There's more than one way to automate tasks in Windows, but the Task Manager and macro options fall far short of many users' needs. If you find yourself wishing you could automate any repetitive task in Windows, try WinParrot, the "Windows parrot." This portable freeware lets you create, record, and play macros automating virtually any task or process in Windows. While it's not difficult to use, beginners will find it a bit overwhelming. Those users with a passing familiarity with code and text files will get the most out of this flexible tool's many options and capabilities, including unique and valuable extras like automatic screenshots of macros, a Studio feature for managing recorded macros, and an online Help file.
WinParrot's interface opened with a blank document and a parrot mascot. The program's instructions are simple and clear: press the Record button, record your process, and press End when you're done. There's no need to schedule the program to play back your macro: Simply press Play. We clicked Record, which first called up a Save File dialog for naming and saving our macro. We quickly created and saved a few simple macros animating some desktop chores. Clicking Play initiated our process, displaying each step in a scrolling real-time log file in the program's document window. It's possible to automate several consecutive tasks, trace your macros, and add Location tags, logical operators, and all kinds of variables with the command line. The Help file offers a huge range of commands and many screenshots to help users customize WinParrot.
As we noted, WinParrot is a simple, easy-to-use program in the hands of the more sophisticated Windows user. Less experienced users may find it a bit too flexible for their needs, though. We recommend it, with that reservation.