Working with conditions


You will notice, it is often needed to do things only if something is like this or that or if it is not. This is common to all programming and scripting languages, and most of them use the word if to do that.


So in AutoHotkey. As you got to know previously, AutoHotkey has a so-called expressional and a traditional mode. This also applies to if.

1 If (A_OSVersion == "WIN_98")
2 	MsgBox Oh, your computer is pretty old.

The above is an example for the expressional way: the actual comparison must be enclosed in braces.

1 If A_IsAdmin = 1
2 	MsgBox This script is executed as administrator.

Now this is the traditional way: no braces, the left side is always a variable, the right side is taken as literal string (or number).

As this is only a comparison for true/false (1/0 in AutoHotkey), you can leave out the second part: if A_IsAdmin is enough. This also applies when using expressional mode: if you want, include A_IsAdmin in braces. You could also do a comparison to AutoHotkey’s “constants” true and false.

It is often recommended to use expressional mode instead of traditional, because it is the same as in other languages, it is considered a better style, and traditional is removed in AutoHotkey v2 (and AutoHotkey_H v2).

comparison (==, =, !=, …)

Of course you may sometimes want to do different comparisons. For example, the = operator compares case-insensitive in AutoHotkey (it doesn’t care about lower- / uppercase). To do case-sensitive comparison, use the == operator instead.

As you might guess, != (or also <>) checks whether the left and the right side are not equal. Also you might prefix a variable (or a condition enclosed in braces) by ! or not.

AutoHotkey also supports >, <, >= and a lot more (AutoHotkey_L).


To do more than one line based on a condition, enclose those lines in curly braces:

1 if (!A_IsAdmin)
2 {
3 	MsgBox This script must be run as administrator.
4 	ExitApp ; closes the script
5 }

More if

AutoHotkey classic, AutoHotkey_L and AutoHotkey_H also support several “if-like” statements such as IfEqual, IfLess, IfGreater, IfLessOrEqual, IfWinActive, IfWinExist, IfWinNotActive, IfWinNotExist, IfExist, IfInString, … . Using those is discouraged today as they are often considered “bad style” and they’re about to be removed in AutoHotkey v2, AutoHotkey_H v2 and IronAHK. All of them can be worked around by using the “normal” if plus a comparison.

A special case is IfMsgBox, which can’t be worked around in AutoHotkey classic, AutoHotkey_L and AutoHotkey_H. Still it will be replaced by something else in AutoHotkey v2, IronAHK and AutoHotkey_H v2. We’ll look at this further in the next chapter when we deal with the specifics of the MsgBox command.


As all other languages, AutoHotkey also has an else statement. It can be put beneath any if-Block, and it can also be combined with an extra condition:

 1 if (A_IsAdmin)
 2 {
 3 	MsgBox This script is run as admin.
 4 }
 5 else if (A_OSVersion == "WIN_VISTA")
 6 {
 7 	MsgBox This script is not run as admin. You might check your UAC settings.
 8 }
 9 else
10 	MsgBox This script is not run as admin.

You can also combine else with those special if-statements mentioned above.

Combining conditions

Also, you might sometimes want to check for multiple conditions: if both, at least one, or none of them applies. This is only supported in expression mode: combine the conditions with the word and (or &&) to check for both, and with or (or ||) to check for at least one.

1 if (A_IsAdmin AND A_Year > 2011)
2 	MsgBox This script is run as administrator in 2012 or later.