AlomWare Actions is a scripting tool which allows even novices to automate many common PC tasks.

The program opens with a very cluttered interface. 13 tiny toolbar buttons and four panes with 30+ actions and settings makes for an intimidating start.

Look more closely, though, and it begins to make sense. The top-left pane lists assorted actions you can perform immediately: encrypt/ decrypt text, download a random Wikipedia article, email a screenshot, open Calc and make it transparent and "always on top", enter your email address into any application, and more.

Double-clicking any of these runs the action immediately (unless it's email-related, in which case you need to enter your account details in Settings), and if you're not interested in scripting then you can just use the hotkey displayed (Shift+Ctrl+C to launch Calc, for instance).

If you'd like to take the program further, select an interesting action and look at its code in the right-hand pane. This can be just one line - the "Type my email address action" is "Keyboard: Type Keystrokes" with a value of "[email protected]" - and you'll immediately understand how to modify this for your own purposes.

Choosing the "Download random Wikipedia article" displays relatively complex 12-line script with many more powerful commands. Browse this and you'll see how to download a given web page, search it for text, create and rename files, display alerts, and more.

The "Step Chooser" lists other commands you're able to use in any actions. These can request information from the user, display alerts, clear or set the keyboard, run an executable, play a sound, shutdown/ standby/ sleep the PC, define and send an email, create and work with files and folders, cut/ copy/ paste/ type text, move the mouse to a given position and left/ right/ middle click, assign and work with strings, open and save URLs, activate/ close/ maximise/ move and generally work with Windows.

Any of these commands may be combined into a single action, and the Lite version supports a maximum of 10 actions at any one time.

If that's not enough then upgrading to the commercial editions gets you support for up to 999 actions.



AlomWare Actions' cluttered and confusing interface makes it awkward to use, at least initially.

Once you've figured it out, the built-in actions give you a good idea of the program's possibilities. If you'd like to, for instance, email the contents of a specific URL whenever a particular program is launched, then you'll probably have something working in a few minutes.

This works well for basic, occasional use, but if you need more then try AutoIt. There's a steeper learning curve, but it's far more powerful (and free, too).