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    AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999 for quick software development. Here’s more about the AutoIt scripting language, its features, and its uses.

    What Is AutoIt Scripting Language?

    AutoIt is a general-purpose BASIC-like programming language designed to automate Windows applications. As a third-generation scripting language, AutoIt is a programmer-friendly and machine-independent option for programming. The detailed and fully integrated help text and compiler also make AutoIt an easy-to-use language for developers.

    Features of AutoIt Scripting Language

    Though AutoIt is a freeware automation language, some unique features make it more powerful than other freeware options:

    • BASIC-like syntax: AutoIt syntax is similar to BASIC-like syntax, a family of languages for general purposes that is specially designed for ease of use. 
    • Key and mouse simulation: AutoIt automates tasks by using a combination of simulated keystrokes and mouse movements.
    • Stand-alone executable: The AutoIt script can compile into stand-alone executables that require no installed framework to run.
    • Graphical user interfaces: AutoIt can create GUIs for browser windows, drop-down menus, and messaging whenever they’re required for task automation
    • RunAs function: RunAs function enables a user to run programs as a different user rather than the currently signed-in user.
    • Windows control: AutoIt can interact with Windows controls by using Windows titles, control ID, visible text, and window size and position. It can access these elements with the help of the AU3 info tool. 

    How Is AutoIt Used?

    Desktop automation

    AutoIt automates desktop applications by simulating keystrokes and mouse movement, which is not easy to achieve with other scripting languages. Automating Windows applications by writing only a few lines of script saves time for developers who develop many software programs quickly.

    Automation testing

    AutoIt can be used to test the quality of software and compare the actual outcome with the predicted outcome. Most organizations rely on automation testing rather than manual testing, as automation testing is nearly error-free. Automation testing can be run at night for additional user convenience, as it requires no manual intervention.

    AutoIt in Selenium Webdriver

    Selenium Webdriver is a tool designed to automate web browser applications rather than desktop applications. It requires AutoIt to interact with the desktop and create specific GUIs to handle Windows-based activities. 

    Malware creation

    AutoIt’s features, like easy interface creation and Windows controls, provide a desirable environment for malware developers. AutoIt also allows hackers to use string manipulation and run executables on the victim’s PC. DarkComet RAT, AutoLocky, and other malware were created by using the AutoIt scripting language.

    Who Uses AutoIt?

    As one of the most popular scripting languages, AutoIt is used by developers, software testers, and a range of companies. Developers use AutoIt mainly to automate desktop applications and develop software quickly with minor changes in scripting. 

    AutoIt can be used by software testers to carry out error-free testing of applications. It also enables users to run tests without human intervention. Companies in the IT industry, like JJSoft, EvolveIP, and NetSPI include AutoIt in their tech stack. The unique features of AutoIt, like stand-alone .exes and Windows controls, also allow hackers to develop their scripts in AutoIt.

    Read next: Top Automation Software for Managing Your IT Processes

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