FAQs

How much does it cost to use this?
Everything you see on this site is FREE. I use a free program that can be downloaded from the internet and I wrote programs designed specifically to speed up clinic workflow in an IMPAC environment.

All I really ask is that if you use the program, please post a comment on the Support page.

What is AutoHotkey?

Please see HERE.  It is a free, open-source utility for Windows that I used to write specific solutions to everyday tasks that are performed in a Radiation Oncology clinic using the IMPAC EMR.

Where can I post questions or suggestions?

For questions that are directed towards the solutions on this site, just stop by the Support page and leave your thoughts or comments there.

For more general or technical coding questions for the AutoHotKey program, those questions are best directed to:
AutoHotKey Forum

Is a AutoHotKey download required for each computer?

Yes and / or No depending upon which download you used.  If you used the exe file then no.  If you are trying to use the .ahk file, then yes.

What is AutoHotKey?
My best answer is to check out the site and read for yourself. Of course, I’ve got plenty of examples of how it can be used here on this site. Great product!! Check it out HERE.

I run on a Citrix box with no actual computer. Can I use the shortcuts?
Our offices have a ton of Citrix boxes and this is going to be a question for our IS department. I’m not sure that you will be able to use this technology without some form of local Windows running where you can perform the local install.

That said, if you simply log into a Citrix server, there are no issues and you can certainly use these shortcuts.

How do I put my hotkeys and hotstrings into effect automatically every time I start my PC?
Here is a link to the official documentation. Click Here

My shortcuts are not working. What gives?
Your script must be active and running in the background for the shortcuts to work. On your windows taskbar, next to the clock (the system tray), you should see a green box with an H. If you move your mouse over the icon, you will see the name of the script.

System Tray View

If you do not see the green icon (farthest left) , your script is not running.

To run your script, double click on your script, complete the daily configuration if applicable,  and you should see a green icon get added to your taskbar in the active program section.

Sometimes they don’t work or I just get the letter of the shortcut and other times it works great. What gives?
The primary key is the WINDOWS key. Press and hold that, then tap the related shortcut key. The other way around doesn’t work. (It is like using the SHIFT key for a capital letter.)

If they work 99% of the time, they are working. Unfortunately, that is about as good as this is ever going to work in the real world. You have to have a bit of patience. It is a time saver if they are functional, but they will not be perfect as they are not truly integrated into IMPAC.

The abbreviations kick in at times and are annoying. What can I do?
You have four main options:

  • Delete the abbreviations from script.
  • Edit the abbreviations to something that would conflict less often for you.
  • Hit Win-S to temporarily suspend the script.
  • Exit the script altogether using Win-\.

What if something is close to what I want but not quite right?
You can change anything / everything pretty easily. Any wording you want a little different is pretty easy to find and substitute. If you have different defaults than I have, you can change the code. It will be much faster and easier to tweak my examples than build this stuff from scratch and if you have problems, I’ll point you in the right direction if you can’t figure something out.

The quickest / best resource is here : AutoHotKey Forum

The HELP file included with the download of AutoHotKey is a great reference as well. If you want to tweak things, open up the Help file and start reading. It is a quick easy language to learn and if you are copying from me, it should be close to basic computer skills level. I’ll get more reference links up as time goes by.

How do I edit these files?
Right-click on the file and select Edit file. Realistically you will need to read the documentation if you are going to edit the file. One of the easiest place to get to the documentation is here:

Run a AutoHotKey Script. Right-click on the icon in the system tray and select HELP. The included documentation is excellent.

I don’t understand the basic structure of a AutoHotKey file:
For most things, you really don’t need to. Most of the stuff I will post will come with basic instructions for installation. If you want to blend file fixes together or tweak things, read the tutorial in the Help file – Seriously.

Here are some basics:

This block of text must be present in EVERY file. Your ‘code’ goes below this header. Just ignore this stuff and know that it needs to be at the top and you don’t need to mess with it.  Try copying and pasting this into a NEW script and running it.  To see the message box hit WIN-B.

;
; AutoHotkey Version: 1.x
; Language: English
; Platform: Win9x/NT
; Author: A.N.Other
;
; Script Function:
; Template script (you can customize this template by editing “ShellNew\Template.ahk” in your Windows folder)
;

#NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir% ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.

; ************ Code goes here *******************

#b:: ; pressing Win-B
MsgBox I wrote a program!! ; Pop up a Message Box

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