AHK – Useful AutoHotKeyScripts for Outlook specifically

Another set of very useful scripts mainly dealing with creating hotkeys for common Outlook tasks.

Note that if you are on a laptop you may have pre-mappings for the function keys in which case you will need to quite possibly go for alternatives.

F8::
Run C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE /c ipm.note
return

F9:: ;Inbox
keystroke = ^1
parameters = 
Gosub open
Return

F10:: ;Calender
keystroke = ^2
parameters =  "outlook:calendar"
Gosub open
Return

F11:: ;Contacts
keystroke = ^3
parameters = outlook:contacts
Gosub open
Return


F12::
PROCESS, EXIST, OUTLOOK.EXE
PID := ERRORLEVEL
IF ERRORLEVEL <> 0
{
       LOOP,
      {
            WINSHOW, AHK_CLASS rctrl_renwnd32 
            WINACTIVATE, AHK_CLASS rctrl_renwnd32 
            WINWAITACTIVE, AHK_PID %PID% AHK_CLASS rctrl_renwnd32
            WINGETACTIVETITLE, TITLE
            WINCLOSE, %TITLE%
            WINWAIT,, Are you sure you want to permanently delete all the items and subfolders in the "Deleted Items" folder?,3
            CONTROLSEND, , {ENTER}, AHK_CLASS #32770, Are you sure you want to permanently delete all the items and subfolders in the "Deleted Items" folder?
            IF A_INDEX > 30
                  PROCESS, CLOSE, OUTLOOK.EXE

            PROCESS, EXIST, OUTLOOK.EXE
            IF ERRORLEVEL = 0
                  BREAK
      }
}
return

DetectHiddenWindows, On
Process, Exist, outlook.exe
If !ErrorLevel
   Run outlook.exe
Return

open:
Process, Exist, outlook.exe
If (ErrorLevel != 0)
{
	WinActivate ahk_class rctrl_renwnd32
	WinWaitActive ahk_class rctrl_renwnd32
	Send %keystroke%
}
else
	Run outlook.exe %parameters%
Return

AHK – Useful AutoHotKeyScripts

F2::
; Close all windows (open/minimized, browsers) but not pwr off
	WinGet, id, list,,, Program Manager
	Loop, %id%
	{
	this_id := id%A_Index% 
	WinActivate, ahk_id %this_id%
    	WinGetClass, this_class, ahk_id %this_id%
	WinGetTitle, this_title, ahk_id %this_id%
	If(This_class != "Shell_traywnd") && (This_class != "Button")  ; If class is not Shell_traywnd and not Button
	WinClose, ahk_id %this_id% ;This is what it should be ;MsgBox, This ahk_id %this_id% ; Easier to test 😉
	}
Return

If you don’t know or can’t find the executable for the program you wish to AHK to you can place a link on the desktop or somewhere else and trigger the link using a mapped key as follows;

F3::
;Open QGIS
path = "C:\Users\brooks.mark\Desktop\QGIS Desktop 2.14.8.lnk"
;MsgBox, %path%
 
Run, %path%
Return

Open Chrome using CTRL Z – (^ is the sign for CTRL)

^z::
Run, C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
Return

Here I have a key to open a work Uniform program – line send types into the username field usernamevariable – alter to your actual value

F6::
path = "C:\Users\brooks.mark\Desktop\Uniform LIVE.lnk"
;MsgBox, %path%
Run, %path%

Sleep, 5000

ControlFocus, Edit4,Uniform Spatial - LIVE Database
Send, usernamevariable

Return

AutoHotKey : Navigation between Satellite Applications to improve Work Flow

A while back I wrote a post about how allowing parameters to be passed to URLs is a big benefit in increasing the speed with which you can navigate to individual records in apparently non-connected web applications.

But what do you do if you are faced with a satellite application whose vendor has not implemented this URL friendly facility. Users are left with the very jarring break to the flow of their work when they have to leave the application they are in and navigate to another application sometimes manually having to link to the other application records form via a search field. This searching task when multiplied many times can be really tedious, repetitive, demotivating and time consuming not to mention pointless.

How can we better serve our users?

The other day I came across an open source program called AutoHotKey that allows me to improve this task.

AutoHotKey

Autohotkey is an open source project that allows the creation and compilation of simple or complicated scripts that can be used to navigate anything on a computer. That means desktop OR web applications. The following is something that I worked out last week to be able to navigate a web application by triggering a script from MS Access vba. The great thing is that you can pass parameters from a database application to a middle layer and trigger a set of commands to be run.

Let us take the example of a recent problem I faced. Many councils throughout the United Kingdom have bought an application from a company that manages the information associated with making planning applications, it consists of both desktop and web applications that help manage the submission and decision making associated with development. The vendor recently “upgraded” the application resulting in it no longer accepting planning application numbers to its URL as a method of going straight to the record. This was meaning that users of one of my satellite applications were faced with being dropped into a search screen and then needing to manually type a field from one application into the field of another application. QED dull and repetitive task.

There follows and overview of my solution. Firstly download the following programs
1)AutoHotKey

AutoHotKey

2)iWB2 Learner – which is a small program for identifying element names and id in INTERNET explorer.
iWB2 Learner
iwebbrowser2 Download

My script for Autohotkey was as follows.

FindRecordReference.ahk (written in plain old notepad and saved to a known location with the suffix changed to ahk)
=====================

APPLICATION = %1%

URL := "https://onlinerecordset/"

WB := ComObjCreate("InternetExplorer.Application")
WB.Visible := True
WB.Navigate(URL)
While wb.readyState != 4 || wb.document.readyState != "complete" || wb.busy ; wait for page to open
	Sleep, 10
wb.document.getElementById("simpleSearchString").value := Application
wb.document.getElementsByTagName("INPUT")[4].Click()
While wb.readyState != 4 || wb.document.readyState != "complete" || wb.busy
	Sleep, 10

return

===================

Using iWB2 Learner to identify the element names on the web page
This video shows iWB2 Learner being used it unfortunately does not have any sound.

VIDEO Using iWB Learner with AutoHotKey

—-
Next you will need to trigger the AHK – You will need design access to the program that is sending the instruction to do this. In my MS Access application I have the following code that triggers the script in the above.

Private Sub Command43GoToOnlineRecord_Click()
 
    Dim strRecordNo As String
    Dim strAHKname As String
 
    strPlanApp = "LIVE/" & Me.RecordNo
 
    strAHKname = "\\[YourServerName]\FindRecordReference.exe"
    Call Shell(strAHKname & " " & strRecordNo, vbMaximizedFocus)
 
End Sub

Notes:
The computer that holds the AHK script need not have AutoHotKey installed if it doesn’t you can compile your script into an executable that will not require installation. Here I created the executable on another computer and transferred it to the \\server1-cluster\ahk location ready to be called by the VBA

Consecutive parameters passed to Autohokey are consecutively named %1% %2% etc.. In my script I pass the planning application as %1% and rename it APPLICATION immediately.

Compiling the AHK is done by moving to a computer with AHK installed and navigating in Explorer to the file and then right click and Compile will be an option. Note the processor architecture is important when compiling. If your target machine is 32bit then you need to compile on a 32bit machine – same with 64.