User interface

The PhraseExpress client user interface consists of the task bar icon, the phrase menus and the main program window.

Task bar icon

If the start bar icon is not visible, first check whether PhraseExpress has been started at all. Then check if Windows has hidden the start bar icon in a submenu that you can open with a small triangle:

The tray icon is your main hub for PhraseExpress:
ActionDescription
Left-ClickOpens the root-level phrase menu.
Right-clickOpens the options context menu.
Double-ClickOpens the main program window.
CTRL -ClickTemporarily enable/disable PhraseExpress.
SHIFT -ClickOpens the last executed phrase in the main program window.
ALT -ClickOpens the program settings.

The program window

The PhraseExpress main program window is the place to edit and manage your phrases:

The left window pane shows all phrases of one or multiple loaded phrase files/databases.

Select a phrase or folder in the left tree view to edit its properties in the right window pane.

The root items in the first tree level represent the data source (phrase file or database) and their current state. Some of the root level items, such as the clipboard history, last used phrases folder or the autocomplete folders are system folders, that are managed by PhraseExpress.

Display options

The main program window can show your phrases in either a two and alternatively a three columns display mode which can be selected in the View menu or by pressing CTRL-2 / CTRL-3.

The classic Two columns view shows your phrases within the tree structure as you can see above.

Benefits:
  • Easy to browse through the library. Everything is one place.
  • Most compact user interface.

Collapse/expand folders with the program hotkeys for easy navigation in the tree.

The alternative three column view visually separates the folders from their content:

The first column shows the folder structure without content. The second column shows the contents of the folder currently selected in the first column:

Benefits:
  • Easier navigation in large folder structures as no content occupies any space in the tree.
  • The middle column can show additional phrase configuration details in customizable sub-columns.

Right-click a column header to add/remove columns.

Click a column header to sort phrases and to toggle sort direction.

Sorting is only visible in the editor. To sort & rearrange phrases in a folder permanently, right-click the folder and select any of the sort options in the context menu.

If using PhraseExpress with a SQL Server, additional columns "number of uses" and "last used" are available.

To show all phrases of a folder including any subfolder, enable View » Flat List

If you select a root element in the tree, the middle column lists all phrases of the entire phrase source you can sort by size, date, usage, etc.

The view options only change the presentation of contents in the program but not the actual structure the phrases are saved in the phrase file/database.

You can't create phrases in flat list view.

Show phrases in tabs

Video tutorial

PhraseExpress can show phrases in tabs allowing you to instantly switch between them.

To open a phrase in a tab, select one or more phrases, and right-click any of the selected phrases and select "Open in tab":

Desktop menus

Phrase menus can be pinned onto the desktop to prevent them from disappearing after selecting a phrase:

Click the pin symbol in the top right of any phrase menu to keep the phrase menu on visible the desktop.

Double-click the title bar to expand/collapse desktop menus. To resize a desktop menu, click & drag the edges.

Desktop menus can show/hide automatically together with specific programs.

Example:

A desktop menu may contain various bank account information and can optionally be displayed only, if you open a specific banking website or banking software. It automatically hides if you switch to another program. Program restricted desktop menus appear as they would be attached to specific programs and virtually become part of them.

To restrict a desktop menu to particular programs, right-click any desktop menu item or its title bar and select "Restrict to specific programs".

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