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The usage scenario is typing the product keys into the mutliple textboxes. The app is supposed to press all the keys for me when I press some keys like, ctrl+Q.

I don’t think such an application would be common, so thanks in advance if you ever heard of such a program.

  • Explain why copy \ paste doesn't work please. – krowe Apr 4 '15 at 3:21
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    Where does the text come from (how do you store it)? Are you talking about one string that you paste multiple places? A list of strings that you select from and paste? Describe how what you're looking for differs from a form filler or clipboard utility. Have you explored any options? If so, what did you find and why did you rule them out? – fixer1234 Apr 4 '15 at 6:47
  • Let alone this question being a simple request for a list of automation software (plenty of those exist), it's not even clear what operating system this should apply to. Specifying this, and explaining what you've already tried, would've given you an answer earlier. – slhck Apr 7 '15 at 8:56
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AutoHotkey is a program that allows you to make any hotkey that you want to perform pretty much anything. And there’s plenty of documentation on the Internet for you to find.

First, download the program from the link above and install it.

Second, create a new text file called AutomateStuff.ahk and put the following text in it:

^q::
    Send 1234-5678-4321-8765
    Send {Tab}
    Send ABCD-EFGH-IJKL-MNOP
    Send {Tab}
    Send 1A2B-3C4D-5E6F-7G8H
    Send {Enter}
return

Explanation:

  • The ^q:: part defines control q as a hotkey. (^ is the AutoHotkey symbol for control.)
  • Everything between the :: and the return will be executed when you press the hotkey.
  • Send will make the keyboard type the text that comes after the Send.
  • Some special keyboard sequences need to be specified with the curly brackets. As you can see, I needed to specify {Tab} and {Enter} that way.

Save the file, then double click it. You should see the green AutoHotkey icon appear in the system tray - it looks like an “H.” Now, whenever you press ctrl+Q, it will perform the keystrokes that we specified in the script! To exit, just right click the “H” file and hit exit.

For more information on AutoHotkey, check out:

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Autohotkey as suggested by James is better for automation of simple key entries. If these strings are always the same it's easy this way, the script can also be compiled into an executable and when neede, all you need to do is to run it or enact the hotkey event.

The other option, in my opinion is the better one, is the password safe KeePass. It's open source, comes on multiple platforms, I've tested it on Windows only and the particular features it has that might be useful here are lists and window identification by title.

Each entry can correspond to a certain (or more) window title(s), so that when pressing its hot key (called autotype key, is configurable), you could autotype one serial for one app and another for another app.

Lists in conjunction with window identification can supply you a short list window with multiple strings to autotype, like if you have multiple types of serials (pro, ent, basic) for an application, it will give you the choice for the app. If there's only one key specified for the app in question, no window will show, instead the only key will be autotyped.

The strings to be autotyped don't need to be specific to the storage model, so if an entry usually has title, username, password, web address, notes, you can fill only title, and add in a particular section user defined strings, then in auto-type section you can reference them like {S:string1}{TAB}{S:string2}{TAB}...{ENTER} and so forth. You can also put a {CLEAR} in front of every {S: to first delete a box's contents.

Also the help section is well done, to understand all of these particularities.

I do this for forms and credit card pay sites for my bills, gets things done pretty fast and I don't have to rely on some bank's automation system.

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Maybe AutoHotkey is the answer? Scripts can be written to send any keystrokes, and a lot more too.

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There are multiple options that don't exactly insert text by a keyboard combination shortcut (like CMD+Q), but that 'expand' short blurbs into longer words/phrases/sentences that you define. (e.g OMW = On my way!) I historically used TextExpander on Mac, but now Mac has this capability built-in (in fact it was incredibly hard to type OMW above because it kept expanding to On my way!) These could definitely be used to enter product keys, but not necessarily tabs or carriage returns, which may be necessary with older software activations methods that expect a user to actually type in a product key instead of copy/paste (all modern Microsoft activations respect copy/paste/complete string entry at once)

Here are some links. I encourage to to check out the details on their sites and decide for yourself as I have better things to do than copy/paste blurbs from their websites.

Mac:
TextExpander

Windows:
PhraseExpress
Texter
Breevy

You'll have to google for the last 2 because I don't have enough rep to post more than 2 links :(

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