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[TUT] How to Use the Sidewinder X6 Macro Keys to Trigger iMacros in Firefox

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by flist, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. flist

    flist Registered Member

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    This is kind of a technical, specific tutorial, but I thought it would be worth sharing nonetheless.

    After reading Scritty's wonderful thread about manually creating and updating Web 2.0 properties, I was inspired to go out and purchase a Microsoft Sidewinder X6 keyboard to make my life easier. The intent was so that I could assign macros to do my logins at the Web 2.0s that I manually update with content. After messing around with it for entirely too long, I've come up with a guide for anyone else wondering about this.

    If you look online, there are tons of people asking about the ability to assign hotkeys to play macros in the Firefox free version of iMacros. In short, you CAN'T do this. I'm sure there are a million other ways to do this sort of thing, but this way is now working for me and only requires free iMacros and the X6 keyboard. Even if you don't have this keyboard, perhaps this will shed some light on how you can make this process easier.


    Why I Wanted to Trigger iMacros:
    I looked into setting up macros using the actual record function by the keyboard itself. I am critical of this for two reasons:

    1. If you record in real time, it records all of your keystrokes in REAL TIME. This means it's essentially as slow as you typing everything manually in when you play the macro. I may be wrong about this, but I can't even find a way to go in and edit the macros that were created in real time. If I create them manually, I can delete/lower the delay times between actions, which is still time consuming. Anyhow, I think my method is better.

    2. If you manually create the macro using the Intellitype software, it's really irritating to have to type all of the steps into the text box manually and adjust everything manually. I got a bit frustrated once I realized the iMacros were way quicker and way more intuitive than the ones created with the keyboard. I still wanted to be able to trigger them with a button and not a bunch of clicks, however.


    Key Facts:
    1. You must use the Intellitype software.
    2. In order for this to work, Firefox must be open before you start triggering stuff. iMacros takes a moment to open, so my method won't work initially and the macros will fail if Firefox is not open.


    Steps:
    (I am going to assume you already know how to create iMacros at this point. I'm not going to explain that in this tutorial.)

    1. Have an already created iMacro bookmarked in Firefox. You are going to need the iMacro url script to trigger the macro in order to make this work, so copy the "imacros://run/?m=name-of-the-macro-you-want-to-run.iim" before you proceed.

    2. Open the Microsoft Keyboard software. You want to go in Key Settings and click on S1. You are NOT going to click on Assign/Manage Macro! Instead, click on Configure.

    3. Choose "Start a program, Web page, or file." Click next. In that line, you're going to invoke Firefox and then invoke the macro. The code should look like this:

    "C:\Users\Public\Desktop\Mozilla Firefox.lnk" imacros://run/?m=name-of-the-macro-you-want-to-run.iim

    Notice the quotes are only around the first portion. The part where "imacros" begins is where you could fill in a url you want to auto-open. You can use a direct link to the program in Program Files, or you can use a shortcut. It works both ways.

    4. Click finish. As long as Firefox is open, pressing S1 will trigger the iMacro that you assigned in a new tab when you press the corresponding macro button on the X6.

    5. Repeat by going down the list in Key Settings and assigning each macro button the way you want it to be and repeat the same steps of copying and pasting the scripts and shortcuts to Firefox.


    That's it. As long as Firefox is open (it CAN be minimized or behind other windows; it just needs to be open), it will trigger the iMacro using the macro keys instead of having to create macros in real-time on the keyboard.

    I must mention that even if you don't have this keyboard, you can use this method to create clickable shortcuts to Firefox that run your macros just by adding the "imacros://run/?m=name-of-the-macro-you-want-to-run.iim" (no quotes when you add it) to the end of the "Target" field in the shortcut. If you don't have the X6 keyboard and you're a bit clever, you could make a batch file to run all of the shortcuts you create automatically.

    If there is an easier way to do this using these same tools, let me know. This is the best I could come up with. I hope that this is useful to someone!