This documentation refers to PhraseExpress v16 beta. The documentation for current v15 is available here.


PhraseExpress can be installed on a computer or run in portable mode from a USB thumb drive without installation.

PhraseExpress runs locally on your own computer. No personal text input is sent anywhere. You can even cut-off PhraseExpress from the internet if in doubt.

System requirements

Any Windows computer made in the last 10 years should be able to run modern applications like PhraseExpress:

  • Windows 8 or 10 (32 and 64 bit)
  • Approximately 200 MB free space on the hard disk plus space for your individual phrase data.
  • The Outlook Add-In requires a local Microsoft Outlook installation.
  • A selection of features (file export, Document Generator, phrase output to file, support for Microsoft Word formatted phrases) require a local Microsoft Word installation.
  • Microsoft Excel related functions require a local Microsoft Excel installation.

PhraseExpress is also available for Apple macOS and iPhone/iPad.

Computer installation

To install PhraseExpress on your Windows computer:
  1. Double-click the installation file "PhraseExpressSetup.exe" (download) and follow the on-screen instructions.
  2. After installation, you should find the PhraseExpress speech bubble icon in the task bar:

  3. If you have purchased a license, register the license key.

Windows hides tray icons of new installed programs by default. Click the triangle in the task bar and drag the PhraseExpress icon from the popup into the system tray to make it permanently visible:

The software installation requires administrative rights. If you cannot obtain elevated rights on your computer, consider using the portable edition.

For client deployment in large networks, refer to the SQL Client Manager manual.

The MS Office or Windows 10 AutoCorrect feature may interfere with PhraseExpress as both programs compete to replace spelling mistakes. This may lead to double characters, such as "sspelling". We recommend to either disable AutoCorrect in Windows 10 and Microsoft Office or to not use spelling corrections in PhraseExpress. You can import your MS Word AutoCorrect entries into PhraseExpress.

Portable use

Instead of installing PhraseExpress on your computer you can alternatively run it from a portable USB stick for use on any computer.

To run PhraseExpress from a USB thumb drive:
  1. Download the Portable Edition.
  2. Make sure that PhraseExpress is not installed/running on the host computer.
  3. Extract the ZIP archive contents into any file directory on your portable device.
  4. Launch "PhraseExpress.exe" from the USB device.
  5. Copy any existing phrase file "phrases.pxp" onto the USB device and load it into PhraseExpress.
  6. If you have purchased a license key, register your USB thumb drive installation.

The portable mode is indicated in the PhraseExpress title bar. User and application data must be stored into the program directory on the portable device. No data is written on the host computer.

Portable mode can be enforced by command-line parameter -portable.

The phrase file must be located on the same portable device.

The portable edition cannot be launched from a shared network drive.

Before registering the PhraseExpress installation on the portable device, make sure that no PhraseExpress installation exist on the host computer (otherwise you would register the installation on the computer).

Always shut down PhraseExpress before unplugging the USB drive to prevent data loss!

Limitations in portable mode

By design, PhraseExpress does not write any data onto the host computer in portable mode. Some features are not available in portable mode as they require writing data onto the computer:

  • Phrase file sharing
  • Outlook Add-In
  • Document Generator
  • Spell checking in PhraseExpress.
  • Use with a SQL/PhraseExpress Server.

Moving to a portable installation

To move from a regular installation to a portable installation:
  1. Save your phrase file onto the desktop.
  2. Deregister the license keys from the current regular installation.
  3. Exit and uninstall the local regular PhraseExpress installation.
  4. Install PhraseExpress on the USB stick. Don't run PhraseExpress yet.
  5. Move the phrase file from the desktop to the program directory on the USB stick.
  6. Launch PhraseExpress from the USB stick and register the license key.

Upgrade an existing installation

To upgrade a stand-alone installation to a newer version:
  1. Backup your current phrases by exporting the phrase file.
  2. Download the latest PhraseExpress version.
  3. Install the new version over the current installation.
  4. If you have purchased a maintenance renewal, you need to replace the expired license key with the new license key.

If the new version does not automatically find the phrase file of the previous installation, load the phrase file manually.

Please check the program version history for features and specifications changes. Especially larger version jumps may require macro programming adjustments. New versions may require an updated phrase file format to support new features. In such case, older version will not be able to load the phrase file.

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