Imagine a typical workday spent at the computer. It’s likely filled with repeating some of the same tasks over and over again: filling out the same forms, logging in to the same websites, and typing the same kind of texts. Completing these activities by hand is not only time-consuming, but it’s also a hindrance to productivity and it significantly reduces the time that could be spent on higher-level tasks. This certainly isn’t a problem unique to the business world, but it’s also a challenge that can be easily overcome.
By recording and automating macros, many of these manual tasks can be eliminated entirely. Macro recording and automation software can be used to automate activities as simple as a mouse-click but also more complex tasks like completing and submitting web forms, data and extraction, or FTP transfers. By automating these tasks, macro recording software allows users to focus on activities that are fundamental to the success of their workplace, including everything from building relationships with customers and clients to collaborating more effectively with colleagues. With this in mind, here are five of the most effective Windows-based macro recording and automation software platforms.
1). UiPath's Free Automation Software
UiPath’s Macro Recorder generates automation workflows by recording UI mouse clicks and keystrokes and is compatible with a wide range of platforms for Windows, including Citrix and other remote desktop/virtualization apps. With UiPath’s recording wizard, users have three options: to record actions performed in a native Windows app, in a web browser, or in a window that’s already open. During recording, the software will generate a visual workflow diagram that can easily be edited via drag and drop tools. While this is something virtually any macro recording tool can offer, UiPath is exceptional in that it also allows you to modify and parameterize the recorded sequence. You have full control over the workflow you build: you record, modify and automate virtually anything. Users can also utilize the manual recording feature, which is pro-oriented and allows more advanced users to create activities which can’t be automated using the automatic recorder. The activities generated using the manual recorder can then be combined into an automation sequence for execution. Additionally, UiPath utilizes AHK activity in order to run AHK scripts. These functionalities enable UiPath macro recorder to provide a wide automation range where very complex automation is possible. UiPath’s Community Edition is offered free of charge, and while users are not able to receive phone or email support,they are still able to access UiPath’s video tutorials, user guides, and Community Forum. UiPath Studio Community is a free, fully-featured and extensible tool for automating any web or desktop application. Use it as a Macro Recorder, for Excel Automation, or for its Web Scraping features.
the desktop and web automation tools offered by WinAutomation, their Macro Recorder allows users to automate desktop activities through the use of the Keystroke and Mouse Recorders. While the macro recorder software is unable to automate any web-based activities, it is able to capture all interactions with Windows elements such as , taskbars, and menus. The interface activities captured during recording are then converted into a step-wise list of recorded actions. The recorded automation can also be further modified using the visual designer. Because the platform captures on-screen actions into meaningful and replayable steps, programming skills are not required, making basic automation easy to establish for users without coding capabilities. While the software is not a free service, there is a free trial after which users can choose between a standard edition or professional edition.
AutoHotKey is a macro creation and automation software that provides the option to use the macro recorder or to write a macro from scratch. This makes AutoHotKey a useful platform for beginners, but even more so for users with coding knowledge looking to create more complex automation. Recorded actions are turned into text rather than a visual flow, even when using the macro recorder, which means allows for an easier, more efficient experience in editing script. A useful feature of AutoHotKey is the program can be used to automate data entry because AutoHotKey is able to interpret data from multiple sources, including text files, CSV, Excel, XML, and various database formats. In addition, AutoHotKey enables users to assign macros to keyboard keys and design abbreviations to expand automatically when typing. The generated scripts can then be turned into executable files to be transferred and run on other computers. The software is free, open source, and offers access to the AutoHotKey Community.
JitBit Macro Recorder gives users the option to use the macro recorder or manually create macros using built-in commands. These commands — such as If-Then, Copy file, Find image, Launch website, and Repeat X Times — allow higher-level users to automate more complex activities. For commands not yet built-in, users can add custom C# code into their macros. Because it allows for a higher-level of customization, the JitBit platform allows users to move beyond just mouse and keyboard recording. Added features include a visual macro editor, a macro scheduler that allows for automatic automation of activities during any time of day, and the ability to export macros into EXE files to be distributed to other Windows computers. While the platform has some difficulties with automating web-based tasks, it works well for desktop activities. The software is not typically free, but JitBit offers an extendable free trial for new users.
5). Mouse Recorder
Another free tool, Mouse Recorder is not only ideal for recording repetitive actions but also creating streamlined screencasts. Because of its simple and easy-to-use interface, Mouse Recorder is especially suitable for non-programmers looking to automate basic tasks. Before recording, the platform allows users to define hotkeys for easy start/stop recording and control of the application even when it’s minimized. After the necessary steps have been recorded, users can review, edit, and add to the generated list of recorded actions. A unique feature of Mouse Recorder is that the software can streamline automation by removing any unnecessary mouse movements and adjust playback to the desired speed, enabling users to create professional tutorial videos.