Anyone who’s tapped into Microsoft Word’s autotext and autocorrect features will know how useful they can be, but what happens when you need that kind of automation in another program? The answer lies with a free-for-personal-use tool called PhraseExpress 8.0151.
This clever and powerful text replacement tool, also available as a portable build, gives you Autotext and Autocorrect functionality – plus a heck of a lot more – across your entire desktop, letting you speed up the way you enter and manipulate text in any program you have installed on your computer, not just Microsoft Word.
PhraseExpress’s Autotext feature – the Text Expander – allows you to create shortcuts for frequently entered text in the form of abbreviations, such as “addr” for full-blown, multi-line address. You can even use macros to insert variables such as the date or ask for user input. You can also build up a library of frequently used phrases and snippets, which can be organised into a folder-like structure using the app’s Text Snippets Organizer. These snippets can also contain images, support Unicode and be formatted using RTF or HTML, and are just a few clicks away via the program’s Taskbar icon.
For those who’ve diligently built up a legion of AutoText and AutoCorrect entries in Word, the good news is you can easily import them into PhraseExpress via the program’s File > Import menu. There’s even an option to download free collections of text templates via the File > Download phrases option too.
PhraseExpress also offers to auto-complete sentences based on previously entered text, has built-in spelling correction with a new learning feature that sees which typos are most frequently corrected, adding them to a custom-fit spelling database.
Throw in other time-saving tools such as a clipboard manager handling multiple clipboard items, plus pocket calculator and application launcher that can both be triggered simply by typing in text shortcuts (such as ‘exc’ for Excel) and you’re looking at one powerful and versatile app, which explains why the free edition is strictly limited to personal use only (PhraseExpress can even detect if you’re trying to use it for business use and warn you accordingly).
PhraseExpress 8.0.151 and PhraseExpress 8.0.151 Portable are both available free for personal use for PCs running Windows XP, Vista or 7. Two commercial versions are available: Standard ($49.95) and Professional ($139.95) editions.