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Last post Author Topic: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders  (Read 17926 times)

cranioscopical

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2012, 03:12:54 AM »
I think there is a hotstring software from a member here, where you tick a box to enable regex support, but cant remember which exactly...
Auspex? See here.

kalos

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2012, 02:30:37 PM »
I think there is a hotstring software from a member here, where you tick a box to enable regex support, but cant remember which exactly...
Auspex? See here.

this must be it! thanks!

peter.s

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2014, 05:59:46 PM »
"SUGGESTION: The last post on this page is over 360 days old. It's sometimes better to start a new topic than to revive an old one." Yes, and in some cases it's the other way round! ;-)

No, there have been lotsa special offers for PhraseExpander (not PhraseExpress) around these last months, and Prof. version 4 will be on bits very soon.

A fellow poster of this forum touts Expander with brio, and I understand that whenever you don't want to use AHK for text expansion, both programs mentioned are very strong contenders.

I just wanted to remind you that Expander 3 did not have different vocabularies for different purposes (contexts/subjects/matters, languages), all the less so them being freely combinable, whilst Express is deemed to come with these features (i.e. even with the combination possibility), and has had those for a quite long time now.

I don't know if Expander 4 finally got it, too, to perhaps our Expander expert here could enlighten prospects about it?

Without that feature, it would simply not be worth the money, not even on bits... and vice versa: If it got it, and if you really abhorr AHK, 60$ could come as a handy offering.

( So you see, if I had started a new thread, with so little knowledge about my subject, that would have been preposterous! ;-) )
When the wise points to the moon, the moron just looks at his pointer. China.

nagarsoft

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2014, 05:49:51 AM »
Hello Peter,

Thanks for mentioning our product. And yes, PhraseExpander will be on sale on Bits du Jour very soon.

Regarding your question, I'm not sure if I got it properly. Do you need to enable/disable abbreviations in specific context or applications? You can define a black list of applications where you want PhraseExpander to ignore what you are typing but if you want to set different sets of phrase to be available in different applications we currently don't support that.

As we offer SmartComplete that suggests words and phrases (and requires a confirmation) to expand a phrase, this should not be a big issue (as abbreviations are not triggered automatically).

Our application main focus is in making it easier to create customizable fill-in-the-blanks templates.

Just let me know if you have more questions and I'll be happy to answer.


Andrea Nagar - PhraseExpander
Text Expander software for Windows
http://www.phraseexpander.com

Jibz

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2014, 06:58:09 AM »
Doesn't look like Text Accelerator was mentioned. I haven't tried it, but it appears to be written by the guy who makes True Launch Bar.

Innuendo

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2014, 10:39:59 AM »
I missed this thread the first go-around, but I've always been perplexed as to why text expanders are usually so expensive. Maybe it's because they are used so frequently in the medical and legal professions where people don't blink an eye at high software prices.

Unless I missed it, I didn't see anything from Comfort Software on this list. They have a program called Comfort Typing that is a text expander that has macro support and it only costs $9.95 or $19.95 depending on whether or not you want a lifetime license or not. For the privacy-conscious, it offers 448-bit Blowfish encryption for your saved data as well.

For $10 more you can step up to their 'suite', Comfort Keys which adds in a hot-key manager, on-screen keyboard, clipboard manager, and a few other things.

Might be something for the budget-minded to check into as Comfort Software's pricing is pretty reasonable compared to some products in this thread.

I own a lifetime license for the Comfort Keys suite, but probably don't use it to its full potential. The non-lifetime version was offered free on Bits Du Jour one day & I picked it up...then the next day the developer sent out an email to everyone who took advantage of the offer the opportunity to upgrade to the 'pro' lifetime license version for $10. I figured it was a no-brainer at that price point.

40hz

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2014, 12:17:43 PM »
I've always been perplexed as to why text expanders are usually so expensive. Maybe it's because they are used so frequently in the medical and legal professions where people don't blink an eye at high software prices.

I think it's less that, and more that a 'phrase expander' is a niche product with a relatively small market. So the average pricing is higher.

There's also the issue of support. With niche products, there's usually a higher cost to provide technical support where the average customer is in a professional service job. With profession clients there's always a requirement for higher levels of support plus a more rapid response time. Both are factors that could account for a higher price tag.

Most professions don't blink at higher price tags because time is money to these people. As long as the support is there - and problems get resolved rapidly - the initial cost of software isn't a significant concern. At least most times. Because the professionals know they'll recoup any expenses back in billing as long as their ability to complete their tasks remains unimpaired.


peter.s

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2014, 09:51:59 AM »
I

Hi Andrea,
I'm not speaking of different vocabularies in different applications, since I don't see a real interest in that; of course, AHK would do that as well if ever anybody needed that.

I'm speaking of different vocabularies, and of combinations of them, a real-life example for the first alternative would be, you write in several languages, and the second alternative would be needed then, e.g. you write in Spanish (not English), but not some general text either for now, but some legal text: Hence the need for a (very basic) combination of "general Spanish" and "legal Spanish", for the special vocabulary, and you will need them both. Then, you also would have some use for a third vocabulary, which would contain the proper names of some "case", even if this third vocabulary included perhaps only 3, 5 or 10 such terms.

All this is definitely possible in AHK (since I use such set-ups every day), and also in Express (since the developer says so, and I don't have any reason to doubt his word on this), whilst in fact, those 30$ expanders I know of, do not offer such a feature.

Btw and from my real-life experience, I should add that the "several languages" part is not that handy for later remembrance (and which must be really quick and "intuitive", in order for an expander to be useful) (and Expander Prof's special drop-down list feature would not be of help but for longer words), but combination of several vocabularies within ONE language is perfectly realizable (and you can even envision different "legal" (or whatever) vocabularies, ditto in the medical world, i.e. for several sub-species within these matters).

To be frank, I'd been afraid this feature had not been introduced between 3 and 4, and that's why I verbalized this matter here, instead of over at bits: Not that my question would have been censored over there, but it would have harmed your business. ;-)

II

"I've always been perplexed as to why text expanders are usually so expensive. Maybe it's because they are used so frequently in the medical and legal professions where people don't blink an eye at high software prices."

"I think it's less that, and more that a 'phrase expander' is a niche product with a relatively small market. So the average pricing is higher."

First explanation being true, second one much less so. If it were only for "niche", outliner prices should skyrock, for an example, but even quite sophisticated outliners (= your main application, in case) are available for much less than each of these 2 leader-of-the-pack expanders (= "just" a tool, a secondary thing in order to optimize what you're doing within your main applic) would cost you.

I once even wanted to trial some other expander, priced at 500$, but was unable to download it, even after giving full credentials incl. tel. number, since I gave them a wrong one, and they insisted on phoning me first, THEN send me a link to download the trial - and I even tried on some Easter week-end, in the faint hope they'd send the link without checking, instead of having wait their prospects a full 5 days... no chance. (And yes, their advertizing was directed to the medical professions.

Similar for the legal profession, and Innuendo gave the right examples, since both professions have constraint and repetitive (in a word: standardized) terminologies, whilst in other, equally high-paid professions, vocabularies usually do not offer those 2 qualities, or rather, the part the respective standardized sub-vocabulary takes in their global writings, is much lesser.

For the information of some: Doctors never typed in big numbers, even with the help of these expanders (whilst laywers often did), but even in the Fifties (and perhaps even earlier in the U.S.), they dictated (first, to sort of gramophone records, just enter "assmann dictation" into the google IMAGE search), and there was a big typists' market around them, in universities, to put those into typewritten pages, and yes, pay counted by these pages.

That's why these now-pc-typists were willing to pay almost any price to speed up not their typing, but filling up those pages with the product of their typing, with the additional benefit of getting those crazy simili-latin terms right, finally, on first try, where before they had bought "Tipp-Ex" in corporate quantities (legal terms being quite easy to type, by comparison).

Of course, dictation-right-into-the-pc (MS Word) has taken over to a very large extent, at least for the legal professions (and yes, the sw is about 800$ or more, instead of about 150$ for the general public), so I'd assume expanders are a receding market, all the more so since flections of words in the non-English world (i.e. way beyond just plural-s's) are really difficult to cope with in expanders, whilst being of no particular difficulty for a good dictation system - of course, it does not really help that there is only ONE such system worldwide being left.

On the other hand, that "niche" isn't that tiny after all, and that remark works for many kinds of "tools". Just remember that whilst "everybody" uses MS Word or some free alternative, the market for paid, alternative text processors has become very tiny indeed (ditto Excel and other MS sw's), but tools in general, anybody can use them, whatever his main applications might be otherwise, and we see a similar phenomenon with paid macro tools.

Btw, there are some expanders which are very good and do cost about 30$, but Expander and Express above are those which are the "big players", so their respective (list) price is in consequence.

"As long as the support is there - and problems get resolved rapidly - the initial cost of software isn't a significant concern." - This is very true, and vice versa, too, and even for individuals, I always preached that they shouldn't look too much onto the price tag on bits or elsewhere: Savings of 15, 30 or 60$ there are negligeable, whist the possible fact you didn't get the very best sw in your price RANGE, will perhaps cost you a little fortune over time (= tco).

III

This is cute:

http://takingnotenow.blogspot.be/ (June 7th, 2014)

"Growing up in Germany, wirebound notebooks weren't very common, if they existed at all. I think they offer no advantages over composition books.

No further comment!" - Whilst I consider Prof. Kühn's Germanese "No further comment!" almost unbearable, I'm very pleased to be informed notebooks grew up on trees in ancient times, over there, and I'm sorry for this method of upbringing being not that successful, though.

IV

And finally, since this thread does not have its proper "Pets are like people, only better yet!" link of the week yet, here it is:

http://www.stuff.co....-make-emergency-call

where Stella and Stuart, hilarious French bulldogs (see their photo, such adorable creatures!), first devour dozens of potentially dangerous-for-them drugs, then activate the panic button a dozen of times to get help.
When the wise points to the moon, the moron just looks at his pointer. China.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 10:00:41 AM by peter.s »

rjbull

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2014, 04:21:56 PM »
I missed this thread the first go-around, but I've always been perplexed as to why text expanders are usually so expensive. Maybe it's because they are used so frequently in the medical and legal professions where people don't blink an eye at high software prices.
I wouldn't completely agree with that.  The most powerful expander is probably Instant Text, which is genuinely expensive at $189 for a non-expiring license (they offer 3, 6 and 12 month licenses for much less).  I hear that medical transcriptionists would recover that in a matter of weeks.  I'm not sure the profession of medical transcriptionist even exists outside the USA, but that doesn't stop IT being useful for other things.  I've just been slightly shocked to find that a license for Typing Assistant is $69, much more than when I bought my first one some years back (and recent versions developed for Win7 & Win8 have issues on my Vista).  Phrase Express basic version is officially free for personal use, and they also offer free for all uses entry-level AutotextBreevy, which on short acquaintance seems a very nice expander, is $34.95.  There are several others below about $35.

Unless I missed it, I didn't see anything from Comfort Software on this list. They have a program called Comfort Typing that is a text expander that has macro support [...] For $10 more you can step up to their 'suite', Comfort Keys which adds in a hot-key manager, on-screen keyboard, clipboard manager, and a few other things.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I'm aware, Comfort Keys offers text completion from a dictionary, but not text expansion.  I asked its author once about expansion, and he replied that he'd put it into an earlier version but nobody used it, so he took it out again <sigh>  DC has numerous threads on text expanders; in one of them someone makes the point (I'm quoting from memory and may not be perfectly accurate) that we should distinguish between text completion, text expansion and text correction.  IT majors on expansion, Breevy adds correction, Typing Assistant and Phrase Express offer everything.  Text Accelerator looks more suited to programmers who can write scripts for it.

Innuendo

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2014, 06:22:33 PM »
in one of them someone makes the point (I'm quoting from memory and may not be perfectly accurate) that we should distinguish between text completion, text expansion and text correction.  IT majors on expansion, Breevy adds correction, Typing Assistant and Phrase Express offer everything.  Text Accelerator looks more suited to programmers who can write scripts for it.

Well, please help me understand the differences between text completion, text expansion, and text correction. I looked at the product pages for IT, Breevy, and Typing Assistant and Comfort Keys *appears* to do most of what they can do, but I could be overlooking something.

peter.s

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2014, 05:10:03 AM »
I think that except for mentioning Instant Text, rjbull's post blurred more of the subject than it explained.

Some time ago, I trialled every available expander, and believe me there are big quality differences, with any cheap offer not being really helpful beyond 2 or 3 days; PhraseExpress is deemed free for not-commercial use as you state, but then, I suppose that everybody who believed that, AND then tried to really use for some time, will have experienced that Express' notion of "commercial" is different from the users': Avoid writing letters to your landlord or to your employer, you will never know WHERE Express makes the cut... ;-) Btw, they insist on the fact that the tool doesn't phone home for them making the decision you overdid, but that the application has its decision-making inbuilt, but the effect is similar: You'll have to buy or to leave (or perhaps reinstall, or refrain from doing any such letter anymore, I don't remember).

So perhaps this is the perfect, free program for a novelist...

As for text expansion vs. completion vs. correction, this pseudo-distinction is ridiculous; you just have to compare Expander and Express (both Prof.), and you'll see the big difference in their respective approach, and they both are expanders.

But your remark brings up an aspect we did not mention yet: pre-installed vocabularies.

Of course, there is the problem with language, and even with "country versioning" for these, but it's evident that a 500$ medical expander should come with a broad set of special medical/latin/pseudo-latin vocabulary, and a 500$ legal expander should do the same for your country's legal terminology, and indeed, some expanders offer to sell you additional vocabularies.

And of course, some of the expanders come with some English, or even German, French, Spanish general vocabulary, resp. with a vocabulary of typical (or what they think is "typical") mistypings for these languages, thus generating those expanders to be "correcting devices", too, to some degree.

Of course, there is a big problem with the former functionality: Those pre-installed vocabularies come for the profession as a whole, and (hopefully) try to be as complete as possible, and necessarily come with pre-installed abbreviations, whilst most users of such programs will only need a very tiny subset of such vocabularies, and with largely differing frequency demands, i.e. some user needs short abbrevs for some terminology, whilst for other words, longer abbrevs will be ok, and vice versa, and especially, any "suggestion" (cf. Expander's drop-down lists, but which are of the "learning" kind, which makes them quite interesting!) for a broader range of terminology will be a nuisance in your typing - I do not know of any medical or legal vocabulary that would have been cut into (necessarily overlapping) sub-sets, for administrative law, criminal law, commercial law, etc., let alone for several countries... (Perhaps there is such a thing for medics, though.)

So in any case, even with (necessarily expensive) special vocabularies, there is a plethora of tweaking to be done, from the users' side, and that's another very strong argument for Dragon Naturally Speaking, or the other way round, even with very big efforts, expander sw does not become really useful out-of-the-box, hence the absence of such big efforts for most of those applications. (And most of "correction" vocabularies offered are ridiculous: They offer plenty of mistypings nobody would ever type.)

I don't want to sound negative here. ;-)

So let me give you another hint how really "to do it", with expanders, if for some reason you're "into" them, instead of DNS:

Have some set of typical text files (Word, etc.) typed by yourself or by your staff. Then run them in some concordancer sw (depending on the conc. sw, you will have to put those different files into some big file, first, other conc. sw will run different files in some folder one after the other).

This will give you precise frequencies, and you'll import those list(s) into your expander, then devise the right abbrevs to the terms you really need to type again and again, and cf. what I say above: Of course, when needed, you can (for Express, for AHK, and for some others, but as we have learnt, not for Expander in its version 4 yet), instead of mixing up different such original files of different kind, run the conc. sw on just similar files, and then do subsets for "general vocabulary", plus for special vocabularies, and then COMBINE those, within your expander.

Of course, in order to retrieve the "general vocabulary", you would need some special text processing, i.e. some programmable text editor would be needed for processing the conc. sw files, i.e. for moving those text lines/entries from their different output files, into the "general terminology file" which list entries present in several particular output files, or which are present there above a certain frequency level, i.e. if some law court is mentioned more than 2 or 3 times in every subset, it should be transferred to the general set: in Germany, this would be the BGH, whilst the BSG would only be accessible, by abbrev, from the particular "social law" abbrevs subset.

Here, it will hit you in the eye again that Expander's actually missing combining feature for different vocabularies doesn't make it the ideal deal, for the time being, if you're looking out for a good expander.

And finally, folks, try to deliver some practical info, like I do, blathering less. I particularly appreciated
Renegade's current post in the Tizen thread, which could serve as a brilliant example of a good post for anyone who's not enclined to appreciate my posts as a valid example.
When the wise points to the moon, the moron just looks at his pointer. China.

rjbull

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2014, 03:25:32 PM »
please help me understand the differences between text completion, text expansion, and text correction. I looked at the product pages for IT, Breevy, and Typing Assistant and Comfort Keys *appears* to do most of what they can do, but I could be overlooking something.
Here's the post I was too lazy to look for earlier:  Re: Instant Text V Pro - more than the usual features of a text expander
My gloss on that:
  • Text completer
    Program comes with a dictionary.  You start typing, program offers a choice of full-text alternatives starting with the stem you've typed, on a "live search," "find as you type" basis.
  • Text expander
    Program allows you to create your own arbitrary shorthand forms matched to full text: e.g. "ys" = "Yours sincerely"
  • Text corrector
    You make a typo, program automatically corrects it: e.g. "teh" = "the"
Not all programs offer all features.  By these definitions, I believe Comfort Keys only offers text completion, last time I looked.

rjbull

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2014, 03:43:39 PM »
[Edit at UK time 2014-06-16, 21:18:-]
Apologies if my original post was terse to the point of enigmatic.  DC has several earlier threads on text expanders, and I presumed that you'd be familiar with them.

Corrected John Knowles' links; he has his own domain now.
[/Edit]

BTW, here is a list containing more text expanders/completers etc.

TwinkiePaste http://www.amlpages....m/twinkiepaste.shtml
Auto Text Expander  http://www.autotextexpander.com/  Do not confuse with;
AutoText Typing Assistant  http://www.autotext-software.com/  (freeware by the PhraseExpress people)
Text Accelerator  http://www.textaccelerator.com/
TypeMate  http://www.typemate.net/
Direct Access  http://www.nagarsoft.com/
RoboType 4  http://www.pcmag.com...,2817,2380508,00.asp
Rocket Typing  http://www.easy-to-u...m/html/rocket-typing
Typing Buddy  http://www.supernova...oducts/speed_typing/
FastFox Typing Expander  http://www.nch.com.au/fastfox/index.html
Type Booster  http://www.typebooster.com/index.php
Smart Type Assistant  http://blazingtools.com/sta.html
SuperKeys  http://www.vellosoft.com/index.php
Typing Assistant  http://www.sumitsoft.com/index.htm
Comfort Software  http://www.comfort-software.com/
Texter  http://lifehacker.co...r-windows-238306.php  (written in AHK; cf. jgpaiva's AHK tool, see below

Earlier Donation Coder threads, which deal with text expanders, completers and the
like:

jgpaiva's abbreviations importer
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=2598.0
link to jgpaiva's AHK tools
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=3461.0

Harrie's review of Instant Text, and following posts
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=2631.0

Word AutoCompleter
http://www.donationc...1036.msg6713#msg6713 (mentions IntelliComplete, AutoTyping, LetMeType, AllChars, Type Pilot)

Auspex
http://www.donationc....msg231091#msg231091

External links:

Productivity Talk - Harrie's own forum site for (primarily) Medical
Transcriptionists
http://www.productivitytalk.com/

Jon Knowles site on typing productivity
http://jonknowles.net/

Jon Knowles' ABCZ typing abbreviation system
http://jonknowles.net/abczrule.htm
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 03:23:16 PM by rjbull »

peter.s

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2014, 07:21:53 AM »
1. I very much hope that despite of your artificial cut-out into 3 different functional categories, you're aware of the fact that for practical use, they must be re-integrated again? ;-) (In other words, be it correction, be it vocabulary-it-comes-with, be it your-own-abbrevs: they must not interfere, and thus, one expander is more complete as another one, but all of them are expanders, and then they integrate additional functionaly. Sorry for being really nit-pick.)

2. It's always a good idea to not just copy link lists from somewhere, I just tried the Jon Knowles links at the end of the list (remembering the site I once looked into), and boom, between yesterday and today! ;-)
When the wise points to the moon, the moron just looks at his pointer. China.

Innuendo

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2014, 08:43:05 PM »
My gloss on that:
  • Text completer
    Program comes with a dictionary.  You start typing, program offers a choice of full-text alternatives starting with the stem you've typed, on a "live search," "find as you type" basis.
  • Text expander
    Program allows you to create your own arbitrary shorthand forms matched to full text: e.g. "ys" = "Yours sincerely"
  • Text corrector
    You make a typo, program automatically corrects it: e.g. "teh" = "the"

First of all, thank you for digging that list of definitions up for me. Second, Comfort Keys will definitely work as a text completer and a text expander. I don't see where it will act as a text corrector, but the options for this program need a real overhaul. Options that should be grouped together aren't.

Ennovy

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2014, 01:35:25 AM »
A few month ago I discovered FastKeys. It is written in AutoHotkey.
Like it very much  :)

Quote
All-in-One Windows Automation Software
Start menu, Text Expander, Gestures and user commands to run files, open webpages, send macros or automate anything. Incredibly powerful but yet simple to use.

Homepage

* TOUCH START MENU
* TEXT EXPANDER
* SHORTCUTS
* MOUSE GESTURES
* AUTO COMPLETE
* FULLY CONFIGURABLE

It's shareware, but only $ 10
____________________________________________________________
Tough times never last but tough people do

rjbull

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2014, 04:55:15 PM »
Comfort Keys will definitely work as a text completer and a text expander.
Completer, easy; Enable Word Autocomplete from the right-click menu.  Thank you for drawing my attention to its expander feature, which comes via its Template Manager.  There's more in that than I thought, but I'd prefer expansion to work in the same way as Typing Assistant, Breevy and others do, i.e., expansion is or can be triggered by space or punctuation mark rather than having to always use a special key to pop up a menu, then find your short form.  Breevy gives you three options for Replace typed abbreviation: (1) Immediately, (2) After the trigger key is pressed (like Comfort Keys), and (3) After a word-ending character is typed, with configuration options for what is considered a word-ending character.

the options for this program need a real overhaul. Options that should be grouped together aren't.
Agreed.  Perhaps that's because of it being an omnibus edition of Comfort Keys, On-Screen Keyboard, Clipboard and Comfort Typing, though I'd have expected text completion and expansion to be grouped together in Comfort Typing anyway.

rjbull

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Re: Recommend less known macro apps and text expanders
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2014, 04:57:11 PM »
A few month ago I discovered FastKeys. It is written in AutoHotkey.
So are jgpaiva's abbreviations importer and Texter, mentioned previously.  AHK seems good for text expansion; I used it myself for a while.