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The newest versions of the AutoIt scripting language now come with a bonus for PowerShell users. A set of native PowerShell Cmdlets! This allows you to add the unique features of AutoIt – window manipulation and keystroke simulation – to your usual PowerShell scripts. As an additional bonus, the AutoIt PowerShell Cmdlets and Assemblies are digitally signed so they can be used with the more strict execution policies. The Cmdlets will also run natively with x86 and x64 versions of PowerShell!

This post will show how to use the AutoIt PowerShell Cmdlets to open notepad and type in some text in the edit control.

First download the latest version of AutoIt. You can run the full installer, or just download the zip file to get the required bits. Running the installer has the advantage of automatically registering the AutoIt Cmdlets.

The files you need are as follows (get them from the zip file or the Program Files folder after installation):

  • AutoItX.psd1
  • AutoItX3.PowerShell.dll
  • AutoItX3.Assembly.dll
  • AutoItX3.dll
  • AutoItX3_x64.dll

To use the Cmdlets open a PowerShell cmd prompt and enter:

Import-Module .\AutoItX.psd1
Import-Module .\AutoItX.psd1

 

Now you can get a list of available AutoIt Cmdlets by doing Get-Command *AU3*:

PS> Get-Command *AU3*
 
Name                              Category  Module 
----                              --------  ------ 
Invoke-AU3MouseWheel              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Move-AU3Mouse                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseClickDrag          Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3MouseCursor                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseUp                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Assert-AU3WinActive               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Assert-AU3WinExists               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Assert-AU3IsAdmin                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3Shutdown                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Send-AU3ControlKey                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseDown               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseClick              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlTreeView         Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlListView         Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlCommand          Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlClick            Cmdlet    AutoItX
Move-AU3Control                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3ControlText                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3Control                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Hide-AU3Control                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlText                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlFocus               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3ControlFocus               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Disable-AU3Control                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Enable-AU3Control                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3StatusbarText              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3RunAsWait               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3RunAs                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3RunWait                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3Run                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3Clip                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3Clip                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinTrans                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinTitle                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinState                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinOnTop                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Move-AU3Win                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3WinMinimizeAllUndo        Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3WinMinimizeAll            Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinState                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinProcess                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinClassList               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinCaretPos                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinClientSize              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlPos                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlHandle              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3MousePos                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinPos                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinHandle                  Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ErrorCode                  Cmdlet    AutoItX
Initialize-AU3                    Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3WinActivate               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Close-AU3Win                      Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3WinClose                  Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3WinNotActive              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3Option                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Send-AU3Key                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3Win                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3WinActive                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinTitle                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinText                    Cmdlet    AutoItX
PS> Get-Command *AU3*

Name                              Category  Module 
----                              --------  ------ 
Invoke-AU3MouseWheel              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Move-AU3Mouse                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseClickDrag          Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3MouseCursor                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseUp                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Assert-AU3WinActive               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Assert-AU3WinExists               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Assert-AU3IsAdmin                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3Shutdown                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Send-AU3ControlKey                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseDown               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3MouseClick              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlTreeView         Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlListView         Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlCommand          Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3ControlClick            Cmdlet    AutoItX
Move-AU3Control                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3ControlText                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3Control                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Hide-AU3Control                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlText                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlFocus               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3ControlFocus               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Disable-AU3Control                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Enable-AU3Control                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3StatusbarText              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3RunAsWait               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3RunAs                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3RunWait                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Invoke-AU3Run                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3Clip                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3Clip                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinTrans                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinTitle                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinState                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3WinOnTop                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Move-AU3Win                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3WinMinimizeAllUndo        Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3WinMinimizeAll            Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinState                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinProcess                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinClassList               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinCaretPos                Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinClientSize              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlPos                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ControlHandle              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3MousePos                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinPos                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinHandle                  Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3ErrorCode                  Cmdlet    AutoItX
Initialize-AU3                    Cmdlet    AutoItX
Show-AU3WinActivate               Cmdlet    AutoItX
Close-AU3Win                      Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3WinClose                  Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3WinNotActive              Cmdlet    AutoItX
Set-AU3Option                     Cmdlet    AutoItX
Send-AU3Key                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3Win                       Cmdlet    AutoItX
Wait-AU3WinActive                 Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinTitle                   Cmdlet    AutoItX
Get-AU3WinText                    Cmdlet    AutoItX

 

I’ll show how to use the Cmdlets using a simple example that will open notepad.exe and modify the edit window by setting the text and simulating some keystrokes. First create a blank PowerShell script called notepad_example.ps1 in the same folder as the AutoItX components above and open it for editing.

Now we want to import the PowerShell module which is AutoItX.psd1. Enter the following in the script:

Import-Module .\AutoItX.psd1
Import-Module .\AutoItX.psd1

 

We want to run notepad.exe:

Invoke-AU3Run -Program notepad.exe
Invoke-AU3Run -Program notepad.exe

 

After notepad opens we want to wait for the notepad “Untitled -Notepad” window to appear. You might need to change the title for non-English versions of Windows:

$notepadTitle = "Untitled - Notepad"
Wait-AU3Win -Title $notepadTitle
$winHandle = Get-AU3WinHandle -Title $notepadTitle
$notepadTitle = "Untitled - Notepad"
Wait-AU3Win -Title $notepadTitle
$winHandle = Get-AU3WinHandle -Title $notepadTitle

 

The Get-AU3WinHandle returns a native Win32 handle to the notepad window. We can use this handle in many other AutoIt functions and it uniquely identifies the window which is much more reliable than constantly using a windows title. If you have obtained a window handle using any other Win32 function you can use it with AutoIt.

After obtaining the handle to the notepad window we want to ensure that the window is active and then get a handle to the Edit Control. Using the AU3Info.exe tool that comes with AutoIt we can find that the name of the edit control in notepad is Edit1.

Show-AU3WinActivate -WinHandle $winHandle
$controlHandle = Get-AU3ControlHandle -WinHandle $winhandle -Control "Edit1"
Show-AU3WinActivate -WinHandle $winHandle
$controlHandle = Get-AU3ControlHandle -WinHandle $winhandle -Control "Edit1"

 

Now that we have a handle to the edit control we can set text in two ways: Directly (Set-AU3Controltext) or with simulated keystrokes (Send-AU3ControlKey):

Set-AU3ControlText -ControlHandle $controlHandle -NewText "Hello! This is being controlled by AutoIt and PowerShell!" -WinHandle $winHandle
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}simulate key strokes - line 1" -WinHandle $winHandle
Set-AU3ControlText -ControlHandle $controlHandle -NewText "Hello! This is being controlled by AutoIt and PowerShell!" -WinHandle $winHandle
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}simulate key strokes - line 1" -WinHandle $winHandle

 

Now let’s see what the entire script looks like:

# Import the AutoIt PowerShell module
Import-Module .\AutoItX.psd1
 
# Run notepad.exe
Invoke-AU3Run -Program notepad.exe
 
# Wait for an untitled notepad window and get the handle
$notepadTitle = "Untitled - Notepad"
Wait-AU3Win -Title $notepadTitle
$winHandle = Get-AU3WinHandle -Title $notepadTitle
 
# Activate the window
Show-AU3WinActivate -WinHandle $winHandle
 
# Get the handle of the notepad text control for reliable operations
$controlHandle = Get-AU3ControlHandle -WinHandle $winhandle -Control "Edit1"
 
# Change the edit control
Set-AU3ControlText -ControlHandle $controlHandle -NewText "Hello! This is being controlled by AutoIt and PowerShell!" -WinHandle $winHandle
 
# Send some keystrokes to the edit control
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}simulate key strokes - line 1" -WinHandle $winHandle
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}simulate key strokes - line 2" -WinHandle $winHandle
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}{ENTER}" -WinHandle $winHandle
# Import the AutoIt PowerShell module
Import-Module .\AutoItX.psd1

# Run notepad.exe
Invoke-AU3Run -Program notepad.exe

# Wait for an untitled notepad window and get the handle
$notepadTitle = "Untitled - Notepad"
Wait-AU3Win -Title $notepadTitle
$winHandle = Get-AU3WinHandle -Title $notepadTitle

# Activate the window
Show-AU3WinActivate -WinHandle $winHandle

# Get the handle of the notepad text control for reliable operations
$controlHandle = Get-AU3ControlHandle -WinHandle $winhandle -Control "Edit1"

# Change the edit control
Set-AU3ControlText -ControlHandle $controlHandle -NewText "Hello! This is being controlled by AutoIt and PowerShell!" -WinHandle $winHandle

# Send some keystrokes to the edit control
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}simulate key strokes - line 1" -WinHandle $winHandle
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}simulate key strokes - line 2" -WinHandle $winHandle
Send-AU3ControlKey -ControlHandle $controlHandle -Key "{ENTER}{ENTER}" -WinHandle $winHandle

 

This is how the notepad window should look if everything is working correctly:

notepad_powershell

 

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