Is there a way to use AHK to bind ' to be Control, but only used in conjunction with other keys besides shift (so that when ' or Shift + ' is pressed on its own, it still sends ' and ", respectively)? I tried the following, but it didn't work:

' Up::'

My goal is to basically make ' a control key, while retaining its functionality when pressed alone.

  • Shift+' is not pressed alone. Please define better your needs. – harrymc Apr 5 '20 at 18:27
  • @harrymc I edited my question to make it clearer. – user1770201 Apr 5 '20 at 22:57
'::Control                      ; bind ' to be Control

' Up::
    Send, {Ctrl up}             ; release the Control key
    If GetKeyState("Shift","P") ; Shift + '
        Send, "
    If (A_PriorKey = "'")       ; quote was pressed alone
        Send, '

This script is a bit tricky, so here is what it does. It assumes that Shift is always pressed before quote.

  • The variable waskey marks that an alphabetic key was pressed, starting as 0 (false).

  • The Loop command sets all alphabetic keys as hotkeys that cause execution of label keypress, which marks the fact that they were pressed.

  • The first rule is for ' down. If Shift is not pressed it sets Ctrl to down.

  • The second rule is for ' up. It sets Ctrl to up, and if no other key was entered in the meantime it issues the ' key.

global waskey = 0
global ctrldown = 0

keys = "a|b|c|d|e|f|g|h|i|j|k|l|m|n|o|p|q|r|s|t|u|v|w|x|y|z"
; '|' is used as a delimiter
Loop Parse, keys
   HotKey ~*%A_LoopField%, keypress

   waskey = 1

'::        ; quote down
    if !GetKeyState("Shift") {
        waskey = 0
        ctrldown = 1
        Send, {Ctrl down}
        SetTimer, checkPressed, 3

' up::     ; quote up
    SetTimer, checkPressed, Off

    if !GetKeyState("'", "P") {
        SetTimer, checkPressed, Off

unPressCtrl() {
    if (ctrldown = 1) {
        ctrldown = 0
        Send, {Ctrl up}
        if (waskey = 0)
  • This is so close! The problem is, for example, if I press ' + a (to get the effect of Control + a to i.e. select all text in a text field), then when I release the keys I still get a ' sent to my text field. Is there to fix this? – user1770201 Apr 6 '20 at 21:31
  • 1
    The script was working fine yesterday, but today I'm getting the same results as you. So I made it more deterministic by adding a timer that checks for quote key up. Apparently sometimes the up event is not sent. Funny that AHK is not deterministic. – harrymc Apr 7 '20 at 9:05

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