Autotext

Autotexts are text abbreviations that are replaced with a longer phrase. Such text shortcuts can also trigger macro automations.

Sample applications:
  • Entering the abbreviation 'FBI' can be automatically be expanded to 'Federal Bureau of Investigation'.
  • Typing mistakes are corrected as you type: 'tpyo' » 'typo'.
  • Enter an autotext to launch an application. For instance, typing 'calc' can launch the Windows calculator.

In PhraseExpress, autotext works in most programs and offers significantly more functionality.

To assign an autotext to a phrase (folder):
  1. Under "Autotext", enter the desired text abbreviation.
  2. Select an autotext option from the drop-down next to the autotext input box:

Make sure to configure autotexts, that do not interfere with your regular typing.

A warning symbol is shown for very short autotexts, that are very likely to interfere with your typing, especially if configured to be executed without a trailing delimiter.

An autotext associated to a phrase executes that phrase. If the autotext is assigned to a phrase folder, PhraseExpress displays the contents of that phrase folder in a phrase menu, allowing you to select the desired phrase.

Autotext options

OptionDescription

The autotext is recognized after pressing ENTER , TAB , SPACE or any default trailing delimiter such as punctuation marks:

Default delimiter

This is the recommended default setting.

Autotext is recognized immediately after typing the last character of the autotext:

Execute immediately

Avoid this setting if the defined autotext can be part of a word. E.g., if you would choose the autotext "hav", it would unwantedly trigger a text replacement whenever you enter the regular words "have", "behave", etc.

The phrase is offered in a popup menu instead of being inserted automatically

Execute Optionally

You can either accept the phrase by pressing the confirmation key or you can ignore the offer to insert by continuing to type.

Phrase are suggested in a popup menu if you enter the beginning of its description

SmartComplete

You do not need to define an Autotext.

Press the confirmation key to insert the phrase or continue to type and the menu will disappear.

Selecting SmartComplete automatically enables caps sensitivity and manual confirmation option.

The expert options allow advanced users to configure autotext in detail on a PhraseExpress desktop version.

The expert options are – really – only suitable for experts.

If configuring the autotext option for a phrase folder, PhraseExpress offers to apply that setting to all elements within that folder. The selected autotext option also becomes the default for new items created in that phrase folder. This allows you to elegantly define different autotext preferences for different phrase folders.

Expert options

Expert settings provide extra flexibility for special applications:

  • Do you want to abandon the trailing autotext delimiter after pasting a phrase?
  • Do you want to define specific leading/trailing autotext delimiters?
  • Shall autotexts only be recognized within a word or only following a number?
  • Do you want different text insertions depending on upper vs. lower case autotext?

Autotext delimiters

PhraseExpress monitors your keyboard input for any autotext matches. Technically, a 'separate word' is defined as entered text at the beginning of a sentence or text that follows or is followed by a space, punctuation mark, comma and semicolon, TAB or ENTER.

The character required before an autotext (leading delimiter) is called Prefix. The character which must follow the autotext (trailing delimiter) to trigger an action is called Postfix:

Prefix/PostfixExplanation

None (available for postfix only)

There is no character required following the autotext. An autotext is recognized immediately after entering the last character of the autotext.

There is any character required before/after the autotext.

The autotext must follow/be followed by the default characters as defined as "default leading/trailing delimiters" (as defined in the expert options).

The autotext must follow/be followed by the ENTER / SPACE / TAB-key.

The autotext must follow/be followed by any letter from a-z/A-Z or number 0-9

If you select this option, an input dialog allows you to define a custom set of delimiters.

Do not separate the characters with any other characters. Simply enter them one after another without any separator. Any separator, such as a comma or space, would itself be interpreted as a delimiter.

You cannot enter the ENTER- or Tab-key here. Instead use #13 for ENTER and #9 for the TAB-key.

Incremental (for postfix only)

This option is deprecated.

Incremental autotext has no particular postfix that would trigger a phrase. If Incremental autotext is selected as a postfix, all matching items are offered in a popup menu after you begin typing the first letters of a matching autotext. The choices narrow down as you continue typing the autotext.

Example prefix/postfix settings:
PrefixPostfixExplanationNotes

An autotext such as 'eth' is only recognized when entered as a separate word. It is ignored in 'Ethan', within 'methane' and in the end of the word 'Beth'.

This is the default setting and recommended for most purposes.

The autotext example 'eth' is recognized everywhere, e.g. in 'Ethan', within 'methane' and in the end of the word 'Beth'.

This option is suitable e.g. to correct mixed letters at any position of a word. Careful use is of this option is recommended as such autotext may be recognized inadvertently.

The autotext example 'eth' is only recognized in the beginning of a word such as 'Ethan' but ignored within 'methane' or 'Beth'.

This option is suitable e.g. to correct mixed letters at the beginning of a word only.

The autotext example 'eth' is only recognized in the end of a word such as 'Beth' but ignored within 'methane' or in the beginning of 'Ethan'.

This option is suitable e.g. to correct mixed letters at the end of a word.

Case sensitive autotext

If option "Case sensitive autotext" is unset, PhraseExpress automatically adapts the letter case of the output depending on the first entered autotext letter:

AutoCaps
  • Enter the first letter of the autotext lower case, to insert a phrase beginning with lower case.
  • Begin the autotext with upper case and PhraseExpress will insert the phrase beginning with upper case.
Examples:
Keyboard inputPhrase contentsPasted text
maxmaximummaximum
MaxmaximumMaximum
MAXmaximumMAXIMUM
SmartCaps feature requirements:
  • Phrases must begin with lower case.
  • Autotext must be lower case.
  • Autotext must not exist in a separate lower and upper-case variation.
  • Autotext option "Case sensitive autotext" must be disabled.
  • The all caps feature must be configured under Expert Options » Text insertion.
Manual confirmation

Phrases are inserted automatically by default if you trigger the phrase by entering its associated autotext.

If you activate option "Manual confirmation", phrases are offered in a popup menu:

Execute Optionally

Press the customizable hotkey TAB to insert the phrase or continue typing to make the menu disappear automatically.

Remove trailing delimiter

If you do not want to output the trailing delimiter after phrase insertion, select "Remove trailing delimiter".

Reuse autotext

To reduce the number of autotext to be memorized, the same autotext shortcut can be assigned to multiple phrases.

If you type such autotext in any application, PhraseExpress presents all phrases with the same autotext in a phrase menu:

Phrase menu

You can then select the desired phrase.

Autotext, that are associated to multiple phrases are indicated in the autotext input box of the main program window with the icon .

Table of Contents


    Table of Contents