With a simple AutoHotkey script, you can tell your computer to launch different programs on startup with different combinations of the Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock functions turned on.
If you like to start up a bunch of programs when you log in, it can be a pain to click them all manually. And, if you have a few different combinations of programs you want to launch depending on the situation (say, a set of programs for work and a set of programs for personal use), you can’t just set them to launch at login, since your computer only allows you to specify one set of login items.
Using the open-source scripting language AutoHotkey, reader Scott created a script that checks the status of the Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys and launches programs based on the combination of locks that are turned on. Just copy and paste this script into a new text file:
; On startup, this script checks the status of Numlock, Capslock, and Scrolllock.
; Depending on the unique combination of these 3 variables, 1 of 8 commands will be executed.
; The status is then reset (Numlock on, Capslock off, Scrolllock off)
; To use this script, place it in your startup folder.
; Then, every time you power up your computer, toggle the keyboard status
; to specify which apps you want to run at startup.
NumOffCapsOffScrollOff: ; Looks like: . . .
NumOnCapsOffScrollOff: ; Looks like: o . . (Default)
NumOffCapsOnScrollOff: ; Looks like: . o .
NumOnCapsOnScrollOff: ; Looks like: o o .
NumOffCapsOffScrollOn: ; Looks like: . . o
NumOnCapsOffScrollOn: ; Looks like: o . o
NumOffCapsOnScrollOn: ; Looks like: . o o
NumOnCapsOnScrollOn: ; Looks like: o o o
Save the text file as loginitems.ahk in your Startup folder (or call it whatever you want), and you’re set to go. You can customise the script to your liking by adding the name of your desired programs under a listed combination.
Now, when you turn on your computer, you can hit any combination of lock keys to specify which apps start. For example, the above script will launch Notepad and Firefox when you log into Windows with no locks enabled. Powering up with Num Lock turned on, however, launches just Firefox. With three lock keys at your disposal, you have up to eight combinations of programs that you can launch at login — more than enough for any digital workspace you may want to create. It will also reset the lock keys after it starts up the correct programs, so you don’t go start typing in Caps Lock by accident.