TSolo315 MturkCrowd
Six years of turking experience


A new type of hotkey.


What is a Hotstring?

In previous tutorials you have learned that a hotkey is set using the format f1::. There is a second type of hotkey known as a hotstring. A hotring is most commonly used as a quick way to expand abbreviations, but can also be used to launch any scripted action. The hotkey format is as follows: ::abr::. In the following example, when you type "abr" and then a space, AHK would automatically replace "abr" with the word abbreviation.


Here is an example of a hotstring being used in place of a hotkey:

sendinput ^l
sleep 500
sendinput www.youtube.com
sleep 500
sendinput {enter}


Hotstring Options

In the above example you may have noticed *B0 placed between the first and second colon. This was done to set a few options on the hotstring. Here is a list of available options:

  • When the * character is used you don't have to type an ending character (like a space or enter press) after typing the hotstring for it to activate.
  • When B0 is used auto backspacing is turned off so the characters typed as part of the hotstring will not be replaced. If this was set in the abr hotstring example the result would be "abrabbreviation."
  • When the ? character is used it allows the hotsring to be activated when typed within another word.
  • When the C character is used it turns on case sensitivity for the given hotstring.
  • When the O character is used in an auto-replace hotstring, the ending character typed after the hotstring to activate it will not be shown. For example, typing "abr" and then a space would result in "abbreviation" without a space on the end.

Practical Example

Here is a practical example of using hotstrings to make a HIT on Mturk more efficient. Imagine there was a HIT in which you had to visit a website and input the website's category in a text field on the HIT page.

::ae::Arts and Entertainment
::bc::Business and Consumer Services
::cs::Community and Society
::ce::Computers Electronics and Technology
::ec::E-commerce and Shopping
::hf::Health and Fitness

You get the idea.

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