This documentation refers to PhraseExpress v5 beta. The documentation for current v4 is available here.


PhraseExpress is installed like most regular programs on a Mac:

  1. Download the DMG installation file.
  2. Double-click the installation file.
  3. Click and drag the PhraseExpress symbol from left to right onto the Applications folder:

  4. If you have purchased a license, register the license key in PhraseExpress.

Important macOS settings

Do not skip the following important macOS configuration steps!

Due to security mechanisms implemented in macOS, you need to configure your Mac to enable PhraseExpress providing its service.

If PhraseExpress does not appear in any of the below configuration dialogs, macOS may prompt you when an authorization is actually needed.

Below steps are required for the not only for the initial installation but for each update!

  1. Open the macOS System Preferences:

  2. Switch to section "Security & Privacy":

  3. Under the "Privacy" tab, click section "Accessibility" on the left, unlock the padlock in the lower left and add PhraseExpress to the list of programs (Video tutorial):

    Make sure that the checkbox is ticked for PhraseExpress. This setting is essentially required to allow PhraseExpress detecting autotext and hotkey input.
  4. If you wish, that PhraseExpress macros can save files on your Mac, optionally click section "Full disk access" and add PhraseExpress to the list of programs:

    Make sure that the checkbox is ticked for PhraseExpress.
  5. On the left, click section "Screen Recording" and add PhraseExpress to the list of programs:

    Make sure that the checkbox is ticked for PhraseExpress. PhraseExpress never 'records' your screen but macOS uses the same permission to allow PhraseExpress switching program focus which is required to switch from PhraseExpress to the target program to insert the desired text template.

PhraseExpress never transmits your files or mouse/keyboard input over the internet (see our privacy policy).

MacOS seem to want you re-confirming above security settings after each software update: Exit PhraseExpress after the update, delete the PhraseExpress entry from the list and click the +-button to re-add PhraseExpress.

Make sure to exit PhraseExpress before re-applying the checkmark in macOS privacy setting! Otherwise mouse clicks would be blocked and you would need cold reboot the Mac: Press the power button for a couple of seconds to perform a system reset.

The macOS security & privacy database seem to become unstable at times. To perform a reset of Accessibility settings (of all Apps!), use command "sudo tccutil reset Accessibility" in the macOS Terminal App.

Configure macOS autotext

MacOS includes a basic autotext feature that will collide with PhraseExpress if you use the same autotext abbreviations. Do not to use the same abbreviations or consider removing any autotext definitions from macOS autotext:

  1. Open the macOS System Preferences:

  2. Open section Keyboard:

  3. Switch to section "Text" and either uncheck "Correct spelling automatically" or delete the autotexts that you intend to use in PhraseExpress:

  4. If you wish to use keyboard arrow keys and TAB to conveniently navigate in forms with the keyboard, switch to section "Shortcuts" und set option "Use keyboard navigation...":

Upgrade an existing installation

PhraseExpress v5 introduces a new phrase storage format and changed the way how to sync between computers.

The old PXI phrase file format has retired. If you upgrade a stand-alone installation, PhraseExpress converts the phrases of your PXI file into the new database format and uses this new database. This should be a seamless procedure in regular setups. Keep the copy of your pxi phrase file!

To upgrade a stand-alone installation to a newer version:
  1. Backup your current phrases by exporting the phrase file.
  2. Download the latest PhraseExpress version.
  3. Install the new version over the current installation.
  4. If you have purchased a maintenance renewal, you need to replace the expired license key with the new license key.

If the new version does not automatically find the phrase file of the previous installation, load the phrase file manually.

Please check the program version history for features and specifications changes. Especially larger version jumps may require macro programming adjustments. New versions may require an updated phrase file format to support new features. In such case, older version will not be able to load the phrase file.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents