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cgrinds

Where to go to learn AC Tool

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Be forewarned: If you do not have a basic (and I mean very basic. actool is very simple) understanding of programmingl, you will likely never figure it out.

 

Dont ask for macros in this topic please, this is a 'how to' forum.

Step 1: Help -> AC Tool HelpCheck out the help menu in AC Tool, there are lots of explanations of what things mean (objects probably dont mean what you think, for example) and how they can be used.
If you want to write scripts and have existing comprehension of macros or programming, just jump right in and look at the Help -> AC Tool Help menu item.
 
Step 2: Read the help
This is the most important step! do not forget this one!
 
Step 3: Help -> AC Tool Help -> Introduction
If you are new to macros, this is definately something you should read twice. all the basic information about actools is here. you will learn how to use constants, and very importantly, how to leave comments, or notes in your code. the finest macros are generally the ones with the most comments (not always, but usually!)
 
Step 4: Help -> AC Tool Help -> General Information
If you are playing Asheron's Call, read the Companion Help - otherwise skip it (I do not know that it is used for other games, I play FFXI and it isnt used for it).
Read the sections on Special Keys, Special Variables, and Standard Screen Constants.
If you need to know how to have your macros interact with the game by looking at the screen, read the Object Primer. You will have to look through it a few times to get it unless you have a decent grasp on programming and graphics. Its not too complicated, and has a little bit of a learning curve. There are tools in AC Tool for working with the screen, and it makes it very easy to code for. (I do not really write much code using this, you will need to ask someone else for assistance with questions)
Regular Expressions. Thats like saying 'Jumbo Shrimp', 'Military Intelligence', 'Head Butt' or 'Microsoft Works'. These things look almost, but not quite entirely unlike anything regular. Regular expressions are the most fantastic way to filter results and search for stuff. Once you learn what they do and how to use them, you will want to master them. If you are a true Jedi, you already have.
 
Step 5: Dataset Primer
datasets are a little advanced, and are likely not needed for many macros. Search for the cgSpellTome macro for an example of what they do. Datasets are lists that work more like a spreadsheet of sorts (but not really...) to hold data. Very powerful. If you have a strong understanding of programming this will be very easy to understand. Check it out anyway but move on to the next step if you dont understand it and dont waste any time. You can come back to this later anyway, the help menu works more than once.
 
Step 6: Help -> AC Tool Help -> AC Tool Commands
This is by far the most useful and incomplete section of the entire help file! Read this often! There is an example code snippet for damn near every function
If you still have a question, you can post a topic (please use a different name than 'Please help!' or 'WoW macro' or 'I need a skillup bot'. Everyone will ignore you or tell you to look it up yourself, or more likely, flame your ass and brand you n00b forever.
When posting a request for help, give any code samples inside BB Code (see the link on the left) to use 'CODE' formatting, and make sure to beautify your macro to make it easy to read. Keep it short, dont post 100 lines of code or more. Include the trouble section of code only, and if you want to provide your whole macro - attach it as a file and post only the problem code.
Do not ask for someone to write code for you. Nobody here is a paid programmer for you, and requests will be flamed in most cases. Be polite, and dont beg. Newbie members begging for someone to write code for them that have not contributed to the community will likely have a very bad experience on the forums.
 
Step 7: Peruse the forums for macros!
take a look around the forums for macros for the game you are interested in writing code for. notate their structure, what they do, how they send data to the game, and how they retreive data from the game. download a few examples and see if you can improve them.
if you have a question about a macro, you can post it in the forum you downloaded the macro from. not all macros are currently supported, but you may get answers from other forum patrons who understand the code or use the macro in question.
this cannot be stressed enough: while it is OK to ask questions and request help, if you have not looked for the answers yourself, and have provided no evidence of having done so - you will likely not get the answer you are looking for. nobody is paid to help you here - we do it out of the kindness of our hearts.
requesting help without listing evidence of having tried to help yourself before asking.... usually gets ya flamed severely. if you truly want a positive answer, include information regarding what you already know about the problem you have, and make sure to provide enough info that someone actually can answer you. "my macro doesnt work, whats wrong?" is NOT descriptive. "My FFXI macro doesnt target properly, and when it finally does it crashes. I read the ffxi_info forum, and still i dont understand why it hangs up on '$info_target_name'. can anyone help?" is a very good request for help that would likely be honored by many people, with tons of answers and advice too. try to include a small code snippet from the section of code in question (no long code in posts please... everyone hates it, attach your file to the post if its more than 20-40 lines... use good judgement)
If you need help please describe what you think your problem is, and wait for a response. Dont beg, please. Use proper english when asking for help.

I will update the post as needed, if anyone has anything to contribute just post it here. Not too long ago the boards were hacked and lots of posts have not been recovered. there is still google cache though... check it out if you want info on older macros. currently supported macros are likely to have active topics.

 

answer.gif

Thanks for the pic, DaMOB :)

Edited by cgrinds

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Failure to comply with this guide will result in you being flamed or simply ignored but count on the former rather than the latter.

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Excellent run through Cgrinds, only point I would add as seventh bullet would be to examine a posted macro and walk though it to make sure you understand the overall code structure and organization.

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Something to add is this...before you ask any questions follow the guide and if you are still stumped follow the words of wisdom from this picture (especially since this site was hacked you can use the cache function for now).

 

answer.gif

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Excellent run through Cgrinds, only point I would add as seventh bullet would be to examine a posted macro and walk though it to make sure you understand the overall code structure and organization.

thanks, I did add the seventh step. i also recommended to look in places that have macros for the game in question, and im going to mention using the google cache.

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Since this topic is for new people (i am new) then you should give a full explanation, explaining ALL things and EVERYTHING you say and mean. When i go to the help menu, for example, there is no option that says AC help files. explain more.

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Maybe ACTool isn't for you, if you can't read simple instructions ?

 

The guide says:

 

Step 1: Help -> AC Tool Help

 

Looks pretty straightforward to me. I go to the Help menu and the very 1st menu item is "AC Tool Help", just like the guide says.

 

If you can't follow along with simple instructions like that, then macro programming is going to be like doing brain surgery with your left foot.

helpmenu.JPG

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lol, I just dropped by, for old times' sake I guess, and I see that the trolls are still coming over the hill. You'd think that when they were climbing over the dead bodies of their comrades, they would stop and reflect...but I guess that is what makes them so special.

 

Hello to all, I finally kicked AC after 5 1/2 years, and am currently playing Civilization IV (and modding it of course...).

 

I can never thank the 'old guard' on the AC Tool boards enough for getting me back into programming, I'm cranking away in C++ and C# now and having a hell of a good time. AC Tool rekindled that spark, and it's a good thing.

 

Take care all.

 

-c

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lol, I just dropped by, for old times' sake I guess, and I see that the trolls are still coming over the hill. You'd think that when they were climbing over the dead bodies of their comrades, they would stop and reflect...but I guess that is what makes them so special.

 

 

Dropped by and saw something about forums hacked so I tried my login...still works :)

 

I stop through here every now and then - I've actually applied ACTool to a good many games over the past few years - and I'll add to Chaz's sentiment. Nice to see Ipa and DaMOB and others still here alive and hopefully well.

 

Noting the red stapler, I'll halt my off topic post before Ipa burns down my building.

 

You guys have some good holidaze ;)

 

~S

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Just changed video card from an 8600 gts to an ati allinwonder 1800 xl, works great except when I open my macro, the actool window is not displayed. Tried re-installing, alt-tabbing, and am out of ideas. Can anyone help? Thanks!

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