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HotKeys: Depressed vs Released


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Most of what I do at my job I can do with just my right hand (thanks in large part to Macro Express, the location of the Num Pad and the fact that I'm right-handed and use a right-handed mouse). So, as often as possible, I like to lazy it up a bit and reassign left-hand-specific functions to the right-side of the keyboard:

 

Alt+Tab, for example, requires either the left hand or reaching uncomfortably over with the right hand. So I assigned the hotkey Ctrl+[ as an alternative Alt+Tab (via Text Type).

 

I've used this alternate for many months in ME3, and now I've brought it over to MEP, and thought I'd play with the option to have it activate when keys are pressed rather than released.

 

And guess what? It doesn't perform the same function. In fact, I have no idea what, if any, function is being performed. I see the macro activate (Forrest goes for a quick jog), but nothing actually happens on my screen.

 

I may have simply misunderstood the functionality of this option, or my specific choice of hotkey activation may be problematical, or the option itself is not fully functional. Anybody have any input for me? Thanks!

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I have never messed with this but I would guess the option is to keep the keys from interfering with the macro. For instance if I use Shift+Something as an activation and I am doing a text type it might do upper case because the shift is down. This might be a bad example as I've not messed with this but that is my guess.

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Alt+Tab, for example, requires either the left hand or reaching uncomfortably over with the right hand. So I assigned the hotkey Ctrl+[ as an alternative Alt+Tab (via Text Type).

 

I've used this alternate for many months in ME3, and now I've brought it over to MEP, and thought I'd play with the option to have it activate when keys are pressed rather than released.

 

And guess what? It doesn't perform the same function. In fact, I have no idea what, if any, function is being performed. I see the macro activate (Forrest goes for a quick jog), but nothing actually happens on my screen.

 

It's easy to get conflicts with pre-existing hotkeys -- or even Macro Express macros -- when you choose to activate when keys are pressed rather than released.

 

My guess about what is happening: when you press Ctrl + [, Macro Express thinks you want either Ctrl + Alt + [ or Ctrl + Alt + Tab. Neither is a built-in Windows command, but they could be application specific hotkeys. However, the other possibility is that you used Macro Express to make a macro triggered by one of these hotkeys.

 

My experience has been that "key pressed" scripts usually fail when:

 

1. The scripts send hotkeys via the "Text Type" command; and

 

2. These hotkeys use modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl, or Alt).

 

In other words, with key pressed macros, you are more likely to have success if you use "text type" to simulate alphanumeric keystrokes ("Hello!") rather than to send keystrokes ("<CONTROL>x").

 

By the way, be careful with cases. <CONTROL>x is not the same a <CONTROL>X. The latter might be interpreted as <SHIFT><CONTROL>x

 

Finally, key pressed scripts seem to work OK when they send function keys rather than key combos that include modifiers. For example, you may not be able to simulate Alt + Tab, but you can probably simulate F10, F2, Insert, Page Up, etc.

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Thank you Alan, very informative response.

My guess about what is happening: when you press Ctrl + [, Macro Express thinks you want either Ctrl + Alt + [ or Ctrl + Alt + Tab.

 

I tested this out by changing the activation to Numpad 2. The macro worked perfectly. Of course, I switched it back as I actually need my numpad to work ;), but it's good to know that the command itself is functional. I'm fine with the macro activating on release, it's how I've done it forever, afterall.

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