For years I’ve heard that text expansion software could save me time by reducing the keystrokes needed to type out oft-repeated phrases. And for years I’ve treated that idea like an unworthy hack, the late-night infomercial of productivity ideas. I figured I’d rather cut down on the boring repetition of my phrasing than on the time it takes me to type out that phrasing. I still think I may have had a point there. But text expansion users have a point, too.
If you have ever …
- added unwieldy typesetting codes to a long book manuscript,
- found yourself repeatedly typing “Author: Please add this to the bibliography” or “Author: Please clarify…,”
- had a long chain of correspondence that necessitated the repeated use of the “Proper and Very Long Title of an Extremely Important Article Written by a Host of Extremely Important People,”
- wished that your own name or email address or business name was just a little bit shorter,
… then you may be a candidate for text expansion software.
Text expanders turn your abbreviated snippets of text into full, expanded versions, and they work in any window or document where text can be typed. If your name is Dawn McIlvain Stahl, for example, and you’re tired of typing that out, you can tell a text expander to automatically change dms to Dawn McIlvain Stahl.
But wait, there’s more!
PhraseExpress seems to be one of the most affordable (free), stable, and useful text expanders out there (with versions for Windows, Mac, and Android tablets and phones), and it can do far more than just expand your initials into your full name. Check out PhraseExpress.com and “7 Awesome Uses For PhraseExpress Text Expander” on MakeUseOf.com for information on its versatility. (See LifeHacker’s “The Best Clever Uses for Text Expansion” for even more ideas on the uses of text expanders in general.)
And if you download it now (or later), PhraseExpress will also throw in its built-in pocket calculator!