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MEX Pro 4 and Q-Dir Hotkey Problems


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Thank you for trying it out. Try the Help in the menu Info of Q-Dir. It should open the local help file which gets installed with the program. Mine is in German below. STRG (Steuerung) means Control. 

Yes, maybe the author can share the wisdom how he made Q-Dir MEX resistant. 😄

image.png.4b66ba26da2fa7ed7f0734cf24171ba4.png

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22 hours ago, Alexis said:

The macro is triggered by ALT + 1.  

 

Has either of you tried activating the macro with a hotkey that does not use ALT or CTRL?  I like to use the keypad symbols -- slash, asterisk, minus sign, plus sign.

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rberq,

 

Yes. The macro runs fine however it’s activated, including other hotkeys or debug mode.  But Q-Dir does not respond to being given Ctrl+1/23/4 by MX Pro rather than manually. Nor if that’s preceded by a variety of other characters (to which it does respond). I have yet to try a few other possibilities.

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I was also wondering if the same result could be achieved by other means, but so far that’s elusive. Tab will take you through each of the four panes. And if there is some way to identify your starting tab then the rest is easy. I reckon you could get that ‘base tab’ by pixel colour tests, but you’d then have to sacrifice the versatile viewing options, or add even further complexity.

 

Why not just settle for the good old fashioned method of clicking the target? 🙂

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I have already written a macro which uses mouse actions to achieve what i want. I wanted to have it on the keys G1 to G4 on my Logitech G510 Keyboard. This works.
But i found it strange that MEX wasn´t able to get a simple keycommand likte CTRL + 1 to work. 

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So i wanted to know more about it and posted the odd behaviour here. My Workaround for activating pane 1 is this. It also resets the mouse position to the previous one. 


<VARIABLE SET INTEGER Option="\x02" Destination="%X%"/>
<VARIABLE SET INTEGER Option="\x03" Destination="%Y%"/>
<MOUSE MOVE Option="\x02" X="550" Y="59" Control="%DoList2%" _PROMPT="0x000A"/>
<MOUSE LEFT CLICK/>
<TEXT TYPE Action="0" Text="<TAB>"/>
<MOUSE MOVE Option="\x01" X="%X%" Y="%y%" Control="%DoList2%" _PROMPT="0x000A"/>
 

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I would need to know what was at 550,59 on your computer screen to be able to run that successfully.  A screenshot, or at least some comments in your script, would tell me. But I'm guessing it's the tool icon that sets the layout to the default 4-pane one?

 

That's (350,40) on my 1920  x 1200 screen and works fine here.

 

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Well, i prefer the 4 Pane side by side . My Macro clicks directly in the path area ( D:\ ) of pane 1. I use the type TAB command to deselect it right after clicking. You have to adjust those coordinates to your Q-Dir window(size). Do you like Q-Dir already? 😉

 

image.png.8dec8fc2b35088bf97b703ed7ad3da59.png

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It looks interesting, but:

- I have scores of macros working with File Explorer, including a dozen or so sizing and positioning windows

- Another learning curve I can do without

- Already a year or two of work waiting on my To Do and To Learn lists

- In view of the subject discussion I suspect there may be other quirks

 

So I'll give it a day or two in case the author corresponds about the puzzle outstanding, and then uninstall.

 

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1 hour ago, Alexis said:

My Macro clicks directly in the path area ( D:\ ) of pane 1. I

 

In many applications, a hotkey moves focus to the address line without the need to know its coordinates.

 

Try Alt + D and/or Ctrl + L.

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This was all sounding curious, so I downloaded the software, installed it, and wrote a few macros. You're right, my scripts don't seem to be able to send Ctrl +1, 2, etc. to the application.

 

However, I found a workaround. Rather than send keystrokes, I could capture the controls for all four address bars, and gain access to the "panes" that way.

 

Get Control: (Q-DIR.EXE) Using z-order -> %Control%
Set Focus to %Control%

 

When you use Macro Express's Get Control feature, you'll need to drag the crosshairs (a stylized purple-coloured "X") over each of the four address bars. I used the option to capture using each control's "Z-order."

 

image.png.0aa9091ee0957840586dd15ac4bc5c31.png

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Here's another workaround: two scripts: one that navigates to the next pane, and the other to navigate to the previous pane. 

 

 

Macro 1:

 

Text Type (Simulate Keystrokes): <ALT>d
Text Type (Simulate Keystrokes): <TAB>

 

Macro 2:

 

Text Type (Simulate Keystrokes): <ALT>d
Text Type (Simulate Keystrokes): <SHIFT><TAB>

 

So if the third pane has focus and you want to go to the first, press the hotkey for the first macro twice, or the second macro three times.

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As i said, as i already have the activation of the four panes at my fingertips i am more interested in a deeper understanding how MEX works and why in some cases (Q-Dir) MEX fails to work. I think we all know MEX good enough to come up with dozen workarounds. But why does Q-Dir ignores certain keysends via MEX which work perfectly if typed manually?

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I just tried this AutoHotkey script:

 

!1::
SendInput, ^1
return

 

Translation:

 

Create a hotkey triggered by Alt +1 that outputs Ctrl + 1

 

I tested the macro in Q-Dir, and it fails. When I run the macro in Word, the command works. (Ctrl + 1 in Word = single space the paragraph.)

 

So the problem is not inherent to Macro Express. My script fails as an AutoHotkey macro, which is a more powerful automation tool than Macro Express -- albeit much harder to learn and use... which is why MEP is still my first choice.

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I'm going to make a SWAG (Silly Wild-A** Guess).  It's not a solution so it will satisfy no one.  And my knowledge of Windows structure is vague enough I could be totally wrong.  There -- so much for disclaimers. 

 

Q-Dir has been around for a long time.  Over the years, an application's relationship to the keyboard has evolved from the primitive ability to interact directly with the BIOS, to present-day highly-structured "layers" of software between the application and the hardware.  Perhaps Q-Dir generally adheres to Windows conventions, but has an old embedded module or two using an outdated technique that still works, but that sneaks in below the officially-correct level used by MEX.  Like coming in the back door instead of the front.  So sometimes MEX and Q-Dir communicate just fine, and sometimes not. 

 

OK, there's my semi-magical-mystical view of the machine's mind.  Works for me, you guys can come up with your own religion.  😐

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While there are programs that Macro Express cannot detect – Adobe Reader is hit-and-miss – programs that are easily controllable via keyboard using normal interaction rules are, in my experience, very amenable to macro automation. But Q-Dir appears to be an exception. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like the difficulties we are seeing in accessing different areas of Q-Dir's interface via macros when Q-Dir already has a reliable set of hotkeys.

Workarounds are not necessarily a bad thing. In my macro-scripting world, I often need to puzzle out workarounds to gain the functionality I'm after.

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I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everybody contributing here. Now i know that there are some MEX resistant programs out there. And that it makes sense to code a workaround instead of wasting time with searching an error somehow. This is what i learned about it. 😄

 

By the way. What i really love about this freeware Q-Dir is that you can define Favorites which change all four panes/folder views at once. So i created different setups for Office or for writing music. Don´t hesitate to ask me, if you would like to know more. 

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