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

Cloud/NAS synchronization

Cloud synchronizationPhraseExpress can sync changes of a phrase library with multiple users peer-to-peer without using a server.


  • Easy setup. No server hardware/software required.
  • Ideal for home office remote users (no permanent local network connection necessary).
  • Changes are synchronized on demand.
  • Intelligent sync mechanism prevents any conflict files.
  • Optional "end-to-end" password-encryption.

How synchronization works

All users store phrases on their own computer and one user can start sharing his phrase library by creating a sync folder. This sync folder works like a market place where all users exchange any changes they have made.

The folder can be located either on a shared NAS network drive or in the sync folder of any cloud file synchronization service (such as Dropbox, iCloud Drive, GoogleDrive or self-hosted solutions such as OwnCloud).

The synchronization system is significantly differently compared to earlier PhraseExpress versions. If you have used an earlier version, you will need to reconfigure synchronization as described here!

Sharing a phrase file

To provide your phrase library to other users:
  1. Open the PhraseExpress main program window and in the phrase tree, select the node of the phrase file, you wish to share with other users.
  2. Select "File » Sync phrases with others" and "Share your phrase file with other users".
  3. Specify the location of the sync folder. This must be a location where all other users have access to, e.g. a network share or a cloud service sync folder.

PhraseExpress will copy your phrases and other files to the selected folder.

    IMPORTANT: This initial setup needs to be done by one user only. The creator of a sync folder automatically becomes the "master". All other users do not create a sync folder but rather join the sync folder as described below.

    All users must use the same PhraseExpress version.

    If using a cloud sync service, wait until the cloud service has distributed the sync file through the internet to all computers.

    If using an online cloud service, you can set a password to encrypt your phrase file for secure data transmission. The phrases will be encrypted before they are stored in the cloud. If you password-protect the phrase file, make sure that all users who join the file sharing know the password.

    Individual phrase folders can be access restricted, so you can still have your personal phrases.

    Joining a shared phrase file

    One user must have created a sync folder first as described above. Other users can then connect to this sync folder:

    1. Open the main program window.
    2. If you have loaded multiple phrase files, In the tree view, select the root node of the phrase file you wish to use for the shared phrases.
    3. Select "File » Sync phrases with others" and "Join a shared phrase file"
    4. Select the sync folder on the network share or cloud sync directory.

    The contents of your local phrase file will replaced with the contents of the shared phrase file. PhraseExpress offers you to merge your current phrase library into the shared phrase file. Access to your phrases will be restricted, so only you but no other can see your phrases.

    You can pre-configure PhraseExpress clients for synchronization via configuration file. Please check out this expert(!) video tutorial.

    Syncing changes

    To update your local phrase file with remote changes:
    1. Open the PhraseExpress main program window.
    2. In the phrase tree, select the phrase file node with cloud symbol.
    3. Click the main menu button "Send/Receive Updates" or press hotkey CTRL-F5.

    PhraseExpress sends your changes to the central sync folder and apply changes published by other users to your local phrase file.

    If multiple users edited the same phrase, PhraseExpress uses the latest edit version based on UTC ("universal time coordinated").

    Why syncing manually?
    • It enables you to create & test phrases locally without confusing other users with unfinished work. Only, if you are happy with the results you push the changes to the sync folder for others to download.
    • Syncing and merging may require some heavy lifting on the local client. The app can be unresponsive while it analyzes and merges a potentially large number of changes with your local phrase file.
    • Manual sync minimizes network load.

    For an instant sync, consider using a SQL server. Please note that using a SQL server requires a permanent network connection to the server.

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