This documentation refers to PhraseExpress v17 beta. The documentation for the production version 16 is available here.

Expert Options

Expert options are reserved for advanced users who need to adapt PhraseExpress to special use scenarios based on our instructions.

We do not provide technical support in the event that you change the expert options. Before contacting support, please revert the expert options to default values.


Default leading- and trailing delimiter are the standard delimiters, allowing PhraseExpress to recognize the beginning and end of an Autotext. #0 means any character, #9 means the TAB-key, #13 means the ENTER-key. If you use #0 for both delimiters, then input would be recognized at any position within a word.

The option Route ENTER and TAB through PhraseExpress allows the program to extend Autotexts to their phrases if they are confirmed by ENTER before they are sent to the target application. You can disable this behavior, as it can cause problems in certain programs (e.g. Games) where ENTER may be blocked or double-executed.

Global application restriction

Video tutorial

The detection of Autotext, hotkeys and the AutoSuggest feature can be restricted on a global level. This configuration is stored in the local configuration file of the user's computer and overrides any phrase program restriction. Global program restrictions are not shared with other users sharing a common phrase file/database.

E-Mail Delivery Method

Experiment with the email delivery method setting if you experience difficulties with the macro function.

Enable UTF-8 character encoding if your email client uses such encoding.

If MAPI fails, please search your PC for the file fixmapi.exe and launch it with administrative privileges. If you use Lotus Notes, you may need to manually enable MAPI support in Lotus Notes.

Text Insertion

Windows offers several methods to paste text into a target application:

  • The 'Key-by-Key' simulation of individual key strokes is suitable for short text without formatting. Simulating keystrokes begins instantly without delay but each keystroke takes a little time. You can actually watch how PhraseExpress "enters" the text for you. The longer the text, the longer it takes to insert it. PhraseExpress supports two keystroke simulation methods:

    Keystroke SimulationPros & Cons
    • Supports most international (including Asian) character sets and keyboard language layouts.
    • Not supported by a few target applications.
    • Maximum program compatibility (including Java applets, Safari browser, Pidgin).
    • May not work with special keyboard layouts or special characters.
  • The Windows clipboard must be used for formatted text or bitmaps. PhraseExpress copies the phrase into the clipboard, switches to the target application and triggers the clipboard to paste its contents into the target application. The clipboard can paste large chunks of text very fast but requires some time to be filled with contents.

Enabling option "Automatically Paste text via clipboard if length exceeds x characters" chooses the recommended paste method based on the phrase length.

  • The paste method can be configured separately for specific target program (video tutorial). Some programs work better with VK_Packet and others may be fine with SendKey (JAVA programs and the popular chat client Pidgin for example).
  • PhraseExpress can optionally "Restore previous clipboard contents" after phrase insertion. This causes a little extra delay, as the original clipboard contents need to be cached and restored.
  • After selecting a phrase from a popup menu, Windows automatically changes the focus back from the popup menu to the target program. If you experience that text is not inserted properly into the target application, you may try the option "Force focus change". PhraseExpress will then explicitly sets the program focus.
  • Linked/Nested phrases are rendered to a complete phrase which is output in one single step. You can optionally let the phrases step-by-step by checking the option "Output linked phrases phrase-by-phrase".

PhraseExpress stores formatted phrases in RTF format and can be configured to derive a HTML version from the RTF source to maximize compatibility with target appliations:


PhraseExpress uses RTF and HTML except in specific target applications that are known to have difficulties with HTML. Then, only RTF is used.

Recommended default setting

PhraseExpress always uses RTF and HTML format. The target application has to pick the preferred from the provided formats.

Only RTF is used. This setting may be required if the target applications struggles with HTML contents in the clipboard.

Only HTML is output. Use this setting if the target applications cannot process RTF properly.

There is no golden rule which paste method works best with specific target programs. Please experiment with the settings.

To define the number of capital letters with which the autotext input should begin in order for the entire phrase to be output in capital letters when SmartCase is enabled for the autotext, you can set the specific count of initial uppercase characters required for the input of an autotext.

Example: If set to 2, you would need to enter the autotext like "FBi" to output the entire phrase in capital letters.


PhraseExpress can insert text and automate procedures much faster than the target program could actually handle.

If you experience text insertion problems (only partial text insertion, insertion of the clipboard instead the phrase or no insertion at all), you may need to increase the delays to match PhraseExpress' speed with your system's performance:


PhraseExpress changes the program focus from the target application to the phrase menu and back to the target program.

A customizable delay allows slower or busy computers to follow these focus changes.

Increase this delay if text is pasted into the wrong target application.

PhraseExpress adds this delay after a special keystroke to allow the target app to process the automation.

Increment this value if keystrokes are not processed properly by the target application.

Formatted phrases are inserted by using the clipboard.

As the Windows operating system handles clipboard operations with low priority, PhraseExpress needs to wait a little extra time.

This delay specifies the time that is given to Windows OS to load the clipboard with the text contents sent by PhraseExpress.

Increment this value if text is not copied correctly to the target application (for example, any old contents of the clipboard are pasted instead of the desired phrase).

PhraseExpress waits this delay to give slow clipboard operations enough time.

Increment this value if the clipboard is not restored with its original content after phrase insertion.

Delay parameters heavily depend on the system CPU power and CPU load at the time of phrase insertion. If you feel lost with the parameters, revert to default values and experiment from there.

You can add extra delays within your automation phrases with the macro function .

Phrase Format

The default font format for new formatted phrase can be predefined.

The HTML phrase formatting output can be configured:


HTML output contains font formatting tags only, if the phrase uses formatting different from the Default phrase format setting.

If the phrase font formatting has not been altered, no extra font formatting is added to the HTML output.

HTML output always includes font-family & font-size information and overrides formatting currently specified in the target application.

PhraseExpress never adds font-family & font-size tags to the HTML output. The phrase formatting adapts to the current formatting as specified in the target application.

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Table of Contents