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Is it possible somehow to record user action fully and replicate it on any other machine? Not just repeat user input (key press, mouse clicks/movement), but capture actual system "objects" (e.g., GUI elements) being in interaction with user.

AutoIt/AutHotKey doesn't seem to be able to capture/replicate certain actions. For example, I want turn on/off Address Toolbar in Taskbar via shell or programatically, which is usually done via context menu on Taskbar -> Toolbars -> Address.

With AutoIt you can simulate exact mouse movement/clicks or keypress, which is not suitable in this case, because will fail on some other machines (if toolbar is autohided or located sideways). I assume Process Monitor might help, but couldn't figure out what Events to filter out and how to use them afterward. Any language/shell/software is acceptable.

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I'm not exactly sure what you would like here. I know of software that will record mouse movements along with keystrokes and every interaction made with the PC. My question however is what would you apply this software to? Why do you need to replicate this? If I know that I can help you more. –  Griffin Feb 22 '13 at 1:13
    
But in what form it records actions? as X,Y coordinates and button clicks? won't work. I need more precise description - some windows handle or other reference to the exact part of the GUI. Ultimately, it will be part of the tweaking tool. User will be able to turn on/off numerous interface elements from a single place, without going through numerous system options spreaded all over the system. –  nazikus Feb 22 '13 at 1:20
    
Sounds like you need to edit your GUI not have something that plays users actions over and over again. –  Griffin Feb 22 '13 at 1:26
    
ok. you can call it to "edit GUI". For me it seems more like user action. I was wondering if you can record such user action in terms of object/handle triggers, rather then exact mouse/keyboard events. –  nazikus Feb 22 '13 at 1:29
    
From what I hear you seem want to pretty much make "profiles" for different default settings. By this I mean a user can click on a "profile" and it will load a set of pre-configured defaults. –  Griffin Feb 22 '13 at 1:31

2 Answers 2

Recording exact coordinates of mouse clicks is never the right way to do something like this. There's almost always a better way.

  1. You could try exporting the following registry key and importing on the other PC:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Desktop
    
  2. You can use AutoHotkey to send the relevant keystrokes that would turn the Address or other toolbars on. For example, the following works on my Win7 PC to toggle the Address toolbar:

    Ctrl+Esc, Esc, (Shift+Tab)x3, Shift+F10, T, Right Arrow, A

  3. Even better, something like AHK's Window Spy can help you identify and obtain a direct handle to the notification area's class, so you can then programmatically right-click it. Something like:

    ControlGet, handle, Hwnd,, TrayClockWClass1,,Notification Area
    

    or this script:

    #NoTrayIcon
    #include <Array.au3>
    
    Dim $ctrlsize
    
    $ctrlsize=ControlGetPos("[CLASS]","","ReBarWindow321")
    
    ControlClick("[CLASS]","","ReBarWindow321","secondary",1,$ctrlsize[2],$ctrlsize[3]*0.5)
    MouseClick("primary",$ctrlsize[0]+$ctrlsize[2]+50,@DesktopHeight-215,1,1)
    
    Sleep(150)
    Send("t")
    

    AHK is extremely powerful, and the forum's a good place to ask questions. Matter of fact I found the script above after a quick search there, in a thread you'll want to read titled Creating toolbar on windows taskbar.

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Thanks for the hints. Although it is not quite what is expected, but it can be considered as a work around if no proper solution is found. As for your solutions: 1 I'm not sure what this registry key is responsible for. But when I toggle my Adress Toolbar on and off, its value stays the same all the time (0x11 00 00 00 00 00 00 00) 2 Key press simulation, which can be problematic because it might not work all the time (if software takes over the focus). Plus the process should be invisible. 3 Its basically the same as previous one, just in a script-style. But thanks anyway. –  nazikus Feb 22 '13 at 11:18

I was also not able to automatically do something similar.

Anyway. I have done similar task with a combination of custom Autohotkey scripts and Pulover's Macro Creator (http://www.autohotkey.net/~Pulover/#.UScMbldQb3E) . In the options you can also choose to record controlClick. Anyway. There will be problems with certain custom controls and Java application.

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I've tried it, but it could capture only window handle at the point when I right click on the taskbar, afterward only mouse events. But the app is useful, thanks for pointing it out. img7.imageshack.us/img7/774/macrorecord.png –  nazikus Feb 22 '13 at 19:00

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