Insight Software Solutions Home Page
Insight Software Solutions | Other Automation Tools | Products | BUY NOW
 

 


Launch a Shortkey

While ShortKeys runs, it watches everything you type looking for the keystrokes needed to activate a shortkey. As it watches, it needs to distinguish what is and what is not a shortkey so a shortkey is not activated when you do not expect it. For example, if you have a shortkey activated when you type hte to correct the common mistyping of the, you do not want it to activate when you type words such as fighter, daughter or brighten.

ShortKeys has several options that allow you to customize how it detects a shortkey. With the Use Prefix Keys option you type something in front of the shortkey activation. With the Use Suffix Keys option you type something after the shortkey activation. And, if you choose the right types of shortkey activations, you may not need either a prefix or a suffix.


Use Prefix Keys


In the illustration above, the Prefix Keys are set to //. The prefix must be typed before each shortkey. For example, if the shortkey activation is test you must type / / t e s t to activate the shortkey.

The Prefix Keys may contain two keys, one key or may be blank. Leave it blank to activate shortkeys by typing the shortkey without any prefix or suffix. Most, but not all, characters are allowed as Prefix Keys. The few that are disallowed may be changed in the preferences. Click Options, Preferences, Playback and then the General tab.

Solitary Usage
The Solitary Usage option indicates that a shortkey will be recognized only when the shortkey is preceded by Space or Enter *. This option only applies when the Prefix Keys are blank.

Let's look at some examples to illustrate what this means. For these examples Original Shortkey contains red and Replacement Text contains A bright color.

Solitary Usage: On
Type F r e d and the shortkey will not play back. Why? Because of the F. The replacement will not take place when we type Fred.

If we press Space * and then type r e d the replacement text will be typed.

Solitary Usage: Off
When the Solitary Usage option is turned off, a shortkey will be recognized whenever the shortkey text is typed even if it is part of another word. When we type F r e d the shortkey activates and types out FA bright color.


Use Suffix Keys


To activate a shortkey when the Use Suffix Keys option is enabled, type the shortkey and then press either Space or Enter.

For example, if Original Shortkey contains test, type t e s t followed by Space or Enter to activate the macro.

Solitary Usage
The solitary usage option indicates that a shortkey will be recognized only when the shortkey is preceded by Space, Enter * or one of the Invalid Characters (defined in Options, Preferences, Playback).

Let's look at some examples to illustrate what this means. For these examples Original Shortkey contains red and Replacement Text contains A bright color.

Solitary Usage: On
Type F r e d followed by Space or Enter and the shortkey will not play back. Why? Because of the F. The replacement will not take place when we type Fred.

If we press Space * and then type r e d followed by Space or Enter the replacement text will be typed.

Solitary Usage: Off
When the Solitary Usage option is turned off, a shortkey will be recognized whenever the shortkey text is typed even if it is part of another word. When we type F r e d and then Space or Enter the shortkey activates and types out FA bright color.

Use Punctuation Characters
If the "Use punctuation characters" option is enabled, a punctuation key such as . , : ; ? ! and - may also be used as a suffix key. For example, if Original Shortkey contains test, you could type t e s t . or t e s t , or t e s t ?.

* ShortKeys maintains a buffer containing up to 32 characters used to determine whether a shortkey activation has been typed. It is not necessary to type the leading keystroke when the shortkey buffer is empty. The buffer is emptied when a shortkey plays back or when keys such as Ctrl, Alt, Esc or Arrow Left are pressed.


Should I choose the Prefix or Suffix Key option?

There is no right or wrong answer. This is more a matter of personal preference. But here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding.

Prefix Keys
If you select this option and choose not to assign any prefix key, you need to be careful what you name the shortkeys. Otherwise you may accidentally activate shortkeys when you do not intend to. Using prefix keys such as //, z, q or # will help minimize the risk of accidental shortkey playback.

You will also need to use some caution with the shortkey naming convention that you use. Suppose you assign shortkey activations of b1 through b9. Using the Prefix Key option you would not be able to assign shortkeys to b10 or later. This is because as soon as you typed b1 and before you could type the 0, your b1 shortkey would run.

Suffix Keys
Make sure that the shortkey activations that you create are strings that you would not typically type. Otherwise the shortkeys may play back when you do not expect. If using ShortKeys to insert passwords, you may need to backspace one character if using the suffix key.

If you are familiar with Word’s autocorrect feature, the suffix key option works in a similar manner.


Specific Examples

Here are examples that demonstrate how to activate a shortkey with the different combinations of settings:

Use Prefix with Prefix Keys
Use Prefix with Prefix Keys and Solitary Usage
Use Prefix with blank Prefix Keys
Use Prefix with blank Prefix Keys and Solitary Usage
Use Suffix Keys
Use Suffix Keys and Use Punctuation Characters
Use Suffix Keys and Solitary Usage
Use Suffix Keys, Solitary Usage and Use Punctuation Characters