This documentation refers to PhraseExpress v16 beta. The documentation for current production version 15 is available here.

Cloud synchronization

Cloud synchronization

PhraseExpress supports cloud file sync services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Apple iCloudDrive to sync a shared phrase file over the internet.

Syncing with iPhone/iPad requires iCloud Drive.

You can also use a self-hosted cloud service, such as OwnCloud.

  • You must use the same cloud service account on all computers! The cloud service account is not the same account used to log into the device!
  • Online cloud synchronization services require some time to distribute the phrase file over the internet. Sync issues can occur if multiple users are editing the phrase file simultaneously while the cloud sync service is still busy distributing a file update. You can avoid such issues by restricting write permissions to only few or one single users.
  • If you can predict, that many users will edit the phrase file simultaneously and if all users are working in the same network, consider using the PhraseExpress Server or SQL Server.
  • Remote changes are detected on program launch and when saving local changes to the phrase file.
  • Apple iCloud Drive for macOS and iOS includes a file versioning system which, however, is not implemented on the Windows version of iCloud Drive. This can lead to issues if multiple users edit the phrase file before it has been fully syncrhonized to all computers.


You can share your phrases with other users without setting up a server by using any cloud service such as DropBox, Google Drive, OwnCloud, etc, or by using a (NAS) shared network drive.

To sync with other Windows clients in the cloud:
  1. Open the PhraseExpress main program window and in the phrase tree, highlight the root node of the phrase file, you wish to share with other users.
  2. Select "File » Sync phrases with others" and and specify the location of the central hub file.
  3. If using a cloud sync service, wait until the cloud service has distributed the hub file to all computers. This can take a while.
  4. On all other computers, choose menu item "File » Sync phrases with others", opt to join the shared file and select the hub file.

All users can then upload and download any change in the shared database on demand by clicking the main menu command "Send/Receive updates".

To disconnect the local phrase file from the sharing hub file, select "Stop synchronization"

You may want to set a password to encrypt your phrase file to secure it against unauthorized access (only supported by PhraseExpress for Windows).

If using a cloud server, make sure to use the same cloud service account on all computers.

Apple Mac

PhraseExpress for Windows can sync phrases with Apple Mac clients. Synchronization must be initiated by the Mac client as PhraseExpress for Windows can read phrase files of PhraseExpress for Mac (but not vice versa).

Step-by-step instructions for Apple Mac

Due to different text formatting systems between Mac and Windows, phrases containing bitmaps cannot be synchronized.

The PhraseExpress for Mac version supports a subset of the macro functions available in the Windows version.

Apple iPhone/iPad

PhraseExpress for Windows can sync phrases with iPhone/iPad by using the cloud service "Apple iCloud Drive" (required). Other cloud sync services are not supported by the iOS App at this time.

Synchronization must be initiated by the Apple device as PhraseExpress for Windows can read iPhone/iPad phrases file (but not vice versa).

Step-by-step instructions for iPhone/iPad

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