Save Time Programming Crestron SIMPL Windows (2023)


In this video, I discuss how to use AutoHotkey to speed up your productivity when working with repetitive tasks in Crestron SIMPL Windows.

Source code:

This lesson is part of my course "The TLDR Method" - For more information this and my other Crestron programming courses, go to


Hi this is Dustin with Pro AV School in today's video, I'm going to show Crestron programmers how you can power up your productivity using a third-party tool and it's free called autohotkey.

Before we get started a quick note, autohotkey recently, updated to version 2.0, the video that I'm going to show you is from a course I created about a year ago and that's using version 1 or version 1.1.

So you'll want to download version 1.1 from the website to use the example that I'm showing here's a quick demo that was done using autohotkey I was able to copy a list of names into a folder of logic and simple and use the names with the replace function I'll go into more detail on how I accomplished this in a moment.

The easiest way to describe autohotkey is as a scripting language for user input anything that you can do with a series of keystrokes or even most movements is something that you could automate with auto hotkey to use Auto hotkey.

You download the application itself from and install it on your computer.

Once it is installed.

You can run different ahk scripts while the application is running, it is constantly listening for triggers that you have defined in your script.

The triggers will cause the actions in your script to execute one of the simplest scripts would be something like a character replacement to make typing certain sequences easier such as typing wrote Sim stat.

When autohotkey sees this keystroke combination, it types in the text wrote Sim stat for me.

So I, don't mess.

It up.

Another handy thing I like to do with auto hotkey is keep windows always on top with control and spacebar I start this script when my computer starts up by putting a shortcut to the ahk script in my windows user profile, startup folder, if you don't know which folder this is, you can find it with Windows key R to run a program type in Shell colon startup.

And it will open up Windows Explorer on the current user's startup directory.

There are tons of Windows productivity things.

You can do with autohotkey.

If you are interested in finding out more there's quite a bit of information on autohotkey's website, Auto hotkey can be quite powerful when working with simple, the demonstration I showed you at the start of this lesson involved reading a list of names from a text file and using those to replace names of logic blocks in simple, a task like this isn't, just about typing in a list.

You have to click press, F9 click to the right spot type hit enter and then wait you do it again and again.

And again, if you get Auto hotkey involved, you can walk away and grab a coffee while does your work for you.

In my case it is usually more accurate than I could do myself because I tend to get distracted lose track of where I am in the list and frustrated.

You can download my ahk script below this video, but I wanted to explain the methodology behind it.

So that you can modify or create your own now let's take a quick look at how this script works.

First of all script will start working on the currently selected line in your simple program.

We assume that only one instance of simple is running and just reference that window by name to start the script.

You need a trigger I use Ctrl, alt and G before you press that though you need to switch over to the text editor, or the list of your replacement data is located.

Windows references each different application window with a unique handle.

We are able to get the handle for the active window.

So I designed my script to have you first start having your text editor window as the active window.

Then when you start the script via the control, alt G, trigger, it stores that Windows handle as a variable for future use.

Then we start a loop for the number of items.

The script goes to the text editor and copies, the current line to the clipboard.

Then it moves the cursor down for the next line.

Then the script switches over to simple Windows.

Next the script presses F9 to bring up a replace dialog box.

It waits a little bit.

Then it inputs our data for the search term.

Then it pastes in the replacement.

And then it sets the parameters of how the operation should work, and then it submits it.

Then we wait again.

Lastly, we move the cursor down for the next line and repeat the loop until it's done the weight delays are required because the replace operation and simple takes a bit of time.

If we don't, wait we'll, start skipping lines as our Loop continues.

There is a bit of playing around required to get your script.

Working one thing I want to stress is that you should always save a copy of your program before writing a script on it as you can easily mess things up if the script doesn't run as expected and simple, Windows doesn't, give you that undo that most programs do here's.

What the script itself looks like like I mentioned.

There is a download for the script below the video keep in mind.

You might have to tweak some of the timing in some cases, I've also seen simple updates change the behavior of simple slightly in terms of how to navigate between Windows with hotkeys.

So this is also something to be aware of like I said, make sure you save your program before trying to run this ahk script on it I don't want to get in trouble for messing up your program.

I've also used auto hotkey outside of simple in instances where an application wouldn't, let me select everything in a list to copy out in this scenario, I built an ahk script to copy and paste each line one by one into a text editor.

It was about 1500 items and took maybe 10 minutes to run.

But this is something that most people just wouldn't have the patience and accuracy to be able to do manually.

I know, for sure that I wouldn't be able to do it I would just get frustrated.


It can take a bit of time to set up automating certain tasks can save a lot of time if you're doing the same thing over and over.

You do lose time on the first one, but you make up for it every time you use it.

You might find other uses for autohotkey as well.

So it is good to play around with in a bit and see for yourself, how handy of a tool it can be.

Thanks for watching this video I'm, hoping to give you some ideas and some thoughts that you can incorporate into your own programming workflow, either the things that I've shown you or it inspires some other ideas because Auto hotkey is actually pretty cool.

Once you start playing around with it.

Now this video is actually from a course called the tldr method.

I'll put a link there.

If you're interested in checking out more about it it's kind of an advanced simple, programming course and other than that.

If you like this video, please hit like And subscribe to the channel.

If you want to see more stuff like this, and let me know in the comments, what you think about Auto hotkey and other topics that you'd like me to share on Pro AV school.

Thanks and have a great day.


What language is Crestron Simpl written in? ›

SIMPL#Pro is an entire control system program written in C# that runs on 3-Series processors, with complete access to each processor's ports and accessories. Crestron® control system programming is more powerful and versatile than ever with C# integration.

Can I program Crestron? ›

These dedicated modules can be plugged into a program and used to automatically generate all the proper control codes for third-party device functions. Even beginning programmers can control very complex equipment using Crestron modules.

What software do you use to program Crestron? ›

Supporting all Crestron control systems and MediaManager components, SystemBuilder takes the programmer through a series of simple but powerful programming screens that allow for the selection of the control system, user interfaces, third-party AV equipment and system functions.

What is the file extension for a compiled 3 series Simpl Windows program? ›

Opening the SIMPL Windows source file (. smw) in the SIMPL Windows Debugger provides added debugging power by allowing the programmer to mark which signals to watch.

What is the difference between Simpl and Simpl+? ›

SIMPL+ is a procedural language extension to SIMPL. If you are familiar with popular procedural languages like C or BASIC, you will have no problem learning to program in SIMPL+. The most exciting part is that you don't have to choose between SIMPL and SIMPL+ when writing a program.

What language is C# built on? ›

C# (pronounced "See Sharp") is a modern, object-oriented, and type-safe programming language. C# enables developers to build many types of secure and robust applications that run in .NET. C# has its roots in the C family of languages and will be immediately familiar to C, C++, Java, and JavaScript programmers.

What is Simpl programming language? ›

It is a procedure oriented, nonblock structured programming language that was designed to conform to the standards of structured programming and modular design. There are three data types in SIMPL-T integer, string and character.

Is Control4 better than Crestron? ›

Compared to Crestron, Control4 offers a simpler interface with limited customization. It is also less expensive. So, if you're satisfied with the basics, Control4 may be the right choice for you. But if you desire a tailored solution, Crestron would be best for your home.

How do I become a Crestron programmer? ›

To become a Crestron Certified Programmer – Platinum (MCP-P), the programmer must:
  1. Already be a Crestron Certified Programmer – Gold (MCP-G)
  2. Attend a total of nine Master Level Summits.
  3. Pass a rigorous Platinum Certification exam.

What is an alternative to Crestron home automation? ›

Top 3 Crestron Electronics competitors
  • Seervision.
  • Brilliant.
  • Control4.

What home automation systems are like Crestron? ›

Crestron, Savant, and Control4 are the most popular smart home automation systems on the market. All of them are fully capable of automating and controlling all of your devices, from lighting and shades to home theater and security.

What is BACnet in Crestron? ›

Native BACnet Network/IP Interface

BACnet network/IP support for 3-Series and 4-Series control systems provides a scalable, IP‑based platform for implementing fully‑integrated building management and automation.

What is CFS file extension? ›

The Compact File Set (CFS) is an open archive file format and software distribution container file format. Basic CFS files are compatible with ISO files.

How do I open an ICF file in Windows? ›

You can start by installing some of the most common programs associated with ICF files. A few of these associated software titles include Cheyenne AntiVirus, ICOM CS-2100 Radio Programming Data, and INI Creator for X10 Remote Control. You can download one of these programs from the developer's website.

What is DFS file extension? ›

A distributed file system (DFS) is a file system that enables clients to access file storage from multiple hosts through a computer network as if the user was accessing local storage. Files are spread across multiple storage servers and in multiple locations, which enables users to share data and storage resources.

Who is the competitor of Simpl? ›

Simpl's alternatives and competitors. See how Simpl compares to similar products. Simpl's top competitors include LazyPay, Kredivo Holdings, and Mondu. LazyPay is a platform that facilitates personal loans with quick payments and transactions.

What will Simpl do if I don't pay? ›

If the User does not pay the amounts due for a period of 30 days from the date such amounts are due, Simpl may suspend the usage of the account of the User at its discretion and notify the Merchants regarding such suspension of User's account.

What is the highest limit of Simpl? ›

Simpl currently allows a maximum limit of ₹20,000, while ePayLater allows customers to have larger credit lines. These companies also use technology to understand the user's eligibility to use their platforms and ensure that they will pay back the amount they owe.

Is C# just as fast as C++? ›

C++ code is much faster than C# code, which makes it a better solution for applications where performance is important. For instance, your network analysis software might need some C++ code, but performance is probably not a huge issue for a standard word processing application coded in C#.

Should I learn C# or Python? ›

In short, C# is best for speed, performance, and game development. Python is best for novice coders, machine learning, and versatility. Let's get into a deeper discussion of these two languages, C # and Python.

Is C# a dying language? ›

You can see that C# is completely everywhere right now. Anyone who claims that it is no longer helpful is totally incorrect. In fact, learning C# is the finest choice you have right now, while you are reading this post. So, if you're wondering if C# is dying, don't worry; it's really expanding at an exponential pace.

What is the most simplest programming language? ›

Python. Due to its relatively straightforward syntax and emphasis on eliminating clutter, fast-growing Python is often seen as the easiest programming language to learn.

Which language is easy C# or C++? ›

C# is much easier to learn than C++. C# is a simpler, high-level-of-abstraction language, while C++ is a low-level language with a higher learning curve.

Which language is best for simple API? ›

Some languages ​​and frameworks used to write APIs are better and more efficient than others. From our experience in developing enterprise APIs, we have found that Python, Flask, Node, JS, and Express are the best languages ​​for building EFFICIENT web application APIs.

Why is Crestron so expensive? ›

Crestron is notably more expensive than other brands too but this is because of the better quality hardware on offer, making it an extremely powerful option for smart home projects.

Is Crestron or Lutron better? ›

For some, even with Crestron offering a complete range of blinds and curtains, Lutron still represents the best option. Others like that Crestron offers window treatments as one dealer can design and configure a more complete system using a single brand.

Who competes with Crestron? ›

Crestron Electronics competitors include Lutron, AMX, Poly and Extron Electronics. Crestron Electronics ranks 1st in CEO Score on Comparably vs its competitors.

What is the salary of IC programmer? ›

What Is the Average Computer Programmer Salary by State
StateAnnual SalaryMonthly Pay
New Mexico$68,759$5,729
46 more rows

What is the rate for a Crestron programmer? ›

How much does a Crestron Programmer make? As of Jun 21, 2023, the average hourly pay for a Crestron Programmer in the United States is $41.29 an hour.

How much does it cost to get Crestron certified? ›

Time to complete this education training ranges from 32 hours to 4+ years depending on the qualification, with a median time to complete of 4+ years. The cost to attend Crestron Electronics Inc. is $1,000.

What is the best home automation protocol? ›

Most popular home automation protocols:
  • Z-Wave.
  • Zigbee.
  • Insteon.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Thread.

What is the most advanced automation? ›

The most advanced level of automation is intelligent automation. It combines automation with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities.

What is the simplest type of building automation system? ›

Motion sensor lighting

Motion sensor lighting is the simplest type of building automation sensors, yet one of the most effective in saving money. Putting these sensors wherever you have lighting will immediately cut your costs.

Who is the competitor of home automation? ›

Top 10 alternatives to SmartHome includes Amazon Lex, Samsung AR Emoji, Control4, Ooma, Lutron, Tuya Smart, Vivint, Crestron, ABB Smart Home AND Schneider Electric. Analyze a range of top Smart Home System that offer similar benefits at competitive prices.

Is BACnet an IP or Ethernet? ›

IP is routable, but requires a BACnet Broadcast Management Device (BBMD) on each subnet to send messages across the network. So, you'd likely use Ethernet if you only need to communicate between subnets, and would use IP to communicate across the network.

Which is better BACnet IP or BACnet MSTP? ›

IP controllers are definitely faster. The average IP controller is anywhere from 10 megabit to 100 megabit, typically. That is significantly faster than MS/TP controllers, which are going to be anywhere from 36,000 to 76,000 baud.

Is BACnet the same as Ethernet? ›

Ethernet provides for greater speed, star topology, and transformer-isolated transceivers. However, BACnet/Ethernet is not the same as BACnet/IP Ethernet. With BACnet/Ethernet, LAN addressing is accomplished using the Ethernet's media access control (MAC) address.

What is CFS Windows? ›

Clustered file systems (CFS) are file systems that run on multiple storage servers and can be accessed and managed as a single system. A CFS pulls together and shares storage capacity that is available, but not always used, on storage networks.

How do I run a CFG file in Windows? ›

Step 1: Right click on the target . cfg file and select Open with. Step 2: Click More apps, and then select WordPad from the list of available applications. Next, click OK to open the CFG file in WordPad.

How do I open a XLIFF file in Windows? ›

To open XLIFF files, you can use any text editor that supports the format (such as Notepad, Sublime Text, or Notepad++), use online services, or Localazy - the online translation management system explicitly made for working with translation file formats.

How do I open a CFM file in Windows? ›

How to Open a CFM File. CFM files are text-based, which means they can be opened as a text file with any text editor, like Notepad in Windows or Brackets. Programs like these will properly show the contents of the file. Other programs work, too, and are more likely to be helpful when editing it.

What is the difference between SMB and DFS? ›

DFS works with the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, sometimes referred to as Windows networking. The SMB protocol is also commonly referred to as the Common Internet File System (CIFS). Microsoft's DFS does not work with non-SMB file networking protocols such as NFS or HDFS.

What is the difference between NFS and DFS? ›

A DFS enables direct host access to file data from multiple locations. For example, NFS is a type of distributed file system protocol where storage resources connect to a computer by network resources, such as a LAN or SAN. Hosts can access data using protocols such as NFS or SMB.

What is the difference between NTFS and DFS? ›

A distributed file system (DFS) differs from typical file systems (i.e., NTFS and HFS) in that it allows direct host access to the same file data from multiple locations. Indeed, the data behind a DFS can reside in a different location from all of the hosts that access it.

What language is Linux Mint written in? ›

Mint is just one of those distributions created around the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is essentially written in C. The OS elements surrounding the kernel are most of the time also written in C, but some of them are written in C++ and some in other languages.

What language was the inspiration of C++ based on? ›

The C++ programming language has a history going back to 1979, when Bjarne Stroustrup was doing work for his Ph. D. thesis. One of the languages Stroustrup had the opportunity to work with was a language called Simula, which as the name implies is a language primarily designed for simulations.

What language is C based on? ›

It was based on CPL (Combined Programming Language), which had been first condensed into the B programming language—a stripped-down computer programming language—created in 1969–70 by Ken Thompson, an American computer scientist and a colleague of Ritchie.

Which is simple Python or C++? ›

C++ is a bit complex when it comes to the simplicity of language, and it has more syntax rules as well as program conventions. Python is a friendly language. It has a simple and easy-to-learn syntax. Moreover, its features are easy to use, which allows you to write short and readable code.

Is Linux written in C or C++? ›

Linux. Linux is also written mostly in C, with some parts in assembly. About 97 percent of the world's 500 most powerful supercomputers run the Linux kernel. It is also used in many personal computers.

Which is faster Ubuntu or Mint? ›

Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: Performance

Mint may seem a little quicker in day-to-day use, but on older hardware it will definitely feel faster, whereas Ubuntu appears to run slower the older the machine gets. Mint gets faster still when running MATE, as does Ubuntu.

Is Linux using C language? ›

There's a good reason the Linux kernel is written in C. Finally, C is easy to get started with, especially if you're running Linux. You can already run C code because Linux systems include the GNU C library ( glibc ). To write and build it, all you need to do is install a compiler, open a text editor, and start coding.

Is C++ a dead language? ›

There's nothing outwardly wrong with C++, – that's why it's still so widely used today.” In 2022, C++ is a useful, up-to-date, and vital programming language, especially as many of the world's major operating systems such as Microsoft Windows were built from the program.

What is the mother of all programming languages? ›

C language is considered as the mother language of all the modern programming languages because most of the compilers, JVMs, Kernels, etc. are written in C language, and most of the programming languages follow C syntax, for example, C++, Java, C#, etc.

What language is closest to C++? ›

Java and C++ are similar in their type of programming language, use, and complexity. Java and C++ can be used to create applications, operating systems, web browsers, and parts of websites. They also have a similar syntax, meaning the way they are written is comparable.

Is C Dead programming language? ›

Reasons why C isn't dead

Perhaps the most obvious reason why C isn't dead is the fact that it's so integral to so much software that we use today. We're not just talking about your standard legacy systems; C is inside the operating systems that allow us to interface with software and machines.

Why do I prefer C++ over C? ›

C is somewhat more efficient than C++ since it doesn't need for Virtual Method Table (VMT) lookups. VMT — It is a mechanism used in programming languages to support dynamic dispatch (or Runtime Method Binding).

Why is C still used? ›

C exists everywhere in the modern world. A lot of applications, including Microsoft Windows, run on C. Even Python, one of the most popular languages, was built on C. Modern applications add new features implemented using high-level languages, but a lot of their existing functionalities use C.

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