Instant Text Overview
Instant Text is a text expander for anyone who can benefit from it - medical transcriptionists, translators, legal secretaries, technical writers, etc. It costs 189.00 per user. It is very worth the price. One can order it and try it for 30 days; if not for you, the CD can be returned for a full refund. It works in most Windows programs and now also works in WP5.1 for DOS, although adding words and phrases to your glossary quickly does not work the way it does in Windows. (In Windows, you select your phrase, hit Alt + =, and it is added. The short form is filled in for you, first letter of each word, so that you just need to hit Enter. You can, of course, change that short form if you want to. At this point, I believe that if using Instant Text in WP5.1 for DOS, because of clipboard differences, you need to actually enter it, or copy it another way. Since I don't use WP5.1, I'm not certain of the details. Anyway, if you're an AHK lover or ActiveWords lover, you can also automate selecting the phrase and hitting the Alt + = sign, such speed is delightful! I have scripts for automatically selecting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 words.
Most expanders work by the spacebar trigger. Instant Text will allow users to do this, but some of its most powerful features are disabled this way. It is best used with marker keys, which the user can choose. For instance, using the semicolon to trigger your phrases and another marker key, perhaps ], for your word expansions. There is a variety to choose from.
I will not go into every feature it has, only the most remarkable. You can do a glossary compilation, which means that, if you have a file folder with 50-200, or 50-1000 (any number, actually) documents you have typed for your boss, your lawyer or lawyers, your doctor or doctors, whatever, you can have Instant Text scan those documents and create a glossary for you, in a matter of a minute or so. To top that off, doing this compilation will now allow what they call continuations. Continuations are when you start off like this:
tineo=there is no evidence of - okay, you typed your short and expanded that phrase. Now, in the visual advisory screen, what comes often after that phrase is already there for you to see. I'm doing it right now, and listed there for me are possibilities. All I need do is select the proper one (if it isn't already the very first one), and hit my marker key, the semicolon, to expand the phrase. Below is a screenshot of what I see after expanding tineo. If you transcribe for a small group of people, the continuations you will get can be absolutely magnificent. I know, because I've had that situation. If you transcribe for hundreds, you won't get results that fantastic, but you will still get continuations. The way in which you do the settings during compilation has a lot to do with it.
Another feature is that I don't even have to type out the whole short form, though. Let's take one I have. The short is tieotv, the long is "there is enlargement of the ventricles." Instant Text has a "jump ahead" feature, and all I have to do is put in, say titv, and I still get the phrase to pop up. You really don't have to memorize with this program. You can hit a combination of letters that you think might be it.
It also has options that many other text expanders don't. It has an option to capitalize the first letter of sentences, no matter what application you're in. It has spacing options that you choose, to have it put two spaces after punctuation marks or one, whatever you prefer. (Or, you can set it not to do so, if you somehow prefer that.) It "understands" punctuation as you type, in other words. I expand a phrase and hit a comma, the space after the comma is already there. Whenever you expand a phrase, if you don't hit a punctuation mark, it has already spaced for you for the next word. I don't know what it's like to hit spacebar after period or anything else anymore. There is one defect, that of spacing after a number with a decimal, such as 1.5. Or, 3:30. I got the greatest AHK script a few months ago at the AHK forums, and now I actually set my spacing options to 0 in Instant Text and let that script take care of everything. There also are other ways to get around that number difficulty. One other thing about numbers, Instant Text will not let you start an abbreviation with a number. I would like that feature.
I know this is supposed to be a mini-review, so I will try to wrap it up. Which means I can't begin to cover all its features. But, the built-in importer it has is awesome. This makes it very easy for people using other expanders to almost instantaneously convert their abbreviations files to the Instant Text glossary format. It will convert Word AutoCorrect, Word AutoText, many other expander formats that are used primarily by transcriptionists, text files, Outlook addresses, certain DBF files. It also comes with a "Workshop" to let you manipulate your abbreviation files. You can export words, export words and phrases, remove duplicates, a lot more.
Because it has so many features, it has a bit more of a learning curve than most expanders out there. It is the best one, for me. I have tried several. It simply has the most features. The developer is constantly listening too, and making additions/improvements/upgrades.
Here's the continuation screenshot that I mentioned above: