We are all familiar with the situation where you are typing the same word or sentence over and over in your windows programs. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could simply type the abbreviation of a word and it gets auto expanded to our desired phrase? A free software program called PhraseExpress is the perfect solution to this problem. Not only does it make expansion of text an absolute breeze, but also allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to your text snippets.
Creation of a new phrase is easy: Let’s say you are typing the word abbreviation over and over. It makes sense to create a text shortcut for that like abbr. To do so, with PhraseExpress installed simply select the text and press the in-built keyboard shortcut to create a new phrase and set abbr as your Autotext. From then on whenever you type abbr (in any program in which you can type text) and hit a space it gets automatically expanded to abbreviation.
Listed below are 10 reasons why you should use PhraseExpress:
- System-wide recognition. PhraseExpress works in notepad, email application, browser windows and wherever text can be typed.
- PhraseExpress greatly helps prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Since the amount of text you type gets reduced, there’s less strain on your fingers.
- PhraseExpress automatically corrects common misspellings in any program as you type, thanks to its ability to import Microsoft Word AutoCorrect entries.
- PhraseExpress has a useful clipboard cache. You can assign a keyboard shortcut like Ctrl+Shift+V to bring up a list of last 10 items in the clipboard (text that you copied). Pasting any item from your last 10 clipboard entries in your current text taking program, then, is a simple click away.
- Using the in-built Text Prediction feature, it’s not even necessary for you to create a new phrase. PhraseExpress learns as you type and auto suggests the phrase to be completed next time you are typing it
- Multiple Autotext can be set to expand the same phrase. For example, you can have yrw, yaw and yw set to get expanded to You are welcome.
- PhraseExpress allows you to re-use the same Autotext for multiple phrases. In such cases, a popup menu right next to your cursor allows you to choose the desired text snippet.
- You can assign keyboard shortcut to any phrase. Tired of having to type your postal address in Email applications and browser windows several times? Simply assign a shortcut for that like Ctrl+Shift+1 and press it to have PhraseExpress automatically type the address for you.
- Multiple modes of triggering the phrase expansion: Spacebar, instant expansion when the last character of Autotext is reached, expansion upon press of a confirmation key (F8 is the default).
- For advanced users, PhraseExpress supports looping and basic macro programming. You can re-use phrases by linking and nesting them.
To work your way faster in PhraseExpress remember these tips:
- To enable/disable PhraseExpress hold Control key and click on its icon in the system tray
- To edit that phrase that you have most recently used, hold Shift key and click on the icon in system tray
- If you don’t want the expanded phrase to have a space at the end, put a space after the Autotext.
From a usability point of view, you might want to set these keyboard shortcuts in PhraseExpress:
- Ctrl+Shift+H (‘H’ for Hotstring) – Creates a new phrase from selected text
- Ctrl+Shift+M (‘M’ for Manage) – Opens up PhraseExpress so you can edit your phrases
PhraseExpress is an excellent freeware using which you can create abbreviations that expand to your pre-set text. It is light-weight program and doesn’t consume much memory. It’s a must have program for anyone who have considerable typing to do in their day-to-day usage of computer.