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Positioning Windows - Setting up Desktop Layout


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Hi Everyone.

I've been using the older AutoIt to setup my desktop layouts at the start of the day. Basically the script would open up all of the applications I normally use daily and position all of them into the correct locations. This worked well but had some limitations. I normally run on a three monitor desktop and when I undock for meetings all of the application positions would get messed up and I would have to manually move them all back.

Using the new AutoItX powershell utilities I've re-written the script.

First this function to actually capture a window location and print the details to screen for copying and pasting into the main script. To use this make sure the application is running and then sized and positioned how you want before running the function.

function getAppSettings {
param (

$cHandle = (get-process -name $appName).mainwindowhandle | Where {$_ -ne 0} | Select -unique
$cExe = (get-process -name $appName -fileversioninfo).FileName | Select -unique
$appWinPos = Get-AU3WinPos -WinHandle $cHandle

$xSetting = '$x = ' + $appWinPos.location.x
$ySetting = '$y = ' + $appWinPos.location.y 
$widthSetting = '$width = ' + $appWinPos.size.width
$heightSetting = '$height = ' + $appWinPos.size.height
$appNameSetting = '$appName = "' + $appName + '"'
$exeSetting = '$exe = "' + $cExe + '"'
$cmdLine = 'handleApp -appName $appName -x $x -y $y -width $width -height $height -exe $exe'

Write-host "`n### $appName : Application Settings`n"
Write-Host "$xSetting`n$ySetting`n$widthSetting`n$heightSetting`n$appNameSetting`n$exeSetting`n`n$cmdLine"
Write-host "`n`n`n"

This function outputs something like this:

PS C:\WIP> getappsettings chrome

### chrome : Application Settings

$x = 107
$y = 0
$width = 1600
$height = 920
$appName = "chrome"
$exe = "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"

handleApp -appName $appName -x $x -y $y -width $width -height $height -exe $exe

The main script uses the following function to actually start/move the application windows to the correct locations. This current version still uses the get-childwindow function but it's redundant and can be coded out. I'll include it for now to preserve what I am currently using.

function handleApp {
  Moves or Starts application then moves it to specified location.
  Moves or Starts application then moves it to specified location.
    File file path to executable
    Integer value of "X" location
    Integer value of "Y" location

  Version:        $Rev$
  Author:         $Author$
  Creation Date:  $Date$
  Purpose/Change: Initial script development
  <Example goes here. Repeat this attribute for more than one example>

param (
    process {
		$cHandle = $null
        try {
			Write-Verbose "###`t $prfl : Working on $appName" -verbose
			$cHandle = (get-process -name $appName | get-childwindow).mainwindowhandle | Where {$_ -ne 0} | Select -unique
			Move-AU3Win -WinHandle $cHandle -X $x -Y $y -Width $width -Height $height | out-null
		} catch {
			$sleepTimer = 0
			Write-Verbose "###`t $prfl : $appName not running. Staring application." -verbose
			& $exe
			Write-Verbose "###`t $prfl : Waiting for Application" -verbose
			Do {
				$cHandle = (get-process -name $appName | get-childwindow).mainwindowhandle | Where {$_ -ne 0} | Select -unique
				Write-Verbose "###`t $prfl : Waiting for Application - $sleepTimer" -verbose
				Start-Sleep -Seconds 1
			Until (-not $cHandle)
			$cHandle = (get-process -name $appName | get-childwindow).mainwindowhandle | Where {$_ -ne 0} | Select -unique
			Write-Verbose "###`t $prfl : Application handle ($appName) - $cHandle" -verbose
			Move-AU3Win -WinHandle $cHandle -X $x -Y $y -Width $width -Height $height | out-null

There are some issues with the above script. I have a sleep timer instead of a wait-active function to determine if an application has started. As such I tend to need to run it a couple of times if application startup takes longer. Once I figure out how to properly use the AutoItX functions I'll revise it.

Then I have the main part of the script that determines where I am currently working using current IP Address. This script lays out the applications for when I am at the office or working from home.

# Environment variables

$VerbosePreference = "SilentlyContinue"

$userPSDir = "$env:USERPROFILE\Documents\WindowsPowerShell"
$scriptDir = "$env:USERPROFILE\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Scripts"

. $scriptDir\get-childwindow.ps1

# Set Location
$atWork = $null
$nwINFO = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $Computer Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration | Where-Object { $_.IPAddress -ne $null }

$nwIfIndex = ($nwInfo.Description.indexOf("Intel(R) Ethernet Connection I219-V"))
$gateway = ($nwInfo[$nwIFIndex].DefaultIPGateway[0]|Out-String).trim()

if ($gateway -eq '') {
	Write-Verbose "###`tRunning Work Profile" -verbose
	Start-Sleep 5
	fnAtWork -prfl '@Work'
} else {
	Write-Verbose "###`tRunning Home Profile" -verbose
	Start-Sleep 5
	fnAtHome -prfl '@Home'

Look at the startOfDay.ps1 script that I will attach so you can see how it is laid out. Also, I run this in verbose mode but you can silence that by setting the $VerbosePreference variable.







get-childwindow.ps1 startOfDay.ps1

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