Providing users with Basic like syntax, the program is very easy to use, especially for those who have already used a high-level language. However, if you have little or no experience with programming, it may take you a while to learn the ropes, but the extended documentation, together with the online forums might do the trick. After learning about the variables, the operators, the user-defined functions, loops and expression parsing, you can start writing your own script or just modify one of the provided examples. The application comes with a customized version of SciTe, especially designed for the AutoIt language, which features syntax highlighting to make source code editing easier. This script editor can be used to open any .AU3 file and run or compile the script into a standalone executable file, which allows you to run it on any computer, whether it has AutoIt installed or not. With AutoIt, programmers are able to easily simulate keyboard and mouse input, which enables you to create scripts for routine actions. Also, this language can help you manipulate windows and processes. It provides you with an info tool that you can use to view detailed information regarding the opened window, from title, class and style, to position, dimensions and even internal Win32 API handles. Using AutoIt, you can easily generate complex graphical user interfaces, create message boxes, as well as automate sending user input to applications. Even if you are a beginner, AutoIt provides you with the tools necessary to make the learning experience pleasant and easy. On the other hand, regular expressions and COM support, as well as the possibility to automate common tasks or create macros make it a useful tool even for more advanced programmers..
AutoIt is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI and general scripting. AutoIt will use a combination of simulated keystrokes, window/control manipulation and mouse movement in order to automate tasks in a way not possible or reliable with other languages (e.g. VBScript and SendKeys). When you start AutoIt you will be asked to open a script file. A script file is a simple text file containing AutoIt keywords and functions that tell AutoIt what you want it to do. Script files are created in a simple text editor such as notepad.exe or a much better alternative. Although AutoIt v3 scripts are just plain-text files they are usually given the file extension .au3 to help tell the difference between a script and a text file. If you used the full installer to install AutoIt you can execute an AutoIt script simply by double-clicking it. There are also various options to open, edit, or compile a script if you right-click on the .au3 file. It is possible to take your .au3 script and compile it into a standalone executable; this executable can be used without the need for AutoIt to be installed and without the need to have AutoIt3.exe on the machine. In addition, the compiled script is compressed and encrypted and there is the option to bind additional files (also compressed/encrypted) to the exe using the FileInstall function. Also, any #include files will also be compiled into the script so they are not required at run-time.
Here are some key features of “AutoIt”:
- Easy to learn BASIC-like syntax
- Simulate keystrokes and mouse movements
- Manipulate windows and processes
- Interact with all standard windows controls
- Scripts can be compiled into standalone executables
- Create Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs)
- COM support
- Regular expressions
- Directly call external DLL and Windows API functions
- Scriptable RunAs functions
- Detailed helpfile and large community-based support forums
- Unicode support
- Digitally signed for peace of mind
- Works with Windows Vista’s User Account Control (UAC)
- Removed: PluginOpen() and PlugInClose() removed to due to not being used and never having progressed past the experimental stage.
- Changed: Removed Windows 2000 support. Minimum supported OS is now Windows XP RTM / Windows Server 2003.
- Changed: upx.exe from 3.07 -> 3.91.
- Changed: PCRE regular expression engine updated to 8.33.
- Changed: Default newline character for PCRE regexes changed to ANYCRLF.
- Changed: ReDim works on arrays declared as static.
- Changed: Run-time errors on objects no longer fatal (execution of the script is not halted).
- Changed: Allowing multiple COM Error Handlers. Last one registered and alive gets called.
- Changed: VT_NULL VARIANT converts to Null keyword (previously empty string).
- Changed: Default manifest file on AutoIt and compiled exes is set for “AsInvoker” and tagged with compatibility for Vista/Win7/Win8 and Win8.1.
- Changed: #NoAutoIt3Execute option replaced with #pragma compile(AutoItExecuteAllowed, false). Default is false.
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