PhraseExpress is a Mac application that does almost the same thing as the TextExpander we reviewed earlier. Both programs can be considered advanced auto-correctors. You define a keyboard shortcut as a macro, and the application, when it detects such a combination, replaces it with a whole block of data (text, image, links). It may even have multiple paragraphs.
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What is PhraseExpress for?
Many of us need to type the same text relatively often. PhraseExpress allows you to quickly enter frequently used data with a few clicks. This can be, for example, bank details, passport details, addresses, directions, etc. Thus, to give a standard detailed answer to a bunch of business letters.
It is necessary to assign several characters to each template, when entering them, the data from the template will be automatically inserted. The choice of the number of characters depends on you, usually 2-4 characters are used with good memorability and unused for normal text input. You can take a couple of memorable symbols, for example, initials and a couple of consecutive service or numbers. This will ensure protection against accidental input of the code word.
For example, to insert bank details, you can use the abbreviation – br1, for passport data – pd…
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How do I use PhraseExpress?
1. To create a new phrase (as templates are called in PhraseExpress), click on the button New phrase… Optionally, create separate folders with themed templates. To create a folder, click the button New Folder…
2. In the field Phrase description enter a name for the template.
In field Formatted phrase contect enter the content of the template. Here you can place formatted text, links, tables, images and the code of the current date, etc.
In field Autotext abbreviation it is necessary to enter an abbreviation, by entering which the template will be inserted.
Instead of a text abbreviation, you can use a keyboard shortcut to specify which you must click Record shortcut…
3. To the right of the Autotext abbreviation field, select the appropriate option for triggering autocorrect:
Execute immediately – data from the template is inserted immediately after the set of the reduction.
After default delimiter – data from the template is inserted after pressing the key Space on the keyboard (i.e. shortcut + Space).
Manual confirmation – after entering the abbreviation, a pop-up window will appear on the screen with a proposal to insert data from the template.
Smart Complete – smart insertion of data from a template based on the typed text.
Expert – careful tuning of the replacement process.
In addition, the settings for each template provide for the use of many other triggers, for example, application exclusions. It can be used to select programs in which the macro will not work. This is convenient for those who are afraid of accidentally triggering and starting text input in applications where it is not required at all.
PhraseExpress also acts as a simple clipboard manager, saving the ten most recently copied / cut fragments. You can find them using the icon in the menu bar.
The app icon is a little annoying. It is a red exclamation mark inside the quote icon. This is very similar to the “something went wrong” warning. Of course, it is possible to hide the icon from the dock and only access the application from the menu bar, but this is not very convenient. I want to see the icon less distracting.
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Exporting data from TextExpander to PhraseExpress
If you are not currently using the TextExpander competitor, you can skip this section. The good news for current users of the program is that you can export all your existing fragments to PhraseExpress in just a minute.
To do this, in the TextExpander, right-click on the snippets and select Save a copy of group… Select a folder “Downloads” or another convenient place to save data. Then exit TextExpander and open PhraseExpress. On the top menu bar, click “Import”, and then select the file you just exported. That’s the whole transition procedure!
If you have TextExpander fragments organized into groups, you will have to repeat this step for each group, but it will still be fast.
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Prices and conclusions
If you only need an app for personal use, you don’t have to pay for it. But if you use more than ten phrases, then you will come across service messages prompting you to buy a license. It is also needed for commercial use.
There are three editions of the program:
Standart: $ 49.95
Professional: $ 139.95
Enterprise: $ 219
Version Standart suitable for almost everyone, in Professional support for SQL server will be added, which is recommended for storing common phrases on the server and using them by other people. Enterprise has some more advanced features, mostly integrated with other services such as translation.