How to Automate Repetitive Actions on Your Computer
Translation of an independent article, placed on Boris Lion site (2008 June, 21; borislion.ru). Boris Lion wrote it of his own accord.
From this article you'll learn about automation of routine actions on computer. I'll also tell you how to organize automation and what to use for that. Very often we have to do some simple repetitive actions on computer, such as mouse movements, key strokes, text input. The work is monotonous and extremely boring. Oh... it would be great, if it were done by itself! Or if my computer itself did it.
But it is possible. There are special programs to solve this problem. They can record user's actions (mouse movements, key strokes) and then reproduce them at any time you need. In other words, you show your computer, what it should do, and it will reproduce your actions, when you need the needed number of times. And the programs you work with will "believe", that it is you who carries out the actions not an automation program. Thus, any repetitive actions on computer can be automated.
I tried several automation programs, and the one I liked most is Denis Safonov's creation named AutoClickExtreme: http://www.autoclickextreme.com/. AutoClickExtreme is a program to automate repeated user's actions. It can automate: work with Excel tables, work with a large number of files, making back ups of important data, data base transferring from one format to another. It is just a small number of things the program can do. It can automate almost any simple repetitive task.
Here are useful abilities of AutoClickExtreme:
1. It can reproduce the recorded actions at high speed. Computer can do your work ten times faster then you do.
2. The recorded actions can be edited manually.
For example, you can remove needless actions from the record, such as an unnecessary mouse movement.
3. It can insert any text in any Windows program instead of a short word (AutoText).
4. A "hot key" can be set for any task. This key can start the task at the needed moment.
5. The recorded actions can be reproduced any number of times.
Set 100000 cycles an go to bed, everything will be done by itself.
6. You can insert a pause between the recorded actions. You can delay a task for any period of time and insert play delay between any actions.
Except for the advantages there are some limitations in the use of AutoClickExtreme:
Sometimes it inadequately reproduces recorded actions in games on DirectX basis.
2. AutoClickExtreme doesn't work with console-based applications, as their principles of data input from keyboard and mouse differ from those in Windows applications.
Personal automation is a creative thing. I'm sure, you will think of your own way to use this program.
Now, I'll list some valuable ideas about the use of AutoClickExtreme.
The program can start applications or processes in your absence. Your computer itself can do such complicated things as setting Internet connection, going to a certain site and carrying out the needed tasks there.
AutoClickExtreme gives an opportunity of work with the programs, which demand long pauses. You can make the "robot" continue the work after a time-consuming process.
You can organize launch of certain programs and documents when your computer starts working, so that you could get down to work with them at once. Or you can make several sets of programs or documents depending on the type of work. Thus, you won't spend time on preparations.
You can set your own "hot keys" for the necessary actions in different programs.
AutoClickExtreme gives an opportunity of processing large amounts of documents (such as data bases, images, texts), if you make similar changes in them.
You can make back ups of important documents. Automated back up (it can be done in your absence) will secure your work files, in case of computer errors.
AutoClickExtreme will automatically number or count something, using standard programs, such as "calculator" or Excel. All the data will be inserted there, and after the needed calculation, the result will be copied into another file.
The program can copy the needed data from one document and insert it into several other files.
Why is it wise to automate your work with AutoClickExtreme?
1. You can save the time and nerves, you would spend on routine operations.
2. Using hot keys to start certain tasks, you will click and press less and save even more time.
3. You will secure yourself against all defects. Human element causes mistakes even when we are doing repetitive work. Man is prone to error, but computer is not.
On the whole, I liked AutoClickExtreme. It is interesting, that the demonstration record draws complicated things "with hands" in the graphic editor Paint. It's worth watching! To sum up, I can say, that optimization and automation of computer work is very important and helpful. AutoClickExtreme is a really useful tool, that I advise you to try and use in your work.
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