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Set preferences for ShortKeys 3 network install

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Setting specific preferences and macro file for network install.

This article describes how to install ShortKeys 3 on a network and share the same shortkeys file.

To accomplish this you need to install ShortKeys 3 on a computer, select the location of the shortkeys file, set the preferences the way you want them, export the preferences, and install ShortKeys 3 along with the preference settings on each computer.

Install ShortKeys 3
Choose a computer that you want to use as your ‘baseline’ computer. Log on as an administrator and install ShortKeys 3.

Select the ShortKeys File
By default, when it first runs, ShortKeys will create an empty shortkeys file in the user’s Documents folder. If you want your users to use a specific shortkeys file or if your users will share a single shortkeys file, then you will need to load that shortkeys file now. Click File, Open File and navigate to the correct location.

The shortkeys file must be in a folder where the users have read/write/create/modify privileges.

Set the Preferences
Open ShortKeys and click Options and Preferences. Set the preferences the way you want them for your users. Pay particular attention to the following:

  • If your users will be sharing a single macro file, you should turn off the automatic backup options found in the File System, Backup section of the preferences.
  • Pay attention to the settings found in Options, Preferences, Dialogs. These settings control the display of warning dialogs.
  • In the Startup preferences you may want to turn off the Quick Start Guide and Show Editor on startup. You probably want to enable Run on Windows Startup.
  • If your users will be adding words to or excluding words from the dictionary you need to set the dictionary paths found in the Dictionary section of the preferences to folders where each user has read/write/create/modify privileges.
  • If your users will be sharing a single shortkeys file make sure the ‘File Locking of Macro Files’ found in the ‘File System’, ‘Network’ section of the preferences is enabled. This allows more than one copy of ShortKeys to safely access the same shortkeys file. You may also want to review the ‘Automatic Synchronization Update’ setting.

Export the Preferences

Once you have selected the location of the macro file and set the preferences you are nearly ready to export them.

The preference settings for ShortKeys 3, including the path to the shortkeys file to load, are stored in the registry. Values are stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) area of the registry in this location:


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Insight Software Solutions\ShortKeys 3


Values stored in HKCU are only available to the currently logged on user.

Values saved in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM) area of the registry are available to any user of that computer. When ShortKeys 3 reads a setting from the registry it first tries to find it in HKCU. If it is not found there, it looks in HKLM. If it does not exist in HKLM then the built-in default is used for that setting. In other words, values in HKLM are used to override the defaults built into the program.

To make preference settings available to all users they need to be written to the HKLM area of the registry. Once the shortkey macro file(s) are loaded and the preferences are set correctly click Options, Preferences, File System and the Network tab. Click to select the ‘Save settings as defaults for all users’ checkbox. Then click the Apply or OK button.

Now you are ready to export the preferences. Click Tools, and Export Program Configuration. Navigate to where you want to save the file and click Save. You may want to use the filename shortkeys.wcfg.

Install ShortKeys 3 along with the Preference Settings

Put the installation files in a shared folder that is accessible from all the computers where you will be installing ShortKeys.

The Silent Install feature allows you to install ShortKeys on a computer without seeing any of the installation dialogs. It also allows you to copy the preference settings to the computer and enter the license information into ShortKeys. A complete description of the Silent Install feature can be found in the Advanced Installation topic of the ShortKeys help.

Use the shortkeys.wcfg file created above with the CONFIGFILEPATH option to copy the preference settings during install. Use the LICENSENAME and LICENSECODE options to enter the ShortKeys license information during installation.