A hotkey (AKA keyboard shortcut) is a combination of keys that tell your computer to do something.
You’ve probably seen these before:
CTRL + C Copy
CTRL + X Cut
ALT + F4 Close the active window
Today we’re going to make one of our own. I want to be able to tap a key that opens the internet at a specific page. Because I am lazy, I’m writing this in Notepad. Entirely doable with AutoHotkey. If you don’t know what that is, read this.
STEP 1: Download AUTOHOTKEY.
Sidenote: I’m warning you now, Autohotkey is a gate-way drug. It’s mellow. It’s accessible. And it can definitely put you on the path to using things that horrify you now. Maybe even the command prompt.
STEP 2: Right click the desktop → New → AutoHotKey Script.
STEP 3: Name it something obvious.
STEP 4: Right click your new AutoHotKey Script → Edit Script.
If all is well, you should see this.
STEP 5: Don’t panic. You don’t need to know anything about any of the text that comes inside of it.
STEP 6: Underneath that text, use this formula to tell the computer what you want. I’m going to have it open Firefox and route to BBC News.
HotKey1 & HotKey2 ::
In our case, that translates to:
*Yes, ! means ALT in computerspeak. In this context. More on this later.
STEP 7: Close Notepad → Right click the script you just created → Run Script
STEP 8: Press Alt and n to see it work.