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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    I need one more Windows keyboard shortcut. (Snap to forefront / snap to rear.)

    I've been searching and reading the 'net for a couple hours now. There's all kinds of cool keyboard shortcuts. I've always known about the "cool-switch", (Alt + Tab), but I didn't know about Flip3D, (Winkey + Tab). Very cool. But in all my searches, I can't find the one I really need: The ability to make a certain window snap back and forth between the forefront, and the rear.

    Here's what I'm trying to do: my normal mode of operation is to have my browser open on the right side of my screen, and my email on the left. But I often have some other app, (music player, audio software, picture manager, etc.), operating full screen behind those two windows. Often I'll run some lengthy batch processing with one of those, and it would be nice to hit one key, or combination of keys, and have that rear window snap to the front. Then with another key press, have it snap back to the rear. I know I can do that with either cool-switch or Flip3D, but both of those take multiple key presses to get back to where I was.

    Does anyone know of such a method? Even if its with an add-on app?
    Thanks all.

    Artie

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Consider rolling your own using AutoHotkey. Have a look at WinSet as this appears to be the command you need, assigned to hotkeys, e.g. Win+h (Hide) and Win+s (Show).

    For example, if Notepad was the application you wanted to snap to the top or bottom of visible windows, you could use something like:
    Code:
    #h::WinSet, Bottom,, ahk_class Notepad ; Use Windows key + h key together to push Notepad to bottom of z-order
    #s::WinSet, Top,, ahk_class Notepad ; Use Windows key + s key together to push Notepad to top of z-order
    If you haven't used AutoHotkey before then I recommend SciTE4AutoHotkey as an editor for AHK scripts.

  3. #3
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    Why not just use [Windows-#]?

    The applications are assigned in, I believe the order they were opened. As long as the active application set is stable, then [Windows-1] will always be the same application, as will [Windows-2]. You switch back and forth by alternating which key sequence you use.

    When an application loses focus via this method it does not go to the bottom. It goes behind, which is a different concept. If the screen space and layout permit, the application remains visible. It simply is not the frontmost application.

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    Let me take these in reverse order.

    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    Why not just use [Windows-#]?
    Yeah, the Win# is a cool function, but it doesn't save anything in this situation. Let's say my apps are Win#1=Browser, Win#2=Email, Win#3=MyApp. I hit Win#3 to bring MyApp to the forefront. I still have to then hit Win#2 to bring back my email, then Win#1 to bring back my browser. Please don't get me wrong. It's not like this is a bunch of clicks, it's just no more/no less than using what I'm already doing . . . using cool switch.

    Just to be clear, the "thang" that I'm calling "MyApp" could be many different programs. It wouldn't always be Win#3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Consider rolling your own using AutoHotkey. Have a look at WinSet as this appears to be the command you need, assigned to hotkeys, e.g. Win+h (Hide) and Win+s (Show).

    For example, if Notepad was the application you wanted to snap to the top or bottom of visible windows, you could use something like:
    Code:
    #h::WinSet, Bottom,, ahk_class Notepad ; Use Windows key + h key together to push Notepad to bottom of z-order
    #s::WinSet, Top,, ahk_class Notepad ; Use Windows key + s key together to push Notepad to top of z-order
    If you haven't used AutoHotkey before then I recommend SciTE4AutoHotkey as an editor for AHK scripts.
    Rick: I need to study this a bit. Not exactly sure what you're saying. But give me a moment, and I can figure it out. Film@11.

    One last thought, just to be clear. This isn't a crisis. I can do a couple clicks. I was just hoping there might be a snap-to-front/snap-to-back type function.
    Last edited by artied2; 2015-03-17 at 19:03.

  5. #5
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    Rick: I didn't quite understand that at first. I've downloaded it now and am playing with it. (Learning it.) This looks like a pretty cool program, and appears as though it might do exactly what I need.

    Thank you for those links.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    artied2 - AutoHotkey is really powerful and fairly easy - often ridiculously simple - to get the hang of.

    I have my own home-rolled 'mystuff.ahk' script running all the time helping me autocorrect 'on the fly' some of my usual spelling mistakes (e.g. correcting 'progarm' to 'program'), autoexpanding abbreviations (e.g. 'ys' to 'Yours sincerely') and providing hotkeys to flip/sort author names (e.g. changing 'Kellerman, Jonathan' to 'Jonathan Kellerman') and carry out other actions (such as what you are looking for).

    Quite simply, if I have to carry out an action more than a few times then I look for a way to simplify/automate it using AutoHotkey.

    If you get stuck, the 2 main Autohotkey user support forums - autohotkey.com and ahkscript.org - are mines of useful information and very friendly.

    Hope to see you in one of them sometime soon...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-03-18 at 19:13.

  7. #7
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Hope to see you in one of them sometime soon...
    It might be tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    I have my own home-rolled 'mystuff.ahk' script running all the time helping me autocorrect 'on the fly' some of my usual spelling mistakes (e.g. correcting 'progarm' to 'program') . . .
    Funny you should say that. You might be able to tell, from my avatar, that I hang out in some guitar related forums. I constantly use the word "Strat", and either my subconscious, or my spell corrector, wants to make it "start". Fender never made a startocaster. I can see where AutoHotKey might become more prevalent in my life.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artied2
    It might be tomorrow.
    unny you should say that. You might be able to tell, from my avatar, that I hang out in some guitar related forums. I constantly use the word "Strat", and either my subconscious, or my spell corrector, wants to make it "start". Fender never made a startocaster. I can see where AutoHotKey might become more prevalent in my life.
    I really hope AutoHotkey helps you simplify stuff in the same way it has for me.

    I use it all the time now but I would be the first to admit it's been a (really worthwhile) learning curve to plumb the depths... and I'm nowhere near absorbing it all yet.

    After about 2 years of digesting the AutoHotkey documentation and help forums ('cos I'm slow and easily distracted) I've got to the point where I can occasionally help others in the forums (I'm RickC on both and believe in giving back for the incredible help I've received) but I still learn every day/week from the gurus in both support forums.

    Yay automation!
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-03-18 at 23:19.

  9. #9
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    I really hope AutoHotkey helps you simplify stuff in the same way it has for me.
    I'm sure it will. I've been playing with DOS batch files forever. (Still have DOS 6.22 on an active machine.)
    I also love playing with QuickBasic 4.5 and a little C.
    I think I'm going to take to AHK like a fish to beer. Er . . . water.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artied2
    I've been playing with DOS batch files forever. (Still have DOS 6.22 on an active machine.)
    I also love playing with QuickBasic 4.5 and a little C.
    I think I'm going to take to AHK like a fish to beer. Er . . . water.
    Just try not to upset RetiredGeek or BATcher (both Super Moderators!).

    I don't want you or me to let them know there's a new (GUI-based) thing in town.

    ROFL

  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    I can play dumb with the best of them.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Dumb? Ya got a long way to go to beat me, kid. I've been practicing my art for decades.

    ROFL
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-03-18 at 23:39.

  13. #13
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    Kid!? Thanks for the compliment, but I've got ten grandchildren. Two of them in college.

    (I've been Art for decades.)

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artied2
    Kid!? Thanks for the compliment, but I've got ten grandchildren. Two of them in college.
    OMG, sorry... but really jealous.

    (Asks 32-year-old daughter... "Why no grandkids! Can't you catch up?" ROFL)

  15. #15
    2 Star Lounger artied2's Avatar
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    Don't push her. They grow up too fast as it is.

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