like Chrome and Notepad, with just two key presses.
  • Reducing my email address to three letters, which then expands to my full address. Very useful for repetitive logins!
  • Running a google search with Ctrl+C, Win+G. For example, I could highlight something in a PDF, and google it very quickly rather than pasting it into a browser tab.
  • As above, except it searches wikipedia directly instead of google.
  • Print entire screen to clipboard with three keystrokes.
  • Help message box for all of the above.

Here’s the help message box with full list of tasks:

AHK launch codes help dialog