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Author Topic: PhraseExpress v8, Pro Edition, on BdJ, Tuesday 12 April, 2011  (Read 10926 times)
rjbull
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« on: April 07, 2011, 03:11:21 PM »

Another Bits du Jour offer on PhraseExpress, a program that's very well known on DC  Wink

Quote
PhraseExpress v8 - Professional Edition - for PC - Type Less, Produce More
Deal Available: Tuesday 12 April, 2011
 PhraseExpress lets you organize your frequently used text snippets in categories for   easy access using text abbreviations.
Deal Price: $48.98
List Price: $139.95
You Save: 65%

Bits du Jour blurb - you have to log in now to get this  Angry
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PhraseExpress v8 - Professional Edition
Type Less, Produce More

You know "the paragraph" by heart. It's the same boilerplate paragraph that you've been typing over and over for who knows how long. For some folks, it's a disclaimer. For others, it's an email signature. Still, for some others, it's a description of a product or service. No matter what it is, it takes you a long time to type and you know it backwards and forwards. What if you could produce that whole paragraph with just a few keystrokes?

PhraseExpress lets you organize your frequently used text snippets in categories for easy access! Just assign your snippets to abbreviations, then perform your work as usual. When you need to insert that huge paragraph, just type in your abbreviation and PhraseExpress will automatically expand it to insert the paragraph! Imagine how much more productive you can be!

Not only will PhraseExpress help you to finish your work more quickly, you'll also be able to avoid common spelling mistakes! In addition to the integrated system-wide spellchecker, you can also configure PhraseExpress with your most often-committed mispellings, and have the app automatically change your typos to the correct word! Best of all, this works in any Windows application!

A couple of nifty extras make PhraseExpress an absolute must-buy. Using the same handy abbreviation system, you can have PhraseExpress launch programs using text shortcuts! Tired of only being able to copy one item to the Windows Clipboard at a time? PhraseExpress gives you access to clipboard history, letting you pick and choose from anything you've recently copied!

Check it out folks, PhraseExpress is currently ranked #2 in the "Automation Section" of Download.com!

Written by Derek Lee

Note, the offer is for the super-duper top edition and (as so often) appears to be cheaper than the regular update fee for existing users.

Here's the Feature list.  I can't see a comparison table of the different versions.
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mitzevo
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 11:33:00 AM »

Thanks rjbull for the heads-up.

List Price: $139.95 - wow insane.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 11:35:52 AM by mitzevo » Logged

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rjbull
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 01:13:58 PM »

List Price: $139.95 - wow insane.

It's serious stuff.  They're sort-of competing with Instant Text (IT), which is primarily designed for medical transcriptionists (MTs) - and costs $189.  Bartels Media, makers of Phrase Express, are on record on DC as saying that they think IT is still better-suited for MTs, but they're trying to make Phrase Express more suitable for general-purpose computing.  Given hard economic times, and the tendency of many companies to think that Microsoft Office is all anyone could ever need or want, they may have a hard sell.
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barney
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 09:50:31 PM »

Bought it.

The recent conflab anent Auspex, Phrase Express, et. al. caused a closer look.  Seems to me the two products are compatible, each with a particular usage that only sometimes overlaps the other.  Might be wrong, of course, but for that significant a reduction in price, it's worth the cost to do a real comparison.  At worst, I'm out ~$50 ... at best, I have a new tool to make everyday life easier (What ... don't you spend all day on a keyboard  huh?) and more fruitful  Wink.  An easy play  tongue.
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barney
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 09:53:04 PM »

Of course, there is that learning curve ...  undecided  Grin.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2011, 06:42:12 AM »

Broke my normal golden rule about not buying programs that only offer single computer licences and actually invested in two network licences for PhraseExpress. Even for the individual user, the network version has some benefits if you use multiple machines on the same network.

I have three computers on a home network, but never more than two in use at any time, so two licences are sufficient. One of the computers is on 24/7, so that's my PE "server". The network version keeps a single version of the phrase file on the server, so all machines have access to all new phrases. Impressed with PE so far. I used to use Autohotkey for this purpose, but once you get beyond simple text replacement, PE is easier to use. I particularly like being able to save RTF or Word document snippets as phrases.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 10:14:48 AM by johnk » Logged
cyberdiva
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 09:49:09 AM »

Though I probably should have posted this before the Bits du Jour offer expired, I think it might still be useful to mention that last year, the Neat Net Tricks software review panel reviewed the $139.95 version of Phrase Express.  Six panel members submitted their reports, which were in general rather negative.  Their review (with responding comments by the software developer) can be found at http://www.neatnettricks.com/?http://www.neatnettricks.com/SoftwareReviews/2010/review_Phrase-Express-Pro.html
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wraith808
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 10:31:50 AM »

^ OT... but do you have a subscription to neat net tricks premium?  I was wondering what the differences were, as this seems like a pretty cool site!  It's already turned me on to a new program to try.
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cthorpe
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 11:04:00 AM »

DISCLAIMER - I am not affiliated with PE in any way other than being a registered user.

I also purchased a license and am finding it to be an excellent addition to my workflow.  I have already created dozens of phrases and macros that help in everything from responding to emails to automatically writing lengthy html and php snippets.

Neat Net Tricks software review panel reviewed the $139.95 version of Phrase Express.  Six panel members submitted their reports, which were in general rather negative.

I read through the review, and I feel that they do have some valid points, but a lot of their negative comments seem excessive and repetitive.  For example, they harp on the fact that PE autostarts with Windows constantly throughout the review.  In addition, they have inserted responses from the developer throughout their review, but did not take his responses into account and edit their review in any way.  They accuse PE of being spyware more than once, even though the developer responded to each and every claim with references to their privacy policy and other pages that addressed the concerns.  Other complaints seem downright silly ("One needs also be aware that while it is only a 3.7MB download, it requires 8.3MB of space on the hard drive").

The conclusion reached by most of the members of the NNT panel is that they will not continue using the program as they do not have a use for it.  It left me wondering why they would spend so much time and energy reviewing a program and being so "nitpicky" if they aren't the target audience in the first place.
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johnk
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 01:35:48 PM »

Neat Net Tricks software review panel reviewed the $139.95 version of Phrase Express.  Six panel members submitted their reports, which were in general rather negative.

I read through the review, and I feel that they do have some valid points, but a lot of their negative comments seem excessive and repetitive.

Agreed. I'm still fairly new to PE, so I'll reserve final judgement on the program at this stage, but I also found the NetNeatTricks review rather odd.

I'm not familiar with NeatNetTricks, but as cthorpe says, they seemed to be obsessed with some of yesterday's big debates.

Of course you want a program like PE to start with Windows, otherwise it loses its purpose. And unless a progam is badly written and takes up 100s of MB of disk space or RAM, I don't care about those details. Those are Windows 95 debates. Then there was the ranting about the EULA...

But the reviewers finally lost me when one said that PE had a poor GUI and a "very high and time-consuming learning curve". If you're the kind of person who's interested in using a program like PE, then you're not a beginner. You use a computer fairly intensively. And if you know your way around a PC, then PhraseExpress is easy to use. Certainly, compared to AutoHotkey, which I used to use for text replacement, PE is child's play. I've only had to use the manual twice so far, and that was to find particular commands for macros. Based on this review, I won't be spending too much time on NetNeatTricks.
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 05:40:34 PM »

^ OT... but do you have a subscription to neat net tricks premium?  I was wondering what the differences were, as this seems like a pretty cool site!  It's already turned me on to a new program to try.
Hi, Wraith.  Yes, I've had a subscription to NNT Premium for a number of years.  When you ask about the differences, do you mean differences between it and the current free version of the newsletter?  (I say "current free version" because what is now NNT Premium started out as a free newsletter, IIRC.)  I think that, on the whole, the Premium version presents somewhat more interesting software, and it also usually includes one or more interesting short articles or editorials.   
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2011, 06:20:46 PM »

I read through the review, and I feel that they do have some valid points, but a lot of their negative comments seem excessive and repetitive.
As far as the repetition goes, that may be the down side of having six people each writing an independent review.  But I've also often found value in the repetition.  If just one person complains about something, I might dismiss his complaint as idiosyncratic, but if four people have the same complaint, I'm likely to take it more seriously.
 
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For example, they harp on the fact that PE autostarts with Windows constantly throughout the review.  In addition, they have inserted responses from the developer throughout their review, but did not take his responses into account and edit their review in any way.

Well, as someone who tries to have as few programs in my startup menu as possible and hates it when a program puts itself there without at least asking me if I want it there, I'm very sympathetic when other people have this complaint. 

I've read the NNT software reviews for a number of years and have bought some programs thanks to their recommendations.  I applaud NNT's practice of giving the software company the opportunity to comment on the review and having the company's comments included with the review.

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Other complaints seem downright silly ("One needs also be aware that while it is only a 3.7MB download, it requires 8.3MB of space on the hard drive").
I agree with you.

Quote
The conclusion reached by most of the members of the NNT panel is that they will not continue using the program as they do not have a use for it.  It left me wondering why they would spend so much time and energy reviewing a program and being so "nitpicky" if they aren't the target audience in the first place.
When I read reviews on the NNT website or in various computer magazines, I assume that the reviewers write reviews of programs that other people might want to know about, not necessarily the programs the reviewers themselves need or want.  In the case of the NNT review of Phrase Express, three of the six reviewers simply flat-out said no, they wouldn't continue to use it.  And several of the NNT reviewers said they wouldn't continue to use it because they had a program that they thought was better.  That's quite different from saying they had no use for PE. 
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 06:40:19 PM »

Of course you want a program like PE to start with Windows, otherwise it loses its purpose. And unless a progam is badly written and takes up 100s of MB of disk space or RAM, I don't care about those details. Those are Windows 95 debates.
I wish it were the case that concern with startup time was no longer an issue, but I'm afraid it's still very much a concern for me.  I've tried Phrase Express and have also used several programs similar to PE, and I haven't seen a need for any of them to be in my start-up menu.  My computer (which runs WinXP Pro SP3) has very sluggish startup time.  I thus try to keep to a minimum the number of programs that start with Windows.   Judging from the excitement generated by Soluto last year, I'm not the only one eager to reduce the number of programs that start with Windows. 

(FWIW, I didn't find Soluto to be an effective answer to the problem.)
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2011, 08:25:19 PM »

I wish it were the case that concern with startup time was no longer an issue, but I'm afraid it's still very much a concern for me.  I've tried Phrase Express and have also used several programs similar to PE, and I haven't seen a need for any of them to be in my start-up menu.
I fully understand that start-up time can still be an issue for some people these days. What I cannot understand is how anyone can want to run a program like PE without having it start with Windows? The whole point of the program is to have it there all the time so you can use text replacement in all programs.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 08:27:15 PM by johnk » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 11:44:18 PM »

I fully understand that start-up time can still be an issue for some people these days. What I cannot understand is how anyone can want to run a program like PE without having it start with Windows? The whole point of the program is to have it there all the time so you can use text replacement in all programs.
I usually don't need to do text replacement as soon as Windows starts.  Indeed, there are plenty of things that I do on the computer that don't involve text replacement--e.g., reading my RSS feeds, listening to podcasts, working on my websites, writing in other languages, tweaking my sieve scripts, using photo-editing software, watching videos, etc.   Even when I write, I often make so many changes that I find it easier not to use text replacement software.  And with PE I had the added problem of its trying--and failing--to predict what I wanted to say.  That was one reason I eventually stopped using it.

I do find these kinds of programs very useful, but I probably use them in a more limited way than you do.
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2011, 03:58:45 AM »

Thank you for your kind words about PhraseExpress and your support.

--

PhraseExpress v8 now introduced a dedicated Autostart option for those individuals who can't manually add/remove a link from the Windows Startup folder:



We invented so many bleeding edge technologies for PhraseExpress, such as the full sentence text-prediction and many other features, but apparently under-estimated such Autostart option.



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Well, as someone who tries to have as few programs in my startup menu as possible and hates it when a program puts itself there without at least asking me if I want it there, I'm very sympathetic when other people have this complaint.
 

It's right there: http://screencast.com/t/rvqowNxkf5i


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And with PE I had the added problem of its trying--and failing--to predict what I wanted to say.  That was one reason I eventually stopped using it.

If you don't need text auto-completions in a particular program, you can easily disable PhraseExpress features for individual programs.


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Seems to me the two products [PhraseExpress / Auspex] are compatible, each with a particular usage that only sometimes overlaps the other.


Just curious: What do you miss in PhraseExpress what you think can only be accomplished with Auspex, please?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 04:07:08 AM by BartelsMedia » Logged

Michael
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2011, 05:56:26 PM »

The reason I made the point about auto-starting programs like PE, is that, unless you do, you never get full benefit from the program.

Using abbreviations has to become an instinct. Every time I type any personal details, or give standard replies to emails, or write a signature, or leave eBay feedback, or use a letterhead, or write a date, or start a program, or use a special character, or create an appointment in my diary, or minimise a window....I'm using a text abbreviation.

Programs like PE or Autohotkey are programs you have to commit to if they're really going to save you time. But once you do, you work in a different way. Every time you do something on a PC more than once, you ask yourself -- can I turn that into a text abbreviation?

The limit is really the number of abbreviations you can easily remember. If the abbreviations/hotkeys are sensible and intuitive, the number can be quite high...
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2011, 06:15:59 PM »

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If the abbreviations/hotkeys are sensible and intuitive, the number can be quite high...

Good point, and that would be for each individual.

PE is OK I suppose, a lot higher on resource usage than Auspex,
Auspex is more usable in my opinion because of it's ease of use.
More personable I think.
I only need my own auto complete and extras that Auspex can provide.
The number of abbreviations is of my own choosing and personal to me.
Most, so far, are not the standard acronyms but ones I relate to.

If I did a lot of typing daily, maybe PE would be more useful to me.
Or for some kind of business purpose.

I've tried it twice and removed it twice.

One program will not fill each persons requirements.


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rjbull
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2011, 03:50:54 PM »

The limit is really the number of abbreviations you can easily remember. If the abbreviations/hotkeys are sensible and intuitive, the number can be quite high...

Surely, it's better still to use a sensible system for abbreviations, which in conjunction with on-screen advisories (the list of possibles that pops up when you start typing), should help reach the target rapidly, however broad your needs are?  The only system I've tried is Jon Knowles' ABCZ Typing Abbreviation System, which worked well for me when I was using another abbreviation expander (Instant Text) to make current awareness bulletins and the like.
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BartelsMedia
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 04:13:16 PM »

Did you know that PhraseExpress can create ABCZ files from any source of plain text word lists?

Here is a video that illustrates how this is done:
http://screencast.com/t/P005a0nAP

Enjoy!
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Michael
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BartelsMedia
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2011, 04:27:38 PM »

ABCZ is actually rather designed for typing pros and requires to take a certain learning curve.

Here is another video that shows you how to configure Autotexts that are offered and narrowed down as you type:
http://screencast.com/t/gt3ZS3nORb

This may be much more useful for most.
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Michael
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2011, 04:33:00 PM »

Quote
Auspex is more usable in my opinion because of it's ease of use.

Mmmh: http://screencast.com/t/ZnkjdC8SUj

We would be very curious to learn how to make it any easier than that?!  Thmbsup
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Michael
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2011, 12:22:54 PM »

Auspex does the same thing at far less resource usage.
Have you tried Auspex? If not, why not?

PE gets in the way of my typing,
where Auspex does not. But that's me.
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BartelsMedia
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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2011, 01:07:24 PM »

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at far less resource usage.

I hate to contradict but after checking both program's file sizes, I could not find any significant difference:


Given PE's substantially bigger feature set, I was quite surprised by the similar file size.


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PE gets in the way of my typing,

PE actually only does what you are configuring it to do. If any text replacement disturbs you, the solution is just a click away. Any Text Expander can ruin your typing flow if you misconfigure it.


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But that's me.

Sure, if you found your solution, there is no reason to switch unless you wish some of PE's extra features. I just asked to figure out whether you have any improvement suggestions that would be useful for us.

By the way, Auspex' replacement text wizard is very handy indeed. Nice work.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 03:31:28 PM by BartelsMedia » Logged

Michael
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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2011, 08:45:24 PM »

System Resources - as in Memory and CPU usage.
Not how much room the files take up on the hard drive.

Are you just kidding around or just don't know what I'm speaking of?
I know what I'm talking about, I suspect the majority here do as well.

I don't have the need to click away from something that is not there.
Saving time.

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