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Unfortunately, there are times when even I'm stuck with Microsoft Windows. Over the time of 6 years I wrote countless small Windows applications and shell scripts to make the Microsoft systems a bit more usable. Most of these have been published in several of IDG's 'PC-WORLD' publications world wide in several languages.

I updated some of the old scripts that I still find useful and I also wrote a bunch of new ones for friends, fellow sufferers and users who are dissatisfied with Windows' standard-set of tools and programs. If not otherwise stated, everything here is published under the GPL v3 (why publish scripts under anything else than a open-source license?).

hotkeys.hta

Purpose: Find and manage shortcut hotkeys
License GPL 3
Type and system: Shell-Script (HTA) for Windows XP/Vista
hotkeys.zip (4 KB)

I always found Windows' ability to assign shortcut hotkeys to links and URLs rather annoying and far from being helpful. The shell doesn't leave you a big choice of availlabe shortcut keys. And these awkward, three-finger-shotcuts are hard to remember. To make things worse, Windows doesn't even let you manage your hotkeys in a acceptable manner.

This is where this script fits in: HOTKEYS.HTA lists all user defined hotkeys in LNK and URL files, with the ability to edit or to delete a shortcut. And If you are really into this shortcut game you can even print a list of all currently active hotkeys.

To run, unpack the ZIP file above and execute the containing script file hotkeys.hta by doubleclicking it. The scripts searches all LNK and URL files in your Startmenu and Favorites and displays the hotkeys in a table. From here, you can print the list, delte the hotkey or open the containing folder of this URL or LNK file in Windows Explorer. No privilieged user rights are required to run this shell script.

clip2uni.hta

Purpose: Quickly encode characters from the clipboard as unicode
License GPL 3
Type and system: Shell-Script (HTA) for Windows XP/Vista
clip2uni.zip (4 KB)

When you're developing applications in a non-English, non-Latin environment you will soon stumble upon certain limitations of the Windows platform. Windows supports Unicode quite well. But to display messages in Unicode in your apps or scripts you can't just type in what you want to show. Instead you need to encode your message.

For example, to display a msgbox in VBA/VBS/JS to say something basic like "שלום" you need to look up the Unicode value for every single one of these letters. Then you put each of those values in a Chr or ChrW function and combine it all together to the desired string of the message you want your code to show. And this is exactly what this small script does:  It takes the text content of the clipboard, lets you encode the whole thing and writes it back to the editor, ready for copy&paste.

To execute the script, download and unzip the script file clip2uni.hta obove. The button "Show clipboard" will always update the current editor window with the contents of the clipboard. "Copy this to clipboard" puts everything from the editor back to the clipboard, overwriting it's contents. And "Convert to Unicode" is what you would probably click next. The button neatly transforms the contents of the editor view to encoded characters. On the bottom egde there a a handful of further options for this process: Choose Chr for Ansi or ChrW for Unicode and pick + or & for the concatenation of the whole unreadable mess.

This small thing here saved me a lot of time when I was working on a database project in Hebrew. Hope it will be a big time saver for you, too.