AHK: How To Make a Hotkey

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.


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.

One Reply to “AHK: How To Make a Hotkey”

  1. i couldnt find a reply box on your other post, so im going to be very naughty and reply on this one (which is from the same day– today.) you dont have to approve it, im only writing it for you anyway.

    its (probably) not your computers fault. heck, its probably not even your computer. youre absolutely doing the best thing by learning code, as code is the only thing that can make it your computer.

    sure, you can (and you should) install software to make it more like your own. the software it comes with is designed to keep you needy. im not against user-friendly, im not against fun, im not even against easy– but the software that comes with your computer is designed to keep you needy. the only ways to fix that are to buy every stupid little tool forever, and get dragged through every whim of the people doing this to you– or– take charge.

    youre doing the latter. at first, it looks like the more difficult choice. but its the only one that isnt like trying to walk up the down escalator. stay with it. make whats yours, really yours. good luck, too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: