Edit phrases

To edit a phrase:
  1. Open the main program window.
  2. Select the phrase in the tree view on the left.
  3. Edit the phrase properties in the right window pane.

Phrase properties

Phrases have following properties:


The description is used to identify the phrase in the phrase menu.

Use short and distinctive descriptions.

Begin descriptions with the most important/distinctive part as narrow phrase menus may visually cut-off the end.

Phrase content

The phrase content consists of text (including macro functions) that is inserted into the target application when the phrase is called, and can be saved with or without text formatting.

Unformatted phrases automatically turn into formatted phrase if you paste formatted text or bitmaps or if you start using text formatting (bold, italics, underline, font) functions. To remove text formatting, right-click into the phrase content box and select "Remove Formatting".

The formatting status is indicated by the phrase tree icon:


  • Phrase without text formatting and without bitmaps.
  • Phrase formatting adapts current formatting of the target document/application.
  • Efficient and memory resource friendly.
  • The text formatting automatically adapts to the formatting in the target application.

We strongly recommend to prefer unformatted phrases for maximum flexibility and compatibility.

  • Phrases with formatted text and/or bitmaps.
  • Requires more space in the phrase file.

Use only, if text formatting, tables or bitmaps are required.


A hotkey (or "keyboard shortcut", "key combo", etc.) is a combination of multiple simultaneous keypresses to trigger phrases or to open phrase menus.

PhraseExpress can insert a phrase if you press its associated hotkey. For example, pressing CMD+ALT+S can be assigned to insert your signature:

To assign a hotkey to a phrase:
  1. Under "hotkey", click the desired combination of CTRL, ALT, CMD and/or SHIFT buttons.
  2. Click onto the little triangle next to the hotkey input box.
  3. Select the desired letter (or mouse button) from the popup menu. Alternatively, click into the input box and press the entire key combination.

Many two-key shortcuts are already reserved by other programs. PhraseExpress shows a warning symbol if a hotkey is likely to interfere. We recommend to use combinations of at least two of the CTRL, ALT,CMD, SHIFT keys plus an additional character.

A warning symbol is shown if the selected hotkey is likely to interfere with your regular typing.

Reuse hotkeys

The number of available hotkeys is limited and it would be difficult to memorize hotkeys for a large number of phrases.

To overcome that, you can re-use the same hotkey for multiple phrases. For example, you can assign the same hotkey CMD+ALT+S to a variety of email signatures.

If you press such hotkey, PhraseExpress collects all phrases with the same hotkey and present them in a phrase menu.

You can then select the desired phrase.

Hotkeys for phrase folders

Hotkeys can also be assigned to a phrase folder, that contains multiple phrases or additional subfolders.

This provides you with quick & easy access to a very large number of phrases with a single keypress.

For example, you could use the hotkey CMD+ALT+F to access a phrase folder holding all your finance related phrases. Another hotkey CMD+ALT+P may show all product related phrases.

If you trigger a phrase folder by hotkey, PhraseExpress adds a New phrase… command at the bottom, allowing you to create new phrases in that specific folder.

Application example:

Imagine, you have a product related text in any program you wish to store in your product info phrase folder:

  1. Highlight the product information text.
  2. Press CMD+ALT+P to open the product related phrase folder.
  3. Press the ArrowUp key to reach the bottom menu folder entry, which is the New phrase… command.
  4. Press ENTER and finish creating the phrase.

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Table of Contents