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

Cloud synchronization

Cloud synchronizationPhraseExpress can keep one or more phrase libraries in sync on multiple computers "peer-to-peer" without using a server.

Features

  • Easy to setup. No server required.
  • Suitable for small teams up to around 25 users.
  • Ideal for home office or remote users (no permanent network connection necessary).
  • Users sync changes on demand.
  • Data can be securely "end-to-end" password-encrypted.

How it works

All users store phrases in their local phrase file, so they don't need a permanent network connection.

The user who wants to start sharing his phrase library creates a central sync folder that can be accessed by all other users. The sync folder is the "hub" other users can join to send/receive changes to the shared phrase file on-demand.

The sync folder can be located on a local network share or any cloud sync folder (Dropbox, iCloud Drive, GoogleDrive or self-hosted solutions such as OwnCloud).

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 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.

If using a cloud sync service, wait until the cloud service has distributed the sync file to all computers. This can take a while.

Especially if using an online cloud service, you may want to 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.

Loading shared phrases

To load a shared phrase file:
  1. Open the main program window and choose "File » Sync phrases with others".
  2. Select the desired shared 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 librabry into the shared phrase file. Access to your phrases will be restricted so only you but no other can see your phrases.

If using a cloud sync service, make sure to use the same cloud service account on all computers! This is not necessarily the account used to log into the device!

Syncing changes

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

PhraseExpress will send your phrase file changes to the central sync folder and apply changes to your local phrase file that have been uploaded by other users.

If multiple users edit the same phrase simultaneously, 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 potentially a large number of changes with your local phrase file.
  • Manual sync minimizes network load.
However, you can have PhraseExpress to check for changes automatically:
  1. Open the PhraseExpress main program window.
  2. Click the the lower half of main menu button "Send/Receive Updates" and select "Sync options".
  3. Configure auto-sync in the PhraseExpress settings.

User Management

PhraseExpress maintains a list of all users connected to the central sync folder to monitor the distribution of editing changes.

To open the sync user list, click "File » Sync user list".

You can remove abandoned users, e.g. colleagues who left the company without disconnecting the synchronization.

Removed users are not locked out of the sync but can show up in the list again if they perform a new sync.

Apple Mac

PhraseExpress for Windows can sync phrases with Apple Mac clients. However, the system is different to the system used to sync between Windows computers.

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 iCloud Drive for macOS 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.

Apple iPhone/iPad

PhraseExpress for Windows can sync phrases with iPhone/iPad by using the cloud service "Apple iCloud Drive". Other cloud sync services are not supported by the iOS App. This shouldn't be a problem as iCloud Drive is preinstalled on iOS.

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

Step-by-step instructions for iPhone/iPad

Syncing with iPhone/iPad requires using Apple iCloud Drive. iCloud Drive 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.

Table of Contents


    Table of Contents