AutoIt

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Description

AutoIt is a utility that is used to simulate key press and mouse events. It can also simulate window commands such as maximize or minimize that helps to automate windows based task. The tool is developed using a scripting language that supports expressions, loops and user functions.

Features

The key feature of this tool is to automate any simple or complicated windows tasks such as program execution, passing the keystrokes and mouse events, registry events and clipboard functions. Keyboard automation is done by sending the keystrokes using the send function. This does not involve the keyboard, but just the function. For certain keys, a list of key codes can be used as reference. The keys can be pressed by using their respective key codes. For example, to use the ‘Enter key’ curly braces has to be used around to enter a word. This helps to create a new line. Another function called “Control Click” is used to send the mouse clicks., which does not require moving the mouse. This helps to click a minimized window without mouse movement. AutoIt also help to automate the Internet browser by sending HTTP requests directly. This facilitates work on all systems, irrespective of browser and toolbars.

Additionally, the pixel search function of AutoIt can be used to know the exact location of the button on the screen. It performs this function by searching a region of the screen for any given pixel color. Once the required color is found, it helps to find the co-ordinates of the button. Looping on the pixel search function helps to wait for the clickable element to appear on the screen, that enables to save CPU time.

AutoIt also help to create simple GUI screens. The user can create buttons with each button performing simple tasks when clicked. However, for this, users have to declare the buttons as variables. The GUI Created function helps to create a new GUI with required style and also assigns a title to the page. The GUI Create Button is used to create the buttons within the page. Another function of AutoIt to create a list of predefined values is the GUI Ctrl List View. This function helps to create a list and more items can be appended to the list as required. The MsgBox function of AutoIt helps to display a small dialog message box that gives specific information to the user.

Comparison

Selenium, Tinytask and Fastkeys are a few tools that can be compared with AutoIt with respect to functionality. However, AutoIt makes use of a combination of keystrokes and mouse movements, making the overall user experience less cluttery and fast. It was developed using a basic scripting language and is easy to follow.

Conclusion

AutoIt is a freeware and has come out as a powerful tool that supports complex functionalities, user functions and loops. It also comprises of all the basic functionality that a normal scripter is likely to expect.

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