Have you ever had a feeling that during your computer work, some tasks are repeated too often? Or that they are too incomfortable? Are you constantly disturbed by the need to always switch something, open something, close something and to do many other things to achieve a simple goal?
You're not alone. Blind users have it even harder, as we work with Windows in a linear way instead of a spaceone. Thus if we want to do something in another program, we need to switch to it, even if it was already opened, instead of placing it beside the currentone or clicking directly on its icon in the bottom bar, as sighted users can do.
Therefore while working one spends a significant amount of time just by clicking through folders, switching and searching between opened windows, selecting items from context and other kinds of menu and by other pointless things, which are not just a waste of time, but they also draw one's attention from the really important tasks.
Even with a programming knowledge, which can do various kinds of tasks with a lightning speed and without problems, there is still a question, how to simply, efficiently and quickly tell our computers what we want them to do in a concrete situation?
And exactly these two problems can be solved by Keyjutsu.
Problems of keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts exist in operating systems as long as computers themselves do. However, in their basic form, they always had one big issue. What is the key which launches bios during the system's start up?
F2? F8? F10? Even F12 did something...
A natural reaction was to choose keyboard shortcuts which in some way resembled their functions. many of us know the combination to launch Nvda (ctrl + alt + N) very well, whereas many Jaws users like the ctrl + alt + J shortcut instead.
This solution works, but it's very limited. There are not many letters on keyboard, so fitting combinations are taken over soon.
It isn't a solution for hundreds of tasks, which we can use to make our life easier, keyboard shortcuts will be always either completely exhausted, or impossible to remember.
Keyjutsu comes thus with a better solution.
Power of keyboard sequences
Instead of keyboard shortcuts, Keyjutsu uses keyboard sequences. They're in this case composed of an initial shortcut ctrl + K, called also the activation shortcut and a sequence of letters, triggering some action.
Why is it useful? Let's say we want to have a shortcut to create a new text file in Windows explorer. We could intuitively use ctrl + N, like new. However, later we'll want to create a Word document, and thus the ctrl + N shortcut won't be enough. We can use shortcuts ctrl + T and ctrl + W instead. The problem is not just that the latterone is already used by Windows explorer, but if we wanted to have a shortcut for timer sometime in future, ctrl + T as timer would be out of game.
That's however not the case of keyboard sequences. Sequences allows us to put actions into different categories, which will clearly distinguish them, while keeping reasonable and confortable letters.
For example, creating a text file and a Word file have in common that they create something new. Thus we can put them under a N letter. Then after pressing ctrl+K, we write NT, whereas if we wanted to launch a timer, we would write just T.
If we wanted to have multiple timer functions, such as starting, pausing, resuming stopping, we could make T a category, and create sequences TS for starting, TP for pausing, TA for announcing of the current value etc.
Everything without thinking out new and new combinations of modifier keys and non-fitting letters, in an easily rememberable form.
If we later wanted to use T to open Twitter, we could do it as well, in sequence with W (WT, like webpages, Twitter). We could place under W also Y as Youtube, F as Facebook or G as Google.
If we needed to use T or N as starting letters in sequences for some reason, for example to put actions to control a TV from computer under T (as TV), what would collide with our already existing sequences, we could make use of the fact, that both creating new files and controlling a timer are functions, so we could put those actions under F (FTS, FNT, FNW ...) and leave the T letter for TV, while still keeping reasonable letters for everything.
In this way, a whole tree of actions appears, where each sequence defines what it does from the most general characteristics to the most concrete. That makes them easily rememberable, as they have common branches, like leaves share their branches on a real tree.
Frequently used sequences will get automatic soon, less frequent are easy to derive.
And what's the best, this approach can cover hundreds of actions without single collision between sequences or with other programs.
Keyjutsu and Autohotkey
The system of keyboard sequences itself isn't enough for efficient automation. Important is also a language, which would allow to easily set, what will each function do.
The language is in this case Autohotkey, which is known for its simplicity and flexibility as well as friendlyness for people, who have no experiences with programming. It was developed for computer automation as well, but it doesn't have a direct support for keyboard sequences, it supports just normal keyboard shortcuts. It is possible to create keyboard sequences, but they make the code much messier and harder to modify.
Keyjutsu thus uses its own way of writing scripts, developed specially for keyboard sequences. In the final stage, user's code is processed and the program generates a resulting Autohotkey script, which can be either directly launched, or compiled into an executable for use on other computers.
Therefore it's required to install Autohotkey from its official webpage before using Keyjutsu, so your scripts have something to actually run on.
Another nice thing on AHk is, that it doesn't collide with screenreaders, so you should be able to activate keyboard sequences even from web environment.
Keyjutsu 1.2.1 with Assembler, some preequipped scripts and a complete documentation is available in a portable version to download here.
It may seem like a simple program, but it contains many useful functions and scripts. It is thus highly recommended to carefully read the documentation, so you get familiar with everything that Keyjutsu can offer.