Edit phrases

To edit a phrase:
  1. Open the main program window.
  2. Select the phrase in the tree view on the left.
  3. Edit the phrase properties in the right window pane.

Create phrases

To create a new phrase in PhraseExpress:
  1. Open the main program window.
  2. Select the target phrase folder in the left tree view.
  3. Click the "New phrase" icon in the main menu (or press CTRL+N).
  4. Select the target folder in which you want to store the phrase.
  5. Enter and configure the phrase on the right.

The phrase is saved if you close the program window by clicking the X button in the upper right of the program window, select the main menu command "File » Save" or press the hotkey CTRL+S.

If using PhraseExpress with a SQL server, the phrase is also saved by selecting any other phrase or a folder in the phrase tree.

PhraseExpress is not designed as a Outliner software or text archiving solution. Please keep a copy of your texts in the database/data-source of your choice.

If using PhraseExpress without an SQL server, avoid to store large and/or many bitmaps as those greatly increase the phrase file size. Please consider embedding bitmaps with a macro instead of copying the bitmap into a phrase. The max phrase file size is limited by a number of factors. The file can become corrupt if becoming too large. In such event, you can restore the last good phrase file from backup.

Phrases cannbot be created/edited in following situations:
  • You do not have edit permissions.
  • The phrase file is write-protected or you are using an cached file version because the file connection is offline.
  • The administrator has manually configured PhraseExpress to exclude edit rights.

Please check the program status bar for additional informationen.

If using the PhraseExpress/SQL server:
  • Another user is editing the element.
  • The PhraseExpress client is is using a temporary cache file because it is not connected to the PhraseExpress/SQL server.

Phrase properties

Phrases have following properties:


The description is used to identify the phrase in the phrase menu:

Use short and distinctive descriptions.

Descriptions should begin with the most distinctive text part as narrow phrase menus may not show the entire description. Drag the border to resize the phrase menu.


A hotkey (or "keyboard shortcut", "key combo", etc.) is a combination of multiple simultaneous keypresses to trigger phrases or to open phrase menus:

Hotkey example

PhraseExpress can insert a phrase if you press its associated hotkey. For example, pressing CTRL+ALT+S can be assigned to insert your signature:

hotkey input

To assign a hotkey to a phrase:
  1. Under "hotkey", click the desired combination of CTRL, ALT, WIN and/or SHIFT buttons.
  2. Click onto the little triangle next to the hotkey input box.
  3. Select the desired letter (or mouse button) from the popup menu. Alternatively, simply click into the input box and press the entire key combination.

Many two-key shortcuts are already reserved by other programs. PhraseExpress shows a warning symbol if a hotkey is likely to interfere. We recommend to use combinations of at least two of the CTRL, ALT,WIN, SHIFT keys plus an additional character.

A warning symbol is shown if the selected hotkey is likely to interfere with your regular typing.

Reuse hotkeys

As the number of available hotkeys is limited, you can re-use the same hotkey for multiple phrases. For example, you can assign the same hotkey CTRL+ALT+S to a variety of email signatures.

If you press such hotkey, PhraseExpress collects all phrases with the same hotkey and present them in a phrase menu:

Phrase menu

You can then select the desired phrase.

Hotkeys for phrase folders

Hotkeys can also be assigned to a phrase folder to provide easy access to a very large number of phrases with a single keypress.

For example, you could use the hotkey CTRL+ALT+F to access a phrase folder holding all your finance related phrases. Another hotkey CTRL+ALT+P may show all product related phrases.

If you trigger a phrase folder by hotkey, PhraseExpress adds a New phrase… command at the bottom, allowing you to create new phrases in that specific folder.

Application example: To store a product related text in a product info phrase folder:
  1. Highlight the product information text.
  2. Press CTRL+ALT+P to open the product related phrase folder.
  3. Press the ArrowUp key to reach the bottom menu folder entry, which is the New phrase… command.
  4. Press ENTER and finish creating the phrase.

Table of Contents

    Table of Contents