What macros to set up on a customizable keyboard?
July 24, 2020 9:01 PM   Subscribe

For people who are currently working from home and have a keyboard with customizable keys, what kind of macros have you set up to simplify your workflow? I've purchased a cheap external number pad keyboard and am planning to use Auto Hot Key to program some macros and am looking for some ideas.
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Work & Money (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I made an em dash key—it's fun to find excuses to use it.
posted by one for the books at 9:24 PM on July 24, 2020 [4 favorites]

My macropad has emoji/unicode characters/table flips, a number pad, media controls, etc. You can also launch or focus specific programs, toggle things off/on, type longer strings like signatures, switch to specific desktops...

Not sure how exactly to do things in AHK, but you can put more commands than sane on a macropad if you add commands for holding a key, tapping a key multiple times, combinations of keys. (I use QMK.)
posted by Anonymous Function at 9:36 PM on July 24, 2020

I've used autohotkey for a number of macros:

* Common emails. I handle password resets and new account creation for one of the systems in our company that is...poorly automated. I've built stock email templates that I can invoke with a couple of keys to tell users that their account was created or to give directions on resetting their passwords.

* Today's date. I use it more than I realized, especially when logging information.

* Frequent blocks of text. My work email, mailing address, names of programs/projects; they all get abbreviations.
posted by philosophygeek at 10:59 AM on July 25, 2020

I really only use AHK for one thing, but for me it's indispensable. I set the tilde key to both open a new document in Notepad, and to close any document called "Untitled" if I hit it again. So I have a really quick scratch pad one keystroke away that I can take notes in, use to deformat text, or what have you. And at the end I can just hit tilde again (then 'n' for don't save) to close it. I use it dozens of times a day! If you want my script I'll send it to you, it's very compact.

I suppose I also have forward slash set to open my "jump to file" in Winamp, and a couple keys are set up as next track, previous, mute etc. That's not via AHK though.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:18 AM on July 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding the idea of a scratchpad program, I have AutoHotkey pop up SimpleNote for me but same idea.
posted by JDHarper at 6:53 PM on July 28, 2020

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