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A new-tab-in-container Firefox hotkey

 ·  ☕ 3 min read

Recently, Fandom introduced a policy that all Google Analytics access must be done via @fandom.com email addresses, which required something to change for me since my primary email that I’m always logged into is @gmail.com. Naturally, I was determined to adapt my tools to my workflow rather than my workflow to my tools. This was surprisingly complicated, so I’ll document what I did.

Requirements

  1. Pressing Ctrl+Y needs to create a new tab in a “Work” container.
  2. I do not want to add any buttons to my Firefox UI.
  3. Ctrl+Shift+2 is a global hotkey for ShareX and needs to remain that way.

Tools

Method

Note: All of these scripts are inside of an #IfWinActive Firefox (my Maps.ahk file starts with SetTitleMatchMode 2).

The first AHK script

If I compromise on the second requirement and allow a UI button in Firefox, the following script works:

^y::
	Send ^. ; ctrl+. brings up the context menu of the add-on button
	Sleep 300 ; wait for it to load
	Send {Tab} ; and then you can navigate through the buttons
	Send {Tab} ; `Work` is the 2nd profile
	Send {Enter}
	Return

Then I learned you can access a profile via its number:

^y::
	Send ^.
	Sleep 300
	Send 2
	Return

Problems: The second requirement isn’t satisfied; this requires there to be a button added to my Firefox UI, which I’m unwilling to allow, because I have only a single row of UI space that includes navigation, drop-down menus, the URL bar, all my add-ons buttons, and all of my one-click bookmark icons.

The second AHK “script”

So after some searching I found the add-on “Easy Container Shortcuts” linked above. The problem with this is that these shortcuts overlap with my ShareX shortcuts, as mentioned in requirement 3. First I decided to see if ShareX intercepts keystrokes before or after AHK. So I tried this:

^y::
	Send ^+2

Turns out, ShareX comes after AHK, and this fails.

My next thought was to fork the extension, since the hotkeys aren’t configurable. But then I remembered….

The third AHK script

ControlSend! ControlSend is what I used before when I set up a global stream mute-unmute hotkey.

^y::
	IfWinActive ahk_class MozillaWindowClass
	ControlSend,ahk_parent, ^+2

This can’t possibly be intercepted by ShareX because it’s sent directly to Firefox! Still, there’s one problem - it doesn’t work.

(What’s up with IfWinActive ahk_class MozillaWindowClass? See my previous blog post about the mute-unmute hotkey and sending to Firefox)

The final AHK script

After a quick Google search, I found an explanation - ControlSend doesn’t handle modifiers the way you might want them to when they interfere with the active window. As this is intended behavior, I fixed this by using the intended method instead:

^y::
	IfWinActive ahk_class MozillaWindowClass
	ControlSend,ahk_parent, {Ctrl down}{Shift down}2{Shift up}{Ctrl up}

And ta-da! We are done.

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WRITTEN BY
River
River (RheingoldRiver) is a MediaWiki developer and the manager of Leaguepedia. She likes cats.

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