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General Troubleshooting

  • Is PhraseExpress actually running? Check if the program icon is visible in the upper right menu bar.
  • If the PhraseExpress tray icon is empty, it may be temporarily disabled (see chapter "Temporarily disable PhraseExpress").
  • To isolate incompatibility issues with 3rd party apps, close any program that may process keyboard input or the clipboard (other Clipboard Managers, Autotext or Text Expander utilities). "PopClip" is an app which is known to cause interferences.
  • Test PhraseExpress in TextEdit as a target application to isolate any issue with a particular target program.
  • Make sure that no "security" program such "Antivirus/AntiSpyware"-software is blocking the keyboard hook of PhraseExpress. We have learned that such programs have become quite aggressive and may especially locking up browsers.
  • Reset the PhraseExpress configuration to system defaults if you are afraid having messed with the settings.

If above suggestions do not help to resolve the issue, please check one of the following hints covering common issues:

Does Autotext generally not work?

If PhraseExpress shows a yellow warning in the menu bar icon, "Secure Input" has been activated by another application but has not been released.

The macOS system function "Secure input" protects sensitive text input (such as password input) from being tracked by other programs, which generally is a good thing. Unfortunately, some applications may not release this feature after use and any input stays invisible for 3rd party apps, such as PhraseExpress. Work around: Disable "auto-submit" feature of any auto-login feature and/or close and restart the application, that caused the interference.

If using the security software "Webroot SecureAnywhere", please note, that it turns on "Secure inpu" and it remains on by default. To turn it off, select "Pause Secure Keyboard Entry" from the Webroot SecureAnywhere top bar icon menu.

Does a specific Autotext/Hotkey not work?

  • Check the general trouble-shooting tips first.
  • Does the Autotext exist in the phrase file?
  • Is the phrase content for the defined Autotext empty? Does it contain an erroneous macro function?

Does a certain Autotext/Hotkey not work in a particular program?

  • Check the general trouble-shooting tips first.
  • Some target groups may have non-standard input fields that may prevent external text injection, e.g. programs with high security requirements such as banking software or password depository utilities. Please consult the make of the program to check whether they intentionally blocked text insertion.
  • Have you accidentally excluded PhraseExpress from the target applications? Right-click the menu bar PhraseExpress symbol and make sure, that the option "Active in ..." is checked:

    Program restriction

Phrases are not (properly) inserted

Please check the following if text is text inserted incompletely or with wrong characters:

  • If the first few letters of a text insertion are doubled, then most likely an AutoCorrect feature of the target program interferes with the AutoCorrect feature of PhraseExpress.
  • If the clipboard is inserted instead of the phrase or if an autotext is not removed before the phrase is inserted, increase the delays to grant PhraseExpress more time to insert the phrase.
  • If text is inserted only partially or broken, then your computer perhaps is slower than PhraseExpress trying to insert the text. In such case, increase the paste delays.

Form controls get no focus

Apple macOS can be configured to ignore focus to radio buttons, check boxes and a few other input controls. In this case, such controls cannot be used with the keyboard but with the mouse only.

To change this setting, open the Mac System Preferences » Keyboard » Shortcuts und set option "Full keyboard access" to "All Controls".

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