Hotkeys Preferences

Click on the Preferences button in the main toolbar to access the preferences screen. On the HotKeys page, you can configure keyboard shortcuts to quickly activate AceText while you are working with another application.

The shortcuts or hotkeys only work while AceText is active in the background. Check if the AceText icon is visible next to the system clock. If not, you need to start AceText first. In the Operation Preferences you can make AceText start up automatically when you start your computer.

Since the hotkeys are system-wide, you need to make sure to choose key combinations that are not also used by other software that you use. Otherwise, AceText's hotkey will take precedence. Then you can no longer use that key combination in the other software. Since applications normally don't use the Windows key, including the Windows key in AceText's hotkeys prevents conflicts with any other applications you may be using.

Windows itself reserves many key combinations with the Windows key. AceText cannot use those key combinations. If you try, the Preferences dialog shows the hotkeys that could not be used. You'll have to change or disable them before you can OK the dialog. Windows 8 and later reserve most Windows+Letter combinations. Windows 10 also reserves many Windows+Control+Letter and Windows+Alt+Letter combinations. The list seems to grow with each Windows 10 update.

Because AceText shouldn't override key combinations used by other applications, and because AceText can't override key combinations reserved by Windows, the default hotkeys are all Windows+Alt+Letter combinations. The letters are the traditional letters for cut (X), copy (C) and paste (V), along with "A" for AceText. These letters should be easy to remember.

To enable one of the hotkeys, mark its checkbox in the hotkey preferences. To change the shortcut, mark the checkboxes of the modifier keys you want to be part of the hotkey, and select a letter or function key from the drop-down list. Combinations including any two of the Windows, Ctrl, and Alt keys are good choices. Few applications use the Windows key or Ctrl+Alt keyboard shortcuts, so these combinations are unlikely to cause conflicts.

Bring AceText to front

With this key combination, Win+Ctrl+A by default, you can quickly switch from the application you are using to AceText, without removing your hands from the keyboard. Without this key combination, you need to click on the AceText taskbar button or system tray icon (next to the system clock) to activate AceText. To close AceText, press Alt+F4, which is the standard Windows shortcut for closing a window.

When enabling this hotkey, you can also turn on the option to hide AceText with the same hotkey if you press it when AceText already has keyboard focus (i.e. it's already in front). This way you can quickly pop up and dismiss AceText at any time.

AcePaste

AcePaste is a special AceText feature that enables you to quickly paste a clip into an application, and continue working with that application after pasting. The default hotkey is Win+Alt+V. When you press this hotkey, AceText pops up. Select the clip you want to paste, either by double-clicking on it, pressing Ctrl+Enter, or pressing the AcePaste hotkey again. The clip is then pasted directly into the application that was active when you pressed the AcePaste hotkey. If you change your mind, press the Escape key to cancel AcePaste. Either way, AceText brings to front the application that was active when you pressed the AcePaste hotkey, so you can continue working straight away.

By default, AceText tries to paste into the target application by placing the clip on the clipboard and simulating the Ctrl+V key combination. If you want to use AcePaste with an application that pastes differently, or can only accept keyboard input, you can configure that application in the Applications Preferences.

AceType

AceType works just like AcePaste, except that you select the clip to be pasted by typing in its AceType abbreviation, and pressing Enter on the keyboard. If you took the time to assign abbreviations to clips, this is the fastest way to paste. Once you get the habit of using AceType, you will be able to paste blindly. Win+Alt+A is the default hotkey.

See Look up and Reuse Text to learn how to efficiently reuse text stored in AceText.

ClipHistory capture

If you turned off automatic capture in the Operation Preferences, you can enable a hotkey to manually capture text into the ClipHistory. When you press this hotkey, Win+Alt+C by default, AceText adds the text held by the Windows clipboard to the top of the ClipHistory. To transfer text from an application into AceText, first copy the text in the application, and then press the ClipHistory capture hotkey. You can also enable the option to bring AceText to front after capturing. That way, you can immediately move or duplicate the captured clip into a collection.

See Capture, Enter and Store Text to learn about other ways to get text from an application into AceText.

AceEdit

AceEdit is a special AceText feature that enables you to quickly edit some text in another application with AceText, and continue working with that application when you're done editing. The default hotkey is Win+Alt+X. When you press this hotkey when working with an application other than AceText, AceText pops up. It shows the Clipboard tab, ready to edit the text that you selected in the application you're working with.

When you're done editing, press the AceEdit hotkey again, or press Ctrl+Enter, or click with the mouse to activate the target application. AceText then sends the modified text back to the application you were working with. If you change your mind, press the Escape key to cancel AceEdit. Either way, AceText brings to front the application that was active when you initiated AceEdit, so you can continue working straight away.

By default, AceText tries to extract the text from the application by simulating a Ctrl+C keystroke, and paste it back by simulating the Ctrl+V key combination. If you want to use AceEdit with an application that copies or pastes differently, you can configure that application in the Applications Preferences.

Disable Windows+Letter Keys in Windows Explorer

Most, but not all, of the Windows+Letter key combinations that are reserved for the operating system are used by Windows Explorer. You can tell Windows Explorer not to use certain Windows+Letter combinations by adding an entry to the Windows registry. This then allows AceText and other applications to use those Windows+Letter combinations for their own system-wide hotkeys. Disabling a Windows+Letter combination in Explorer also frees up all Windows+Ctrl/Shift/Alt+Letter combinations with that letter.

Windows+Letter key combinations used by other parts of Windows cannot be disabled. Windows+V (cycle through notifications) and Windows+X (open Quick Link menu), for example, cannot be disabled in Windows 10.

To add the registry entry, run regedit.exe. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced in the list of registry keys. Right-click the right-hand side. Select New|String Value in the context menu. Enter DisabledHotkeys as the name of the new value. Double-click the new value to edit it. Set the value's data to the letters you want to disable. Entering ACQST, for example, disables Win+A, Win+C, Win+Q, Win+S, and Win+T. This gives you five Win+Letter combinations that you could use for AceText's five hotkeys.

For the new setting to take effect, you need to sign out from your PC and then sign back in.