What Is AutoHotkey Scripting?


Scott Campbell

AutoHotkey Scripting: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever wished you could automate repetitive tasks on your computer? Well, look no further than AutoHotkey scripting!

With AutoHotkey, you can take control of your keyboard and mouse, creating customized scripts to perform a wide range of actions. Whether you want to streamline your workflow or enhance your gaming experience, this powerful scripting language has got you covered.

What is AutoHotkey?

AutoHotkey is an open-source scripting language for Windows that allows users to automate tasks with ease. It provides a simple syntax and a comprehensive set of features, making it accessible to both beginners and advanced users. With AutoHotkey, you can create macros, remap keys, create hotkeys for launching applications or performing specific actions, and much more.

Getting Started with AutoHotkey Scripting

To begin scripting in AutoHotkey, all you need is a text editor such as Notepad or any other code editor. Start by creating a new file with the “.ahk” extension.

This extension tells Windows that the file contains an AutoHotkey script. Once you have created the file, open it in your preferred text editor.

Writing Your First Script

Let’s start by creating a simple script that opens your favorite website whenever you press a specific key combination. Here’s how the script looks:

; Open a website
    Run https://www.example.com

In this example, we are using the “^!w” key combination to trigger the script. The caret symbol (^) represents the Control key, while the exclamation mark (!)

represents the Alt key. When both keys are pressed simultaneously with the “w” key, the script will execute the command “Run https://www.com,” which opens the specified website.

Advanced Functionality

AutoHotkey scripting goes beyond simple key remapping and website launching. It provides a wide range of advanced features that allow you to automate complex tasks. Here are a few examples:


Hotstrings are a powerful feature in AutoHotkey that allows you to define abbreviations that automatically expand into full words or phrases. For example, you can create a hotstring that replaces “btw” with “by the way” whenever you type it.

::btw::by the way

The above code snippet creates a hotstring that expands “btw” into “by the way” whenever you type it.

Sending Input

AutoHotkey allows you to send keystrokes and mouse clicks to applications programmatically. This feature is particularly useful when automating tasks in specific applications or games. Here’s an example:

; Send keystrokes
    Send, Hello, World!

; Send mouse click

In this example, pressing the “^!s” key combination will send the text “Hello, World!” as keystrokes to the active application. Similarly, pressing “^!c” will simulate a mouse click.


AutoHotkey scripting is a powerful tool for automating tasks on Windows. Whether you want to save time by automating repetitive actions or enhance your productivity, AutoHotkey has all the features you need. Start exploring this versatile scripting language today and unlock endless possibilities for customization and automation.

With its simple syntax and vast capabilities, AutoHotkey scripting is a must-know skill for any Windows user. So why wait? Dive into the world of AutoHotkey scripting and take control of your computer like never before!

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