Macro Express is a powerful Windows-only macro tool capable of simulating just about any interaction with windows via a single hotkey. Using this program, it’s possible to activate keys in Station-IC without having to move your mouse and click on the window itself. For this demo, I’ll be showing how to make a macro to latch a single talk key on a Station-IC panel, and then duplicate it for each key on a panel, but you can adapt this to any workflow you can imagine in Station-IC. For example, if you wanted to talk to a group of keys, or every key, with a single keyboard input, that’s easy to do as well.
Anyone can get a 30 day trial on their website, after that, It’s a $60 lifetime license, or less if in bulk.
I will include my Macro Express config file here to get you started, which you can download, and drag into your macro express install by hitting file>import>import macro, and skip building some of it yourself. However, you will need to adjust it to your PC or PCs resolution as I will explain below, and I would recommend reading though my process so you understand what the macro does.
Creating the Talk Macro
Open up Macro express, right click in the main window, and select New Macro. Select the hotkey you’d like. I recommend something with a long series so you can fit all your keys on one line. I’m going for Control + 1 through Control + 0, but you can make them most any key combination as long as it isn’t a windows only combo like Control + C. I would also recommend, for this workflow, unchecking “Wait for HotKey to be released before activating”, because a talk button push is something you want to have happen as soon as you hit the button. This setting changes the activation between when you hit the key vs when you release the key. You may choose either.
It will bring up the macro editor. We need 5 lines to make this work, they are as follows, I will list them under what category you’ll find them under:
1. Windows/Programs - Set window order. This will bring Station IC to the top of the windows stack.
Set settings as such, Select a Window should be set to Specific window, and it the “…” to select which one, you’ll need station IC open for it to be selectable. Place the Window should be set to “always on top”
2. Windows/Programs - Window Reposition
Select Station IC as before, however the method and monitor will be up to you and is specific to your environment. I went for top-right corner on my first monitor. But if you prefer it on a second monitor, or in a different spot, that is fine. Just remember it’s going to need to be the same for this computer across every macro we make.
3. Mouse - Mouse move
This is the most important one, it will move your mouse to a specific point in your monitor based on coordinates. These are specific to your computer and your monitor. These are mine, to put the mouse over the first key on my station IC panel. However, you will need to change it for yours. To do so, while still in the script editor menu, hit the play button at the top:
In this screen shot my macro is built, and if you load my config file, it will be as well, if you are building from scratch, all the macro will do is move the Station-IC window. Either way, run the macro with the play button, and the window will move to the spot you selected. Now, edit line 3, by clicking and holding on the purple crosshair seen in the screenshot for line 3. This will change the coordinates until you release the click. Our Goal here will be to move the mouse over the first talk key in Station IC.
4. Mouse-Mouse Left Click - Self explanatory, this action will latch the talk key in question.
5. Windows/Programs - Set Window Order
This second set window order revokes Station-IC’s “always on top” status set in line 1. Without it, you’d be unable to put any other windows on top of it.
Go ahead and test it by saving and closing the script editor and hitting the hotkey, in my case control + 1. It should latch the key, and hitting it again will cause another click, unlatching it.
Creating Additional Macros
Now that we’ve made one macro that can latch a key, we can copy it for every other key on our panel. In the explorer page, you can right click on your macro, mine is labeled Talk Key 1, and copy it. Attach it to a new hotkey, in my case control + 2. Macro Express defaults to checking the box for “wait for the hotkey to be released before activating”, so I would uncheck it every time you make a new macro. The only thing we need to change is line 3, to have the mouse go to the second key’s talk button instead of the first. Same procedure as before, double click the new macro to open up the editor, right click on line 3, click modify command, click and hold the purple crosshair, and drag it over the talk key of key 2. Remember, this is specific to the location on your screen. Leave Station IC in the same place, and on top of all other windows during this process. You can always run one of the macros again, which as a part of it running will move Station-IC to it’s spot we’re going to reference for this command.
Now, simply do this for every key on the panel. In the config you can find above, I have 12 macros set up for my specific monitor. You will need to adjust every single macro for the coordinates for yours. Make sure you test each one, but if you got the coordinates right you should be all set.
Need more than 12 Keys?
I’ve built my config for the default sizing of Station-IC, which is for 12 keys, because it’s a bit easier this way. But, You can have up to 24 keys. So how would make a full 24 key panel work? Simple, Just add a resize command to your macros. In the example below, I have added an extra line in between the order and reposition commands to resize Station-IC.
This way, your macro will also make the window an appropriate size no matter what it’s current status is. Just remember, in my case it was 700x1400 pixels, but for your screen’s size and resolution it could be different. This is another adjustment you will have to make for your particular computer, and, if you’ve already adjusted the mouse move line, you may need to adjust it again based on the new sizing.
Want More than One Key Press?
Also fairly straightforward:
Here I’ve added extra commands for additional mouse moves and left clicks, and adjusted the mouse move to it would go to buttons 1, 2, and 3, left clicking every time. You can adapt this to whatever you want, every button on a panel, both listen and talk with a single hotkey, etc.
Use with Physical Devices like Stream Deck
We are using key combos to trigger macros, so anything that can cause key presses can trigger that macro. If you have a stream deck already, it can be an elegant interface for this workflow, since you can give icons and descriptions to those buttons, on the button itself.
However, I will also note that while the stream deck is a nice way of doing this, any programmable keyboard can be a cheaper way of accomplishing the same thing, just generally without LCD keys. There are tons of these programmable keyboards available online, in all shapes and sizes.
Macro Express is a powerful tool that can do far more than just this. Feel free to adjust and make it work for your workflow.
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