Custom WATCHOUT keyboard shortcuts

I love hotkeys. Most software power users do — it’s almost always faster to press a key on the keyboard than it is to find a GUI element with the mouse or navigate a menu system. I love Dataton WATCHOUT [link], too. It’s a great tool for shows with widescreen or multi-screen configurations.

Since WATCHOUT doesn’t have as many hotkeys as I would like, I’ve added some myself, using the excellent keyboard/macro utility AutoHotkey [link].

Here are the new keybindings I use:




Alt+Y,Y Rotation tween

Ctrl+I,Add media file (replaces current shortcut for Insert layer)

Ctrl+Shift+I,Insert layer

Ctrl+Shift+N,New folder

Ctrl+Shift+T,Add new text

Ctrl+Shift+C,Add new composition

Ctrl+Shift+V,Add new video proxy

Ctrl+Shift+D,Duplicate selected composition


To use these new hotkeys, download and install AutoHotkey, then download and run my attached AutoHotkey script file.

The script works by assigning a series of keystrokes to the hotkeys I list above. Those keystrokes drive the menu system. For example, when you run this script and then perss Ctrl+Shift+N in WATCHOUT to add a new folder, AutoHotkey intercepts the hotkey and sends WATCHOUT Alt+M (for the Media menu), then 11 down-arrow keystrokes (to navigate to Add new folder), then Enter to run it.

This script was written for WATCHOUT 5.5. In future versions, if the menus change, the script will need to be updated to reflect the new menu layout.

Please note that I prefer to remap the current “Insert layer” shortcut (<Ctrl>+I) to “Add media file” to match many other applications. Also note that “Duplicate selected composition” is pretty naive; it will move all the media cues from an existing comp into a new comp, but it does not copy layer names or composition parameters. If you’d like to keep the existing shortcuts, you may wish to modify the script file.

A quick run-through of the code below: the #IfWinActive directive limits the scope of the new shortcuts, only running them when WATCHOUT is the active window. Two colons (::) are used to separate the hotkey on the left from the command on the right. Ctrl is expressed as ^, Shift as +; Alt as ! and Win as #. All this is documented in depth at the AutoHotkey website.

Comments and suggestions for improvements are always welcome!


DOWNLOAD Walter Soyka Keen Live WATCHOUT Hotkeys

Here’s the code:

#SingleInstance force
#NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
; #Warn ; Enable warnings to assist with detecting common errors.
SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir% ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.

; Win+C = calculator
#c::Run calc.exe

; Handy shortcuts for WATCHOUT (v5.5)
; Walter Soyka - - +1 845-790-0813

#IfWinActive, WATCHOUT
SetKeyDelay, 20

; Ctrl+I = Add media file...
^i::Send !m{Enter}

; Ctrl+Shift+I = Insert layer
^+i::Send !m{Right}{Down 4}{Enter}

; Ctrl+Shift+N = New folder
^+n::Send !m{Down 11}{Enter}

; Ctrl+Shift+T = Add new text
^+t::Send !m{Down 9}{Enter}

; Ctrl+Shift+C = Add new composition
^+c::Send !m{Down 4}{Enter}+{Tab}

; Ctrl+Shift+V = Add new video proxy
^+v:: Send !m{Down}{Enter}

; Ctrl+Shift+D = Duplicate selected composition
SetKeyDelay 200
Send {Enter}
Sleep, 500
Send ^a
Sleep, 500
Sleep, 500
Send !m{Down 4}{Enter}+{Tab}Copy
Sleep, 200
Send {Enter}
Sleep, 200
Send {Enter}
Sleep, 300
Send ^j+{Tab}

; Alt+Y = Y Rotation tween
!y::Send !m{Right 2}{Down 7}{Enter}


Posted by Walter Soyka

Leave a Reply