"All-in-One Windows Automation Software"
When your work requires you to perform many actions, then you try to minimize the amount of time it takes to get the work done, in every way possible. This includes the use of macros, shortcuts, auto text-complete and basically anything that can automate a process. A software designed to help you with this is FastKeys. It’s shareware program that has plenty of features which can help you automate processes, such as a text expander for the automatic completion of frequently typed words, a start menu with custom commands and shortcuts, as well as a mouse gesture feature.
The installation is very short, and will be completed in only a few seconds, even if you’re a not experienced user. The number of steps it consists of is small, and the only settings you’ll come across are the shortcut ones.
No malicious software (viruses, spyware, etc.) or 3rd-party applications are included in the setup package.
Supported operating systems are all versions of Windows.
The main window is classic, with modern buttons and graphics. There’s a sidebar on the left side, which has 5 categories: Text Expander, Start Menu, Shortcuts, Auto Complete and Gestures. Depending on the selected category, the content of the window’s main area will change accordingly, allowing the user to make the desired conigurations.
There’s also a menu bar at the top, with the common menu items found in most software (File, Edit, etc.), below which are three buttons: Preferences, Support Forum and Help.
Let’s take a look at the available functions of FastKeys:
Text Expander: This feature allows you to create abbreviations of commonly used phrases and commands. For example, typing the string “kr” will be monitored by the program and convert it to “kind regards”. The same could be used for commands, i.e. the abbreviation will execute a command.
Start Menu: FastKeys’ start menu includes any shortcut and application you wish to add: web pages, directories, applications, etc. The start menu appears if you hover your mouse at the top side of your screen.
Shortcuts: You can assign global hotkeys to any command: Alt + Q to open a folder, Alt + G to search text in Google, etc.
Auto Complete: This is similar to the Text Expander function, but a string returns more detailed text or commands.
Mouse Gestures: By using simple mouse gestures (e.g. drawing letters with the mouse) you can execute programs and commands. This feature is activated by holding down the right mouse button and moving the mouse.
All of the above features have countless presets available, to save you time from assigning them yourself. FastKeys is very configurable, and can be adjusted to execute any kind of command you want.
No cons in this program.
It’s not easy to find a software with all those features combined. AutoHotkey (free) is a program for creating macros in order to automate tasks, but is less user-friendly than FastKeys. Find And Run Robot (free) is a tool to perform actions like searching the web, sending email, manipulating files, controlling windows etc., and StrokesPlus (free) is a software for using mouse gestures.
A very easy-to-use software with many functions that can really simplify the process of performing all kinds of tasks.
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