METM19 presentation

Automate repetitive tasks with AutoHotkey

Stephen Waller, Barcelona, Spain

A hotkey is a key combination you can use to trigger a sequence of actions on your computer that would otherwise involve a more laborious and time-consuming sequence of key presses and/or mouse clicks. As with any shortcut, the aim is to save time and effort.

AutoHotkey is a free Windows* program that can be used to create macros and assign keyboard shortcuts, like in Microsoft Word. But whereas the macros and shortcuts you use in Word will only work in Word, your AutoHotkey scripts and key combinations will work wherever you want them to work, which could be “always and everywhere” (on the desktop, in Word, in your browser, in your CAT tool, etc.) or in a program you specify, including any specialized software you use.

This presentation is intended for computer users who have some experience of customizing their work environment to boost their productivity. For those not yet familiar with AutoHotkey, the presentation will include a brief general introduction and indications on how to get started. This will be followed by examples of productivity-enhancing scripts for editors and translators and an overview of some more advanced features.

Hotkeys tend to be personal because we all work differently. But as editors and translators we have a lot in common, so there is likely to be some overlap in our workflows. For the Q&A session at the end of the talk, participants are encouraged to bring suggestions for tasks they would like to automate. Seasoned AutoHotkey users are invited to bring solutions they would like to share.

*AutoHotkey does not work with other operating systems.

About the presenter

Stephen Waller has 25 years’ experience as a translator and editor, specializing in the fields of finance, economics and law. As a computer user (Mac in the early days, now Windows), he is convinced of the benefits of learning to control and customize the work environment. He was MET webmaster for several years and has worked extensively on the MET website. He recently developed the responsive, mobile-friendly version of the website and created the mobile app for METM18.