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I want to install a keyboard shortcut software on a Windows 7 system. Mainly if found the following two free alternatives:

  • AutoHotkey (Freeware / Open Source)
  • AutoIt (Freeware / Closed Source)

Now I'm not really sure how I'm gonna use the software in the future. For starters I want to deactivate certain windows keyboard shortcuts as well as implement several new ones (resizing open windows in a certain way etc.).

There are a few comparison sites out there like:

But it wasn't conclusive for me so I still don't know which one to choose. If you have used both applications and can give me some pointer or you know of a site that has a structured matrix like comparison of features and usability please let me know. Also, is there any other Software I should have a look at? Thanks a lot! Albin

PS. I would put in more then two links, but I'm not allowed to.

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The reviews you linked are quite non-biased and they say most of things you need to know. Based on them you can create comparison matrix by yourself, it will be accurate.

My guidance for you is this:

AutoIt is more advanced in general automation, i.e. if you want to automate some installer, recognizing content of its windows and clicking buttons to proceed. If such longer scripts are your primary goal, go with AutoIt.

In AHK, the above task can be more problematic. The AHK excels in hotstrings and in hotkey-oriented magic which, as second review demonstrates, is more cumbersome in AutoIt.

If your intent is to give yourself a bunch of small conveniences across the Windows, most of them accessible through hotkeys and hotstrings, go with AutoHotKey. Given the scalability (going from simpler hotkeys to more complex scripts over the time) I doubt you can find other comparable equal software in Windows – free, open source, universal.

  • This answer isn't bad, but I can't tell if you have really used both. I also don't agree with your characterization of "longer scripts". To me, you haven't presented any examples of longer scripts, and AutoHotkey is just as good at longer scripts as AutoIt is. It is possible that AutoIt is better at some things than AutoHotkey (I'm not sure because I haven't used AutoIt enough), but it has nothing to do with the length of the scripts. – John Y Oct 30 '17 at 22:20
  • @JohnY – maybe you are overthinking it a bit. 3rd to 5th paragraph denote their different purpose quite precisely. You must know what exactly do you want and then you are able to decide. The rest, like nuances of their programming languages, are just details compared to the above goal. – miroxlav Oct 31 '17 at 1:29
  • I'm not overthinking it at all. Actually, AutoHotkey is designed to be able to do everything that AutoIt can do (plus more). It is a fork, after all. AutoHotkey is perfectly good at scripting, and if you don't believe this, then that strongly suggests you haven't used it enough. I am not convinced AutoIt can do anything better than AutoHotkey, but I am allowing for the possibility because I have not used AutoIt enough. The thing that everyone agrees on about AutoIt is that it has a cleaner syntax than AutoHotkey. That's it. – John Y Oct 31 '17 at 14:10
  • @JohnY – It looks we both write the same thing using different words, no need to argue :). (For example, I used "longer scripts" instead of "cleaner syntax" because I supposedly wrote for less-technical user, not seeing your Stack Overflow profile.) Btw AHK v3 will have more consistent syntax, too. Maybe we can close this Q/A now. But if there is anything else what wasn't answered, let me know. – miroxlav Oct 31 '17 at 15:04
  • @miroxlav I couldn't find any reference for AHK v3 only for v2 which is still in alpha stage. – Sonamor Jan 29 '18 at 15:32
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I'm personaly using Clavier+ to create my own shortcuts (mainly sending keystrokes to type text).

It also allows more complex operations, but maybe not exactly what you're expecting out of the box (resizing windows,...)

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