PhraseExpress v10 Network Edition - Manual


Enterprise Client Deployment

Server Configuration

Changing the phrase file location

Miscellaneous notes

Data Backup

Location of the Server configuration files

Network Communication

Keep PhraseExpress up-to-date

Uninstall PhraseExpress



Multiple PhraseExpress clients can access the same phrase file. However, synchronization issues may occur if multiple users alter the phrase file simultaneously.

The PhraseExpress Server prevents such synchronization conflicts with a professional client-/server architecture.

Benefits of the PhraseExpress Server

  • Multiple users can share a common phrase file in a corporate network without synchronization conflicts.
  • Read and write access rights can be configured for each username, usergroup, workgroup or domain. This means Clients can simultaneously use individual and shared phrases.
  • Personal phrases roam with the user to the computer logged in ('roaming profiles').
  • The PhraseExpress Server automatically creates multiple phrase file backups.
  • Network traffic is securely AES encrypted.
  • Central overview about the clients software version numbers.
  • Central client licensing. No need to enter license keys on the clients.
  • Restrictable client user interface to minimize operating errors and inhouse software training:

    UI restriction

Client/Server Architecture

The client-/server setup consists of three different programs:

Program Purpose

Server icon


The PhraseExpress Server is a Windows service that serves the centrally stored phrase file to all PhraseExpress clients.

Client Manager icon

Client Manager

The Client Manager is the control panel to configure the Server.

It is a single program file, that can be executed from any computer which has access to the Server PC. The Client Manager does not need access to the individual workstations but only to the Server PC.

Client icon


The PhraseExpress client is identical to the regular single-user version and provides the PhraseExpress functionality on the local workstations.

More information about the PhraseExpress client can be found in the PhraseExpress client manual.

Installation Procedure

  1. Download the PhraseExpress Server
  2. Install the PhraseExpress Server on the computer you wish to use as a server. All clients must be network connected to this computer.
  3. The PhraseExpress Server installation program also installs the Client Manager. You can alternaticely install the Client Manager on any other computer with network access to the server PC.
  4. Install the PhraseExpress client on all workstations.
  5. If you have already purchased licenses, register the license keys in the Client Manager.

Upgrade from a previous installation

  1. Uninstall the current PhraseExpress Server version. All clients will automatically switch to a local phrase file backup.
  2. Upgrade all clients to the new version (Download:
  3. Install the new PhraseExpress Server. It will automatically overtake the phrase file of the previous version.
  4. Register your new license keys in the updated Client Manager.

Client Installation

The PhraseExpress client manual contains step-by-step client installation instructions.

Important notes

  • Grant PhraseExpress network access in the firewall configuration.
  • Enable networking support is in the PhraseExpress clients under Settings » Network.
  • All client installations must have the same version number. Do not mix different clients versions.

PhraseExpress Client Deployment

To deploy PhraseExpress in an enterprise network, either use the MSI installer, or setup a reference installation, configure the settings as required and distribute the program folder /program files/phraseexpress/*.* plus the configuration file config.xml to all workstations.

All client settings are stored in the file config.xml in your user(!) application data folder. This .xml file must be copied to the common(!) application data folder on the clients computers. PhraseExpress automatically copy the configuration file to the user's application data folder with first client launch.

PhraseExpress does not store any user settings in the Windows registry but in the config.xml file only.

Server Load Balancing

If using the PhraseExpress Server with many users, you may want to consider installing multiple PhraseExpress Servers to distribute the server load to multiple instances.

Also consider using an SQL server for larger installations (25+ clients). SQL servers are designed to server many hundreds clients.

Considerations when using multiple servers vs. a single server:

Number of servers Benefits Disadvantages
  • Simple and installation and configuration.
  • All clients have access to the same single phrase file.
  • No other client can edit phrase files while one user is currently editing the phrase file to prevent synchronization issues.
  • If you have a large phrase file (>10 MB) and many users (>50 users) launch their PhraseExpress client at the same time, for example with the beginning of the work day, the server may get very busy and you may want to use multiple servers to distribute the load.
  • The network load is distributed across the multiple servers.
  • While one user is editing the phrase file, the phrase file is only blocked for editing by other users who are connected to the same server.
  • Additional configuration: Each server needs to use a separate port to avoid port conflicts of multiple servers in the same network.
  • Each server hosts its own, independent and isolated phrase file. Users connected to one server cannot access phrases hosted on another server.

You can install as many servers as you like and freely divide your set of license keys to multiple servers. Just make sure not to double-use the same license key for multiple servers.

By configuring different ports for each server you can define for each client to which server the client shall connect to.

You may want to define the number of servers in a way that the network load is distributed equally. The network load is determined by the number of users and phrase file size.

Server Configuration

The PhraseExpress Server service launches automatically with the server computer. The PhraseExpress Server service itself does not have a user interface and is running invisible in the background.

The PhraseExpress Server is configured by the PhraseExpress Client Manager.

Server Tab

The Server tab of the Client Manager allows you to define network communication settings.

If the Client Manager is running on the same computer as the Server service, keep the punctuation mark as the Server location.

Otherwise enter the name of the computer on which the PhraseExpress Server is running.

Define the TCP port used for the communication between the PhraseExpress Server and the clients. Only change this setting if the default TCP port is already occupied by another application in your network.

Do not configure ports that are used by other software (e.g. any port below 1025).

You need to reconfigure firewall configuration on all workstations after changing the TCP port.

Phrase file tab

In the "phrase file" tab, you can choose the desired .pxp phrase file.

The PhraseExpress Server uses the same phrase file format as the PhraseExpress client.

You can export a phrase file in any client, copy it to the server computer and load it into the PhraseExpress Server via the Client Manager.

The phrase file is your main data file and contains all phrases, hotkeys, autotexts, phrase folders, access rights settings.

While not recommended, you can also use UNC network paths as the phrase file path. Make sure to run the PhraseExpress Server with the "Network Service" account. Make sure, that the network share is available when the PhraseExpress Server is launched.

Important note

Do not replace the phrase file in Windows Explorer while the PhraseExpress Server service is running!

The PhraseExpress Server service would not recognize the change and the new file would be overwritten by the previous file if any PhraseExpress client makes any change. User the Client Manager to load another phrase file!

The server keeps a customizable number of phrase file backups in folder /PhraseExpress backup, located in the same folder in which the main phrase file is stored. A new backup file is written every time any PhraseExpress client made a change.

Monitor tab

The Monitor tab shows all status information and connected workstations with their license key associations.

Press combinations of the SHIFT- and CTRL-keys to highlight multiple users in the list.

Right-click the title bar of the user list to add/remove columns. Click a column title to sort the users in the list. Click again to invert the sorting order.

Description of the Monitor columns:

Column Description

The check boxes in the column "W" (for "write access") define whether a client is generally allowed to edit phrases. If unchecked, any option to add/remove/edit phrases is removed from the user interface of that client to prevent operating errors.

This global write permission setting overrides any folder-based access permissions configured in the clients.

You can change these settings for all clients in one go by (de)selecting the check box in the title row and applying this setting to all connected clients with the Set button. The check boxes in the title bar also define the default settings for new clients connecting for the first time. If you uncheck the "W" check box in the title bar, any client connecting for the first time will have no write access to the phrase file by default.

Avoid removing write access while a user is working on the phrase file as it may confuse the user.

The check boxes in the column "C" (for "configuration") define whether a client can change program settings. If unchecked, access to the program settings option is removed from the user interface to prevent users from making configuration errors.

Change these settings for all clients in one go by (de)selecting the check box in the title row and applying this setting to all connected clients with the Set button. The check boxes in the title bar also define the default settings for new clients connecting for the first time. If you uncheck the "C" check box in the title bar, any client connecting for the first time will have no write access to the phrase file by default.

The IP address helps you identifying a a particular workstation computer.

User identification (by a customizable combination of user name, work group and computer name).

Shows parts of the license key associated to the user. It displays "local" if the client is registered with a local license.

ConcurrentUser licenses are automatically released from the user after disconnection.

The version number helps you identifying out-of-date client installations.

The Client Manager accumulates the time and money savings of all PhraseExpress clients.

The money savings accumulate do not reflect different currencies.

Release unused licenses

  1. Select the users you wish to remove from the list. Those must not be connected to the database.
  2. Click the Remove button.
The licenses return to the pool of available licenses for other users. If the removed user reconnects, it may take a license again.

If using ConcurrentUser licenses, the states of the access and configuration rights are not stored. Theses settings are tied to the license keys that float between multiple users if using ConcurrentUser licenses.

You can hide/show individual columns by right-clicking the column title. You can completely disable the usage statistic function of the statistics by hiding both usage statistic related columns.

Disconnected clients are displayed in grey and you can remove their license key association by right-clicking the desired entry if you wish to use the associated license for another user.

If you try to remove write access from a user who is currently editing phrases, you will receive a warning message. Please avoid removing write access while a user is working on the phrase file as it may confuse the user.

License keys tab

If you have purchased PhraseExpress licenses for use with the PhraseExpress Server, you would need to register the license keys in the Client Manager:

  1. Launch the Client Manager and switch to the tab License keys.
  2. Copy the list of license keys into the Windows clipboard and paste it into the input area as shown in above screenshot.
  3. Make sure that the Client Manager can access the internet and click the Update button to start the online validation process.

License key validation requires an internet connection. If no internet connection is available, install the Client Manager (without the Server service!) on any other PC within your network that has network access to the PhraseExpress Server and access to the internet and validate the license keys from there. The license registration information is stored on the computer running the PhraseExpress Server.

If using a Proxy Server, configure the proxy settings in the Client Manager as well.

You can unregister license keys for use with another PhraseExpress Server installation at any time by removing the license keys from the Client Manager license key input field and pressing the Update button.

Do not register the clients locally if you register your installation in the Client Manager of the PhraseExpress Server


The PhraseExpress Server associates a license from the pool of available license keys to every user connecting to the server.

A user is identified by the PhraseExpress Server by following variations:

Combination Notes

A user is identified by the PhraseExpress Server its Windows Logon user name.

A user is identified by the combination of the user name and the workgroup. This setting is suitable if there are multiple users with the same Windows user name in different workgroups.

A user is identified by the combination of the workgroup, computer name and user name.

You can configure the user identification in the Client Manager tab "License keys".

Licensing Variations

PhraseExpress is available in two licensing variations that you can choose during your purchase:

License Variation Explanation

Each PhraseExpress user is permanently tied to a particular license key which is taken from the pool of available license keys with the first connection of the user client. The license <-> user association is still valid, even if the user is not currently using the software.

This licensing type is recommended if a fixed number of permanent users are using PhraseExpress on a regular basis.

You can unbind a particular user from a license key in the Monitor tab of the Client Managers if the user is not currently connected with the PhraseExpress Server. The user is then displayed in grey color in the list of clients and you can right-click the user to unbind the license key association. The license key is then put back into the pool of available license keys for another user.

Each PhraseExpress user gets a temporary license key from the pool of available license keys for the time, the user is connected to the PhraseExpress Server. The license is automatically put back to the pool of available licenses if the user is disconnected from the PhraseExpress Server.

This licensing type is recommended for part-time workers in a company.

Limitations of the Concurrent User licensing:
  • Concurrent User licenses are available for purchases of 10 or more Professional/Enterprise Edition licenses only.
  • The Network-Cache feature is not available with Concurrent User licenses.
  • As the settings for the general write- and configuration access rights (the check boxes "W" and "C" in the monitor tab of the Client Manager) are not stored as these settings are connected with the license <-> user binding which is temporarily if using Concurrent User licenses.

Addition licensing information

  • If all license keys are associated to users and if an additional user is trying to connect to the PhraseExpress Server, the user will get notification that the PhraseExpress Server ran out of available licenses. You can purchase additional licenses and add them to your current installation at any time.
  • Named- vs. Concurrent User licenses and Standard vs. Pro Edition licenses can mixed on the same PhraseExpress Server: Register the "Named User" license keys on the Client Manager first and launch the clients first which shall take these licenses. Then, register the Concurrent User licenses in the Client Manager which will be temporarily associated to floating users.
  • PhraseExpress adds the string "_TS" (without "") to the computer name if installed within a TerminalServer session. This allows you to simultaneously use PhraseExpress within a TerminalServer session and on the host PC which runs the TerminalServer.
  • You can install PhraseExpress on an unlimited number of computers in the network. The number of license keys defines the number of users that can simultaneously access the PhraseExpress Server.

    Example license calculation:

    You have 100 computers and 80 users, but only 70 users will use PhraseExpress. You can install PhraseExpress on all 100 computers and you would need only 70 licenses. The central PhraseExpress Server and the Client Manager is always included in your purchase.

Blocking individual users from automatically taking a license

You can block individual users from being recognized by the Client Manager. Create a plain text file block.txt in the same folder where you can find the PhraseExpress Server configuration file config.ini

Under Windows XP the path is C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\PhraseExpress Server

If using Windows Vista the path is C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PhraseExpress Server

In text file, list all desired users (one per line!) corresponding to the licensing scheme, e.g. in the format Workgroup\User Name or Workgroup\Computer name\User Name.

Miscellaneous notes

  • Users without phrase file write access have no editing commands.
  • Users without configuration persmissions have settings menu commands in the user interface.
  • If multiple users have write access rights and if one user is currently editing a phrase, all other users temporarily have no access to functions to alter phrases until the editing process is finalized. If you wish to have simultaneous editing in the network, please check the SQL server option.
  • Depending on the PhraseExpress Server configuration, phrase file changes may either be transmitted to all clients instantly or upon the next program launch on the workstation.

Data backup

The server creates an additional phrase file backup each time a user is making phrase file change. The backup files are located in the folder /PhraseExpress backup, located in the same folder as the main phrase file and has the file extension .bak. You can set the number of backup files in the Client Manager. PhraseExpress automatically deletes the oldest backup file first.

If you would like to discard accidental changes to your phrase file or if the original phrase file cannot be read anymore, please do the following:

  1. Stop the PhraseExpress Server service by using the Windows Management Console.
  2. Rename the current phrase file with the file extension .pxp or move it to another folder.
  3. Remove the file extension .bak of the desired backup file and change its name to the original name of the current phrase file. It should then have the .pxp extension.
  4. Restart the PhraseExpress Server service.

The PhraseExpress Server deploys the phrase file to all PhraseExpress clients.

Important Note

Frequently backup your phrase file to different storage media to eliminate the slightest risk to lose your data in case of hard disk failure.

Configuration file locations

The PhraseExpress Server saves its configuration to following file paths:

File name Description File Path


Configuration file of the PhraseExpress Server

The configuration file is maintained by the Server and should not be touched. If you edit the configuration file, please make sure to stop the PhraseExpress Server service first.

Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\PhraseExpress Server\

Windows Vista/7 32-Bit: C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Roaming\PhraseExpress Server\

Windows Vista/7 64-Bit:C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile\AppData\Roaming\PhraseExpress Server


This file contains the list of license keys and their associations to the users.


Log-file of the PhraseExpress Server


Configuration file of the Client Manager

Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\PhraseExpress clientManager\

Windows Vista/7:
C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\PhraseExpress clientManager\

The storage location of the PhraseExpress client files on the workstations is described in chapter "Location of your personal data" of the client's manual.

Network Communication

PhraseExpress Server and Client communincation works as follows:

  1. If the PhraseExpress client is configured to search the Server automatically, it sends broadcast polls via UDP Port 1036 in intervals.
  2. If a PhraseExpress Server receives such client poll, it answers with the IP address of the Server PC.
  3. The PhraseExpress client connects to the PhraseExpress Server via the provided IP address.
If the PhraseExpress Server changes its IP address, the client will start sending UDP polls again to find the new server location.

You can also manually enter the Server PC address if you wish to connect to a specific PhraseExpress Server:

  1. Select Settings » File » Connect to Server
  2. Enter the Server PC's IP address.
  3. The PhraseExpress client will not send UDP broadcast polls but always expect the PhraseExpress Server to be present at the provided IP address.

Keep PhraseExpress up-to-date

To check for updates, connect your computer to the Internet and select the tab Online Updates » Check now in the Client Manager.

If a new version is available, stop the PhraseExpress Server service and manually update all clients in the network. Then restart the PhraseExpress Server Service. PhraseExpress clients must all have the same version number to avoid incompatibilities.

The online update feature on the client installations is disabled while the clients are connected to the PhraseExpress Server. The reason is, that all clients must be updated in one go.

Uninstall PhraseExpress

PhraseExpress can be uninstalled with the default methods provided by Microsoft Windows.

Uninstalling the PhraseExpress Server will not delete the phrase file to prevent accidental data loss. Delete the phrase file (including automatically created backups) in Windows Explorer manually.

To continue using PhraseExpress clients stand-alone, check this step-by-step migration video tutorial.

Command-line parameters for Uninstallation file.

The uninstaller program located in the PhraseExpress Server and Client program folder (unins??.exe) accepts optional command line parameters:

Command-line parameter Description


When specified, the uninstaller will not ask the user for startup confirmation or display a message stating that uninstall is complete. Shared files that are no longer in use are deleted automatically without prompting. Any critical error messages will still be shown on the screen. When '/VERYSILENT' is specified, the uninstallation progress window is not displayed.

If a restart is necessary and the '/NORESTART' command isn't used (see below) and '/VERYSILENT' is specified, the uninstaller will reboot without asking.


Instructs the uninstaller to suppress message boxes. Only has an effect when combined with '/SILENT' and '/VERYSILENT'.


Causes Uninstall to create a log file in the user's TEMP directory detailing file uninstallation and [UninstallRun] actions taken during the uninstallation process.

This can be a helpful debugging aid. The log file is created with a unique name based on the current date (It will not overwrite or append to existing files.).

The information contained in the log file is technical in nature and therefore not intended to be understandable by end users. Nor is it designed to be machine-parseable; the format of the file is subject to change without notice.


Same as /LOG, except it allows you to specify a fixed path/filename to use for the log file.

If a file with the specified name already exists it will be overwritten.

If the file cannot be created, Uninstall will abort with an error message.


Instructs the uninstaller not to reboot even if it's necessary.


Following trouble-shooting tips should be able to help you if you experience connection issues with the PhraseExpress Network Edition:


  • Make sure to use the latest software version. Please note that the PhraseExpress clients must have the same major version number as the PhraseExpress Server. Example: If you use PhraseExpress v10 clients, you also must use a PhraseExpress Server v10. You cannot use a v9 Server with a v10 client for example. You can find the latest product versions on our download page.
  • Make sure that the computer running the PhraseExpress Server has a TCP/IP network connection to all computers running the PhraseExpress clients.
  • Check any firewall or any other “security” program does not block PhraseExpress from accessing the network.

Trouble-Shooting the Server PC

  • Make sure to run the latest PhraseExpress Server version.
  • Check whether if PhraseExpress Server service is running on the Server PC: Open the Windows Management Console by right-clicking the "My Computer" desktop icon and select the popup menu item "Management". Switch to the list of Services and find the entry "PhraseExpress Server" from the list. Make sure that the PhraseExpress Server service is marked as "Running". If "Stopped", click on "Restart". If this fails, reboot your computer and try again.
  • Launch the Client Manager and switch to the "Monitor" tab. Red-colored status text indicates a problem.
  • Clients automatically disconnect after trial period expiration. In this case, make a purchase decision if you wish to continue to use your current installation.
  • If you ran out of available licenses please purchase additional licenses or remove license key association if you wish to use a license for another user.
  • Switch to the Client Manager tab "log" and have your IT administrator inspecting the log file to identify entries that could point to a problem.

Trouble-Shooting the Client PCs

  • If you can't see the PhraseExpress client task tray icon, follow the PhraseExpress client installation instructions.
  • A green-colored exclamation mark in the task tray icon indicates a proper connection to the PhraseExpress Server and everything should be fine. Hover the task tray icon for additional information.
  • If the task tray icon contains a red-colored exclamation mark, the client is not connected to a PhraseExpress Server and uses a local phrase file instead:
    • Open the PhraseExpress client main program window, select Tools » Settings » Networking and enable the Networking option.
    • Connect to a PhraseExpress Server by selecting File » Connect to PhraseExpress Server.
    • If the client cannot automatically find the server, your network configuration may blocks UDP broadcast polls used for the automatic server search. In this case, enter the Server PC's IP address manually.
  • If the client task tray icon is empty, the client was connected to the PhraseExpress Server earlier but lost the network connection and now uses a temporary copy of the network phrase file. Try to reconnect to the PhraseExpress Server as explained above.

If this Trouble-Shooting didn't help, post the problem including the PhraseExpress Server log file in the support forums.