Review: Create and edit macros with Perfect Keyboard Free Edition

Create and manage macros with this top-quality freeware.

Perfect Keyboard Free Edition, a free macro builder and editor from Macro Toolworks, creates and plays macros in all Windows applications when triggered by keyboard hotkeys, mouse buttons, or autocomplete commands. It's based on the developer's automated macro software, although with fewer features than their shareware offerings. But Perfect Keyboard Free Edition is an excellent choice for frequent typists and anyone who would like a fast, easy-to-use alternative to entering the same data and clicking the same buttons over and over again.

We highly recommend allowing Perfect Keyboard Free Edition's installer to finish by opening the program's PDF-based tutorial, which applies to the entire Macro Toolworks family but places the greatest emphasis on the basic functionality shared by the freeware and shareware versions. The free edition's user interface shares the classic Explorer-style layout of the shareware, too. The tool's control suite is anchored by a sidebar, displaying Macro Groups in a tree view. The main window is split between a list view of the selected macro group above a tabbed view displaying macro properties, triggers, and macro text. A DemoFile filled with sample data gave an excellent visual indicator of what Perfect Keyboard can do, not to mention how it does it. But by far the easiest way to create macros is to click Add Wizard and let the tool walk you through each step.

Perfect Keyboard's sample My Address macro drove home a sore point with us: We're every bit as tired of typing out our address in "longhand" as you probably are. We'd been meaning to set a macro to enter it for us but never got around to it. Then Perfect Keyboard Free Edition came along and showed us just how easy it is to program hotkey combos to enter our street or e-mail address, phone number, or any string of data we've entered over and over and over again. Perfect Keyboard Free Edition meets most users' needs, in our view. But if you need more, such as the ability to create macros that others can run, then premium upgrades offer more features.

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