AutoIt Environment

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Install Directory Structure

The installation directory for AutoIt (usually located in \Program Files\AutoIt3\) looks like this:

«AutoIt v3 Install Directory Structure — As of v3.1.1.0»
Files / Directories Description
AutoIt3.exe The AutoIt v3 Main Program (typically, the only file required to run scripts)
AU3Info.exe The AutoIt Active Window Info tool (was AU3_Spy.exe)
AutoIt.chm The AutoIt v3 Help file
PSAPI.DLL Process...() function Helper DLL (required for Windows® NT 4; Microsoft® redistributable file)
Aut2Exe \ AutoIt Script Compiler Components
Aut2Exe \ Aut2Exe.exe The Script Compiler
Aut2Exe \ AutoItSC.bin Executable Stub included into compiled scripts
Aut2Exe \ upx.exe The UPX Compressor (for compressing compiled scripts)
Aut2Exe \ Icons \ Icons for use in compiled scripts
AutoItX \ AutoIt Extension Samples
AutoItX \ ActiveX \ Include AutoIt in Windows® Script as an ActiveX® Component
AutoItX \ StandardDLL \ Include AutoIt in any program as a Dynamic Link Library
Examples \ Example AutoIt scripts
Examples \ GUI \ Example GUI scripts
Examples \ Helpfile \ Example scripts from the Help file
Extras \ Third-party / Contributed files provided for convenience
Extras \ AutoUpdateIt \ Check for and install updates to AutoIt
Extras \ Editors \ Syntax highlighting files for popular code editors (with auto-install scripts)
Extras \ v2_to_v3_Converter \ An AutoIt v2.64 to v3 script converter
Icons \ Icons used for .au3 filetype icon in Explorer®
Include \ Standard include files (pre-written user functions; see Library Functions in Help file)

It should be stressed that to run AutoIt scripts, the only required file is AutoIt3.exe. If you compile a script into an executable then a user does not require AutoIt to be installed to run that compiled executable.

Exception: Under Windows® NT 4, the file PSAPI.DLL needs to be in the path or the AutoIt directory for the Process...() related functions to work.

•  Updated to reflect the directory structure of AutoIt v3.1.1.0.
•  Duplicate listing of the Aut2Exe directory was removed.  I assume this was supposed to be AutoItX.

Choosing a Text Editor

Since Autoit scripts are simple text files, you can use any text editor to author your scripts. Even the humble Notepad that comes with Windows!

However, there are substantial benefits to be had from more sophisticated text editors, including:

  • Multi-document Interface (MDI) - which allows for editing several soure files simultaneously (useful when you start using AU3's #include, or want to copy between files.
  • Project files - allowing you to identify a single shortcut when launching your text editor, which will instruct it to open a specific set of source files.
  • Enhanced Search & Replace functionality.
  • Source-code highlighting - based on the AU3 syntax.
  • "Folding" - where portions of the file can be hidden from view to allow for easier editing.
  • ClipBooks - some editors have a feature where you can store frequently used code snippets and copy them in at a click while coding.
  • CHM interface - allowing quick and easy reference to the help file that comes with Autoit.
  • Customisable tools - useful when you want to run a script from within the text editor.

These features and more are available in text editors that are free or shareware. There are regular debates on the forums about which editor is the best, but in the end it all boils down to a personal choice. The following editors are very popular amongst AutoIt users:

Text Pad

Text Pad is a shareware text editor from Helios Software Solutions. It is available for download at It is an excellent general purpose editor, and AutoIt comes with syntax files for Text Pad. You can also run scripts you are editing directly from inside TextPad. It is particularily good at editing many files at once, and is able to perform find and replace operations on many files at the same time.

Text Pad costs £16.50 British pounds, which is about €24.80 Euros or $30.10 USD. The evaluation version does not expire - it simply pops up reminder messages to register once in a while.


See Also: SciTE4AutoIt3

The current editor used by the majority of AutoIt users is SciTe, the AutoIt development team has created a custom version of SciTe with full syntax highlighting that also integrates various third-party AutoIt tools (like syntax checking and script tidying). A "lite" version of the SciTE editor comes with the AutoIt installation package. The full AutoIt version of SciTe that comes with all to tools can be downloaded seperately at

Crimson Editor

Crimson Editor is a free source code editor that supports syntax highlighting, customizable commands and pluggable extensions.

Notepad ++

NotePad ++ is a free/open source source code editor. It supports syntax highlighting, macros, etc. It uses the powerful Scintilla editor component. Now includes Syntax Highlighting for AutoIt by default.


jEdit is an open source, Java based programmer's text editor. Some of its features include:

  • Written in Java, so it runs on Mac OS X, OS/2, Unix, VMS and Windows.
  • Built-in macro language; extensible plugin architecture. Dozens of macros and plugins available.
  • Plugins can be downloaded and installed from within jEdit using the "plugin manager" feature.
  • Auto indent, and syntax highlighting for more than 130 languages.
  • Supports a large number of character encodings including UTF8 and Unicode.
  • Folding for selectively hiding regions of text.
  • Word wrap.
  • Highly configurable and customizable.
  • Every other feature, both basic and advanced, you would expect to find in a text editor. See the features page for a full list.


PSPad is a freeware programmer's editor for Microsoft Windows operating systems, useful for people who:

  • work with various programming environments
  • like highlighted syntax in their source code
  • need a small tool with simple controls and the capabilities of a mighty code editor
  • are looking for a tool that handles plain text
  • want to save time - PSPad offers rich text formating functions
  • need tool what offer user extension capabilities
  • want to save money and still have the functionality of professional products because PSPad is free for commercial and government purposes too