How to play an alert sound when a window appears (or changes state)

Recently a couple of people asked me how to set up PTFB Pro to play a sound when a certain window pops up. This is actually a really easy thing to do – just follow these basic steps:

1. Open up PTFB Pro’s main window and choose to create a “New Window Macro” for the target window





2. Stop recording immediately to produce an empty – or virtually empty – macro (tapping the Pause/Break key on your keyboard is the quickest way to do this)

3. Double-click your new macro to open it up for editing, and switch to the “Notifications” page. The bottom section causes a sound to play when the macro runs automatically. You can pick one of the predefined Windows sounds, or supply the path to a “.wav” file of your own choosing.







And that’s all there is to it. If needed you can further refine your macro so that it only fires when the window enters a particular state, e.g. when the title changes to a certain pattern (configure this in the “Identifying the Target” page), or when part of the window conetnts changes visually (use the new “Visual Change” option on the “Triggers” page for this).


Using PTFB Pro to warn you of events on a shared computer

The “notification” options available for every macro, button press, window restore and program monitor item in PTFB Pro were added primarily for those wishing to keep a record of PTFB Pro’s activities but they can easily be put to other uses.

For example, let’s say your company has a PC set aside for specific tasks, like scanning, faxing and printing for example. That PC is open for all employees to use,  but you’re the techie/administrator responsible for keeping it running smoothly. When something goes wrong the regular staff have to get a message through to you to fix it, but do they know where you are? What your extension number is? Wouldn’t it be handy if the notification of the problem happened automatically? With a bit of help from PTFB Pro, it can.

Let’s say the condition you want to catch is that the printer has run out of ink/toner. The PC hosting the printer puts up a warning message when this happens, and that’s what you can use as the trigger for an email from PTFB Pro, as follows:

1) Configure PTFB Pro for sending emails. This is just a matter of filling out the details of your SMTP server (which can even be GoogleMail).

2) Create a “Single Press” item that just clicks somewhere on the warning message. It doesn’t really matter where the click occurs, because it’s the notification that you really want!

3) Double-click the new item to open it for editing, and switch to the Notifications tab. Tick the “Send Email” box, put in a meaningful title for the email, and if you like have PTFB Pro take a screenshot of the warning message itself so that you can see the problem for yourself before you’ve even left your seat.

Email Notification

Hit OK to save changes and “Start Watching” to put PTFB Pro into action, and you’re done. The next time the problem occurs, you’ll get an email with an attached screenshot of the error screen. You’ll soon be on your way to fix it, armed with accurate info on what the problem is, rather than a vague description from another member of staff.

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