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WinMapper
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triangle WinMapper Introduction

WinMapper is a small software utility that allow you to define keyboard shortcuts to applications, documents, files, Internet shortcuts, or one of the 80+ built-in functions designed to simplify the use of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. WinMapper is distributed as shareware, and a single-user license cost $19.95 / e19.95.

Index:
1.0 WinMapper
1.1 Hotkeys
1.2 Aliases
1.3 Bookmarks
1.4 MouseKeys
1.5 Windows Defaults
1.6 Running Applications
1.7 Macros / Keyboard
1.8 Windows
1.9 DirPlay
1.10 Internet / MultiMedia
1.11 Timers
2.0 Settings, Functions and Parameters
3.0 Selecting documents and applications
4.0 Importing and Exporting

Introduction to WinMapper:

1.0 WinMapper

WinMapper is an easy-to-use tool for customizing the use of your keyboard and Microsoft Windows. Using WinMapper, you can define keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) to start applications, navigate and bookmark documents, open or close internet connections, record or play series of keystrokes, quickly send an email, navigate around your favorite internet sites, music files or pictures, and more.

By defining a "hotkey" - that is, a number of keyboard keys that must be pressed simultaneously - to result in the execution of a function, WinMapper allows a great deal of flexibility. At the time of writing, more than 90 functions in 15 different categories are available.

1.1 Hotkeys

The basic idea of WinMapper is to allow users to customize their keyboard, by assigning combinations of keypresses to run a function or application. You can assign a Modifier - that is, the "control" key you must press and hold while pressing the other key. A good modifier to start with is the WIN modifier - that is the Microsoft Windows key available on Microsoft Windows 95 compatible keyboards. This key is not widely used by default, and can easily be assigned to execute a number of tasks. In addition, some MultiMedia keyboards have special keys that may or may not be programmed. Using WinMapper, this is now possible - and not only can you change it as often as you like, it should also work with your next keyboard (provided similar keys are available). A lot of the functions you can select were designed to make simply tasks even easier - for example, the Send Email and Send Email To functions results in a new, blank email ready to be sent, without any overhead or delay. And by recording keystrokes and "playing" them again (known as Macros), repetitive tasks are made extremely easy. Using bookmarks, you no longer have to hold down the ALT+TAB combinations to find the window you were looking for ; you can just "jump" directly to the window you previously bookmarked. You can also add a hotkey to send a specific text (as if you typed it yourself), clear your Internet history, open a specific folder, use the built-in stopwatch, treat any group of files or Internet Favorites as if they were a CD (play/run, next, first, etc), and a lot more. The categories are explained in more detail in the following sections, as well as some of the functions and settings. Please review the online documentation for the full, and latest, descriptions of each function or setting.

1.2 Aliases

Aliases are a built-in function in Microsoft Windows, and allows applications to define an easy-to-remember name for the application. This, in turn, allows the user to start the application by typing it's corresponding short name. WinMapper now allows the user to add, edit, or remove these aliases. Please take extreme care when modifying these, as some applications may not be able to run if you remove essential names. However, if you feel sure, this is an excellent alternative to using shortcuts, as you can launch the application simply by starting a Run window (WIN+R if enabled, or an alias running the function GotoFolder) and typing in the short name. Aliases where the file they are referring to could not be found are marked in red. Please excercise caution before removing aliases, and note that some aliases may not require an actual filename as the setting.

1.3 Bookmarks

Bookmarks are a method of keeping track of the windows you have open. Typically, users work primarily in 1-2 windows, while keeping a number of windows or applications open. This can make the "browsing" or "task switching" a complicated affair. Using the built-in bookmark functions (or by defining your own), you can use a hotkey to "mark" a window, and then later return to it using the same hotkey. These "bookmarks" are defined and used "on-the-fly", so you can overwrite them as often as you want to.

WinMapper's built-in bookmarks use the keys 0-9 in combination with the Microsoft Windows key. To set a bookmark, hold down the Microsoft Windows key, the SHIFT key, and one of the keys numbered 0 to 9 (on the main keyboard). To jump back to an open window, simply press the Microsoft Windows key and the numbered key (0 to 9) you used to set the bookmark.

As an example, open a document of any kind from your computer. Then press and hold the Microsoft Windows key, the SHIFT key, and the "1" key. If you have enabled the "Confirm hotkeys" option in WinMapper (and have sound enabled), you should hear a small beep. Now switch to another application, document, the desktop, or any other Microsoft Windows application. Whereever you are, if you press the Microsoft Windows key and the "1" key simultaneously, you will be taken back to the document you opened.

Note that bookmarks are temporary - to always open the document or application, use the Run or Switch to Application functions.

The default bookmark keys are:

    
    WIN+SHIFT+0  Set bookmark 0
    WIN+0        Jump to bookmark 0
    .. (1 to 8) ..
    WIN+SHIFT+9  Set bookmark 9
    WIN+9        Jump to bookmark 9
  

1.4 MouseKeys

MouseKeys is a built-in function of Microsoft Windows, and enables the user to use the numeric keypad instead of a mouse. The MouseKeys support in WinMapper enables the built-in support for MouseKeys, *and* allows you to use additional keys such as the arrow keys next to the numeric keypad (on most keyboards). In addition, the setup and configuration is now customizable through hotkeys or the WinMapper window.

The following keys respond when MouseKeys are enabled:

    
    Microsoft Windows (Numeric keypad only:)
    / = left button click
    * = both buttons click
    - = right button click
    5 = left button click
    0 = button lock
    . = button release
    + = doubleclick
    1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 = movement
    disable/enable: left alt, left shift, numlock simultaneously
    CTRL + numpad movement = "jump" across large sections of the screen
    SHIFT + numpad movement = move one pixel at a time

    Additions made by WinMapper:
    Cursor keys (if enabled): movement
    CTRL + cursor keys = jump to edge of screen (Border Keys)
    WIN+NUMLOCK = toggle mouse keys
    And the automatic enabling, disabling, and setup of Microsoft Windows' MouseKeys support.
  

1.5 Windows Defaults

Here you can enable or disable certain basic Microsoft Windows responses.

By disabling the "Windows key" (Microsoft Windows Key) setting in WinMapper, pressing the Microsoft Windows key will not result in display of the Start Menu.

By disabling some of the standard Microsoft Windows shortcuts, you can avoid the tedious error of waiting for 55 Windows Explorer windows to start up because something held down the Microsoft Windows and the "E" key simultaneously. Unlike WinMapper, Microsoft Windows responds to certain hotkeys - the Windows key and D, E, F, M, or R - repeatedly as long as the key is held down. WinMapper will only execute the hotkey once. You can therefore have some benefits by disabling the Microsoft Windows standard hotkeys through WinMapper, and/or overriding the hotkey with your own.

The default Microsoft Windows shortcuts are:

    WIN+D  Show Desktop
    WIN+E  Explorer
    WIN+F  Find Files
    WIN+M  Minimize all Windows
    WIN+R  Run
  

You can disable the support of these shortcuts using the Windows Defaults settings in WinMapper.

1.6 Running Applications

The Run category contains functions to launch applications, documents, Internet Favorites, Control Panel applications, recently used files, and other shortcuts. When using certain functions in the Run category the Select button is also visible, which enables the user to quickly locate the desired application or file.

The Start Application function is perhaps the most widely used WinMapper function, and launches the specified application/document. Use the Select button to find your document, shortcut, Internet Favorite, and any other kind of application.

The Switch To Application performs the same action as the Start Application, but checks first to see if the document or application is already open. If so, focus is switched to the open application instead.

Certain functions are available to re-run the most recently used document (Windows wide), re-run the last application or folder started using GotoDir, or opening standard Microsoft Windows applications or folders such as the Control Panel and Printers. The AutoRun feature enables you to set up a hotkey to perform the AutoRun action on the inserted CD-ROM - this is similar the (default) action performed by Microsoft Windows when a new CD-ROM is inserted in a CD-ROM drive.

1.7 Macros / Keyboard

Macros allow you to record your keystrokes for repetition. Start recording your keystrokes by using a hotkey that is defined to the Start/Stop Recording Macro function, and then type the text you would like to record. When you are done, use the Start/Stop Recording Macro hotkey again to stop recording, or use the Play Macro function to immediately play the recorded hotkeys again as if you typed it. The Repeat Macro is used to repeat the text a number of times.

In the Keyboard category, there are functions to use predefined text strings as macros, or certain standard functions such as Insert Current Date and Insert Euro Symbol. Use the SendKeys function to send a predefined text string as if you typed it.

Start/Stop Recording Macro: This function starts or stop the recording of keyboard strokes. When you start recording keystrokes, the WinMapper logo changes to RED. When recording is stopped or aborted, the logo changes back to normal.

Play macro: This function repeats the series of keyboard strokes recorded previously. All keystrokes are repeated as you typed them, including any special characters or function keys you press. During Playback, the WinMapper icon changes to BLUE.

Repeat Macro: This function prompts the user for the number of times to repeat, then begins to repeat the currently stored macro (set of keyboard strokes). The current limit on the repeat count is set to 100.

Next Number: This function allows you to insert a number, and then automatically increment or decrement a temporary copy. For example, using a hotkey for the Next Number macro with the Number parameter set to 100, and the Change By value set to 1, will result in the text "100" to be inserted the first time the macro is used. On subsequent use, the inserted text represents the current value, and is incremented or decremented after each use. If you used the hotkey 5 times in a row, the text "100101102103104" would be "typed".

The Send Keys (used to send a predefined text) is able to recognize the <nextno> text and replace it with a call to the NextNumber function, allowing users to send key sequences that include an automatically generated number at a predefined position in a text string. In addition, <CR> and <TAB> are replaced with a Return and Tab character respectively, if specified.

1.8 Windows

The Windows category contains functions to control any window. You can define hotkeys to Close, Restore, Minimize, or Maximize the current window, or toggle the window's Always On Top option.

1.9 DirPlay

DirPlay functions allow you to treat the files in any folder as if it were a CD, which means you can use control functions such as Play, Stop, Next, Prior, Last, etc on the files. The files in the folder must be in a format supported by your Microsoft Windows installation.

When you define a DirPlay hotkey, you first define the Play key. This includes an ID, used to later identify the "DirPlay" folder you would like to navigate, a "Playmode", and the folder that contains the files to Play. All the other DirPlay functions take one parameter: The DirPlay ID. This means you can set up multiple DirPlay "sessions", for example one for your Music, Pictures, or Internet Favorites. Note that DirPlay supports both Links (.lnk) and Internet Favorites in addition to any other playable file in your Windows setup.

1.10 Internet / MultiMedia

The Internet category provides standard functions for sending a new blank email, sending an email to a predefined user and/or with a predefined subject, and opening and closing a AutoDialUp connection (Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 +).

The Send Email functions require a standard Email editor to be installed. When used, the new email pops up directly, without the need to launch the email editor and go through the menus.

The Open and Close Internet currently only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer.

The MultiMedia category contains functions for controlling your volume, and ejecting a CD-ROM. Use the Mute Sound to toggle your sound on/off, or the Increase and Decrease Volume functions to change the volume level by 10%.

1.11 Timers

These functions allow you to keep track of the time elapsed between two events. For example, you can use the Start Timer function to start the timer, and then Stop it when you have completed your task. Then use Show Timer Status to display the elapsed time in timer ticks and "real" time.

Please note that

A) Timers are not "running" in the background, the precise time is simply remembered when using these functions.

B) All timer functions relate to the same timer. This means you can use any of the following 3 methods to control the timer:

1) Define hotkeys to use Timer functions

2) Right-click on the WinMapper icon in the taskbar and select the Timers.. menu item and use the Timer control functions

3) Right-click on the WinMapper icon in the taskbar and select the Functions .. menu, then the Timers.. menu item, and then use any of the Timer control functions

2.0 Settings, Functions and Parameters

There are a number of settings available in WinMapper, in addition to the 75+ functions that can be executed. Some of the not-so-obvious shortcuts, settings and functions are explained here:

If you right-click on the WinMapper icon in the taskbar, you have a "Edit last hotkey" shortcut that allows you to easily modify the definition of the last hotkey you executed. Also in this popup menu is access to ALL functions available - you will be prompted for each parameter used for the function.

When "Use Online Help" is enabled, you can press F1 on a setting to look up the latest documentation for the selected setting on our website. If you select a function while editing hotkeys, you can also press F1 to review the online documentation for that function. If you are not currently viewing a function or setting, the documentation for the current window (in WinMapper) is displayed.

Check the "Shortcut on Desktop" checkbox to create a shortcut on your desktop to WinMapper. Uncheck the setting to remove the shortcut on the desktop.

If "Load during startup" is enabled, WinMapper will be loaded when Microsoft Windows is started, and is therefore available without starting it manually.

The "override menu doubleclicks" setting, when enabled, changes the default double-click in a window's Title bar (the blue bar) from maximing/restoring the window size to completely hide or show the contents of the window. Since the entire contents of the window is temporarily removed, only the blue title bar remains, and the contents "behind" the window can be seen. This is a "toggle" mode - the contents of the window is either hidden or displayed, depending on the current status.

The "Show WinMapper if both windows key pressed" is a very handy feature for easy access to WinMapper. You basically have two Microsoft Windows Keys on a "MultiMedia" or "Windows 95" keyboard, one to the left of the spacebar, and one to the right. When you define and use hotkeys, it does not matter if you use the left or right "modifier" (Windows key). If you enable the "Show Winmapper if both windows key pressed" setting, WinMapper will pop up if you press both the left and the right Microsoft Windows key down simultaneously.

3.0 Selecting documents and applications

The Select window is available from within the Edit Hotkey window, when a function allows the user to select a file on the local computer (or Internet Favorites). Using this window you can quickly find the documents or applications you were looking for, and we have included easy access to the most common locations. Double-click on an item to select the file/document, or obtain the contents / reference from it (URLs, Links).

4.0 Importing and Exporting

The Export Settings window allows you to save your hotkeys and settings to an external file, for later retrieval or installation (using the Import window). You may also email the output file to your friends, and they can easily import the hotkeys and settings you exported.

The settings are exported to a standard .ini file, which contains pure text. This small file can then be opened by another WinMapper, and the settings (and hotkeys) can be imported.


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