Auto-replace anywhere using Autohotkey Hotstrings

If you are familiar with MS Office, you know that for instance Word replaces things you type as you go along. This might be to fix common spelling mistakes, replacing characters with emoticons, etc. By using Autohotkey Hotstrings, you can have this functionality in all applications in Windows, from browser windows to login dialogs, anything. You can auto-replace acronyms of your choice with the full sentences but you can also make a shortcut for entering your email address. On my machines, if I type t@work it will automatically insert my work email address.

You can look up the syntax for Hotstrings here. The way this works is simple: you specify the abbreviation that you want to expand (auto-replace) between pairs of colons (::) followed with the replacement text, like so:

	::ht5::HTML 5

Some more advanced options:

  1. By default, replacement occurs after an ending character (space, comma, period, etc.) has been detected. By adding an asterix between the first pair of colons the replacement will occur instantaneously.
  2. If you only want to auto-replace an acronym some of the time, you can add a specific character to the end of the abbreviation. So, if you want to be able to write "ttyl" on one occasion but "talk to you later" some other time, you can change the acronym into "ttyl]". That way, only if you add "]" to the end of the acronym you will get the expanded version.
	::talk to you later::talk to you later

Look at the detailed documentation online or in the help file for more tips on how to use Hotstrings.