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Shortkeys: reasonable feature request?


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I'd appreciate feedback from other users before submitting the following feature request please.

 

I activate macros frequently with shortkeys. At present there's a serious limitation on their usefulness.

 

For example, if I have assigned 'me' as an easy-to-type shortcut, then I cannot assign any others such as 'meb', 'mep', 'meet', etc. Thousands of possible shortkeys are excluded because I've already assigned that 2-letter shortkey 'me'. I think this could easily be fixed if ME Pro simply waited for a short period until all keystrokes had been entered before scanning its table of shortkeys. At a guess I'd think up to 500 ms for each character to be entered would be reasonable. I should be able to type two characters per second, even if I was feeling hungover and suffering from severe RSI. And if I didn't, it would fail, either running the wrong macro or none at all, just as it does at present, and I'd try again. For even greater flexibility, the 'character delay' could be a settings option, so that users could customise it.

 

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Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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I'm not a ShortKey guy for the most part and tend only to use them for inserting bits of text and such in line and adding a delay would hurt their functionality there so if it was it would have to be an optional setting. Having said tat I think it would have to be global.

 

I know your intention is for feedback on a feature request but I feel compelled to share that I think you can do what you want right now. It's not as elegant but...

 

Expanding on your example if you type in ##m as the SK simply make your next command a Text Type <SHIFT><CONTROL><ARROW RIGHT>, copy clip, copy to variable and use that variable in a Switch Case to launch the appropriate macro. IE the ##m macro becomes a springboard.

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I'd appreciate feedback from other users before submitting the following feature request please.

 

I activate macros frequently with shortkeys. At present there's a serious limitation on their usefulness.

 

For example, if I have assigned 'me' as an easy-to-type shortcut, then I cannot assign any others such as 'meb', 'mep', 'meet', etc. Thousands of possible shortkeys are excluded because I've already assigned that 2-letter shortkey 'me'. I think this could easily be fixed if ME Pro simply waited for a short period until all keystrokes had been entered before scanning its table of shortkeys. At a guess I'd think up to 500 ms for each character to be entered would be reasonable. I should be able to type two characters per second, even if I was feeling hungover and suffering from severe RSI. And if I didn't, it would fail, either running the wrong macro or none at all, just as it does at present, and I'd try again. For even greater flexibility, the 'character delay' could be a settings option, so that users could customise it.

 

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Terry, East Grinstead, UK

As long as the delay were optional, I don't see how it could be a bad thing to have this added functionality.

 

On a related note, when activating a shortkey with a browser on top, the multi-backspace that clears out the shortkey command itself causes the browser to back out the same number of pages as characters being deleted. Is there any way to have Macro Express delete the command without backing out of the web-page you're on? (Note: this doesn't necessarily happen when entering the text into a box, but I often desire to launch a macro and don't want to have to worry about which window currently has focus).

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I'm not a ShortKey guy for the most part and tend only to use them for inserting bits of text and such in line and adding a delay would hurt their functionality there so if it was it would have to be an optional setting. Having said tat I think it would have to be global.

Cory, I don't see why it should affect functionality at all? The tiny delay (while ME Pro decides whether I' want me or mea or meb etc) is one off, at activation time. And you could set it as low as you want, so that effectively you end up with the status quo.

 

I know your intention is for feedback on a feature request but I feel compelled to share that I think you can do what you want right now. It's not as elegant but...

 

Expanding on your example if you type in ##m as the SK simply make your next command a Text Type <SHIFT><CONTROL><ARROW RIGHT>, copy clip, copy to variable and use that variable in a Switch Case to launch the appropriate macro. IE the ##m macro becomes a springboard.

 

Not sure I follow that yet, but it sounds extraordinarily complicated!

 

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Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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Terry,

 

Why not just use the Suffix key option instead of a Prefix? The suffix option eliminates the problem you are running into. You can type me <Space>, meb <Space>, mep <Space>, etc. without any firing off before you finish typing the shortkey.

 

You would need to be careful with using actual words as shortkeys, such as me. In those cases change your shortkey to #me, me1 or similar, or avoid it altogether.

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Terry,

 

Why not just use the Suffix key option instead of a Prefix? The suffix option eliminates the problem you are running into. You can type me <Space>, meb <Space>, mep <Space>, etc. without any firing off before you finish typing the shortkey.

 

You would need to be careful with using actual words as shortkeys, such as me. In those cases change your shortkey to #me, me1 or similar, or avoid it altogether.

 

Hi Stan,

 

My first reaction was that you are absolutely right. This was despite the fact that I've always steered clear of the Suffix option, worried that it would often trigger macros when typing normal text. Such as when shortkey strings occurred directly before a space, or at the end of dialog box or web form fields when Enter is typed, etc. But I hadn't thought of your simple but elegant solution, namely including an extra, special character like # to eliminate any serious risk of that.

 

However, after a few minutes I'm back here editing that first enthusiastic 'Thank you' reply because I'm afraid it's probably not going to work for me :(

 

Many of my shortkeys are not just for text replacement. They activate a wide range of macros in many different applications. The snag is that several of these applications use Space and/or Enter as important shortcut keys of their own. For example, most video editors use Space to stop/start playback of a clip.

 

If only the Prefix/Suffix option wasn't global!

 

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Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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As long as the delay were optional, I don't see how it could be a bad thing to have this added functionality.

 

On a related note, when activating a shortkey with a browser on top, the multi-backspace that clears out the shortkey command itself causes the browser to back out the same number of pages as characters being deleted. Is there any way to have Macro Express delete the command without backing out of the web-page you're on? (Note: this doesn't necessarily happen when entering the text into a box, but I often desire to launch a macro and don't want to have to worry about which window currently has focus).

 

Are you saying that the Do Not Remove Keystrokes Typed option doesn't solve this?

 

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Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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On a related note, when activating a shortkey with a browser on top, the multi-backspace that clears out the shortkey command itself causes the browser to back out the same number of pages as characters being deleted. Is there any way to have Macro Express delete the command without backing out of the web-page you're on?

 

Here is the solution I have been using. Firefox can be configured so that Backspace does not go back to the previous page. I use an Add-on called Keyconfig. It is not available on the Firefox add-on site, but it's findable with Google.

 

I don't know how to do the same thing in other browsers.

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Are you saying that the Do Not Remove Keystrokes Typed option doesn't solve this?

 

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Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Well... sort of...

 

You see, sometimes my short-keys are used in text-type situations (like the macro I use to insert the italics tags in this post).

That's what I was going to say, but then I double-checked the activation and realized it does not have to be a universal setting.

 

Thanks Terry, you just made my life a little simpler!

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Many of my shortkeys are not just for text replacement. They activate a wide range of macros in many different applications. The snag is that several of these applications use Space and/or Enter as important shortcut keys of their own. For example, most video editors use Space to stop/start playback of a clip.

 

To get around this, select the Use Punctuation Characters option for Suffix keys. Then you can type a comma, period or other punctuation characters to activate the macro rather than pressing the Space Bar or Enter key.

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That's a brilliant suggestion Stan. I don't often use ShortKey macros but recently I've had need to and realized the problem of one character negating all other ShortKey that might begin with the same string or character. I couldn't understand the need for suffix keys until now. Now I need to write more than a couple ShortKey macros. Thanks!

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