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Author Topic: Feature Request v2 - text replacement  (Read 6777 times)

kfitting

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Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« on: July 15, 2005, 05:39:03 AM »
I was just surfing through some of the different posts here (it was a convoluted path and I dont remember which ones, sorry!) and noticed references to KeyText and ActiveWords.  These programs seem to do very similar things to FindRun with the addition of text replacement (activewords especially... launch programs, urls, etc by typing).  I currently use the free version of Shortkeys for text replacement (seriously considering buying the full version, however.  full: http://www.shortkeys.com/ ; free: http://www.shortkeys.com/lite.htm) and was wondering if text replacement is something that could be incorporated into FindRun.  I realize this would be a serious undertaking, the ONLY reason I bring it up at all is because it seems to be something that other similar apps have.  Just a thought.  Like I said, I'm considering purchasing ShortKeys so whether or not FindRun incorporates it at some later date doesnt bother me one way or the other!  (If it does though, it should be able to be turned off!)

Kevin
« Last Edit: July 15, 2005, 11:35:40 AM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Feature Request v2 - time to get started
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 08:01:05 AM »
i think this is something probably worth adding - i don't have much experience with text replacement tools so i'll have to learn what they actually do first.

kfitting

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Re: Feature Request v2 - time to get started
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2005, 08:47:16 AM »
Yeah.... like I said, I'm not sure this is necessarry for you to add.  There are a bunch of programs out there that do it, but I havent found a free one besides ShortKeys Lite, which limits the number of replacement texts to 15.  Whether or not it's worth the time and effort... that's up to you!  Shortkeys (full version) also does spellchecking/replacing (dont becomes don't etc).  Would it even be possible to include this kind of dictionary in FindRun?  I dont know.  Basically, this is just a feature I see in other similar programs... worth considering, but dont know if it's beneficial!

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2005, 11:40:55 AM »
i think it's something worth adding - i'd just like to hear what people want from it.  would be nice to hear from those who really use these tools to get an idea of what the real functionality that they use is.

and of course, let's not get into the rut of just looking at other programs and implementing what they have - we need to think outside the box and come up with new features not yet thought of by anyone else..

Ampa

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 03:04:46 PM »
Not convinced that this is a necessary feature of Find & Run.  To my mind F&R should stick to its original design... To be the fastest most capable application launcher in existance.  If we are considering the addition of text replacement, and a dictionary, then why not an on screen ruler? Or a colour picker? Or a fully fledged HTML WYSIWYG editor? How about a hidden first person shooter as a bonus when you press a secret key combination?

OK so I am being facetious (which BTW is one of only 2 words in the English language for contain the 5 vowels only once, and in alphabetical order) but the point is: lets keep F&R from becoming just another of those 'tries to cover all bases' bits of free / shareware that current flood the web.

Ampa.

mouser

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005, 03:16:19 PM »
hi ampa, i like your avatar btw :)

yes i agree, we don't want to make it try to do everything.
but i am willing to entertain things that keep in the spirit of super-fast keyboard operations..
so the idea of being able to hi break key and type "myinfo" and then enter and having it expand to paste in my name, address, and phone into my current text editor or whatever editor i am using is something that i think would fit with this.

when command functions are added it will be very easy to extend the program to run 3rd party independent scripts and commands, so that we can leave the program doing just the core stuff, but make it easy for user to trigger other programs to do other things.

so in other words, i agree in principle, but i think we can expand F&R's purpose a little more broadly than just a launcher, and focus on keyboard-maniac's tool for efficient quick operations like launching apps / scripts / triggering little mini helpers like text pasting, etc.  plus launching things like web/dictionary searches, etc.  especially things that call for displaying a menu of choices - i think thats going to be a nice strength of F&R, being able to display a numbered lists of menu choices associated with a typed command.

but i do like that there are F&R users who want to keep it focused - i think this is a good thing and don't want it to become a program that tries to do everything a little and nothing completely.

kfitting

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2005, 04:28:16 PM »
I kind of agree with Ampa on this one.  If this could be done well, it might be worthwhile, but I think it may try to do too much.  The main reason I mentioned it was because as I was looking for text replacement apps, I noticed that a few of them included program launching.  mouser, the idea behind text replacement is that text is replaced "on the fly."  If I have an alias (for lack of a better term) such as "dt." that inserts today's date, as soon as I finish typing the period, those three characters are replaced by my chosen date format.  It relies on a keyboard hook rather than a hotkey being pressed. 

I don't know... I personally am on the edge regarding this feature.  On the one hand, I agree with Ampa that it may add too much bloat.  On the other hand....... if it could be done well, it would be kind of cool!  Perhaps, a better idea would be to make it more of a plugin (without rehashing the plugin arguement from before!!), an extra piece of FindRun that could be downloaded and inserted if desired.  Mouser, download Shortkeys and see what it can do.  They have a free lite version or a 30 day trial on their full version.  Then you could see if you think you could create something equivalent (rather than something halfway there.  Alluding to your "tries to do everything a little and nothing completely" comment!). 

We should keep talking about it, but I don't know if it's such a great idea to actually implement. 

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2005, 04:48:36 PM »
ok that clarification helps-

i'd like to agree to NOT implementing such a keyboard hook watching function.  yes such things are fun, and not all that difficult, but i like the idea that F&R activates ONLY when askes, and only does what you type in explicitly to tell it to do.

i was thinking more of an explicit text insertion on demand.
so if you were typing and wanted to insert date, you could hit break key, type dt, and then hit enter.  and it would paste in date to your current app.  or else present in normal F&R window a menu of potential replacements you have configured for the term "dt"

i'm not proposing automatic text replacement and global keyboard hook watching.

adding this feature would be EXTREMELY easy, and just part and parcel of a more general alias/command functionality.

kfitting

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2005, 07:40:32 PM »
Your thought got me thinking mouser.  (before I go any further let me warn you that I just got back from an hour and a half of ultimate frisbee in steamy humid weather... any ideas are suspect!!)  One thing that shortkeys doesn't do very well is filling in forms.  Now, I know there are form fillers, and I havent checked them out at all, but I was thinking this could be useful.  Assume you have already put your address (3 seperate pieces of info, mind) into the program.  Sequence of actions goes something like this:

1. tap generic "text replace" hotkey
2. type quick identifier eg. "address"
2. click (mouse) on the first input box, the first line of text goes in
3. click on the second input box, the second line of text goes in
4. click on the third input box, and the third line of text goes in

Basically the user needs to tell FindRun how many pieces of text and what order to put them in.  Problems I've thought of:
- what if the user decides midway through the clicking process he wants to stop?  Basically FindRun is assuming the next series of clicks will be in input boxes
- coding may be tough (I don't know.... I don't code FindRun!!)

Let me know what you think.... Like I said, this may already be handled by other programs more efficiently. 

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2005, 09:06:51 PM »
heheheh how quickly you went from "don't add it, keep it simple" to "add it but alot more"

:)

actually this is a good example of a good idea for a program but one that does not at all need to go into F&R.
i think it's a good idea for a coding snack standalone program, and i have some fun ideas about it.
i have a cool variation on your idea and way to do it simply i think that would be convenient and different.

i may try to implement it as coding snack.
I will split the thread and move it there after you've had a chance to see this reply.

cracksloth

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2005, 04:08:19 AM »
kfitting, you can save 5 bucks and get a great clipboard manager with form filling functions by using memoclip, found here:
http://www.codesecto...lipboard-manager.asp
it used to be freeware and it is still floating around if you look for it.  haven't used it in awhile but it still gives me warm tinglies when i think about it.  very small and efficient with loads of customizability...  can i read you mind or what?

kfitting

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Re: Feature Request v2 - text replacement
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2005, 09:55:53 AM »
Ok, ok, like I said, I was extremely tired last night!!  No, that's fine mouser, I was just trying to go off your understanding of the text replacement idea.... in a bloated and ugly sort of way! 

cracksloth:  I checked out memoclip.  I had never heard of it in all my searching.  I was impressed; however, not impressed enough to actually buy it ($14.95). 

Plus:
- clipboard manager and text replacement in the same program
- clipboard manager does seem very powerful.  It would take some playing around with to try it all out.

Negatives:
- no customizable date formats... honestly, this is the biggest reason I use text replacement.  I also tend to use nonstandard formats like 050716 for July 16, 2005 (The reason for that format is so that files or nodes in a tree [Keynote] will sort correctly) or 16 JUL 05. (we use that one at work on drawings)
- A tad on the large size as far as memory usage is concerned (5 meg).  Shortkeys takes up about 900k.  Granted, shortkeys doesn't ahve a clipboard extender.
- Clipboard extender does not appear (in my 10 minutes of looking) to have an invisible way of interaction.  You have to open the main window, select the piece of text, copy it to the clipboard, then paste it where you want it.  Compare to Mike Lin's Clipomatic (http://www.mlin.net/Clipomatic.shtml) where you hit ctrl+alt+v, a menu pops up, you select the text and whamo, it's pasted at the mouse cursor. (pity Clipomatic hasnt been updated recently)

All that being said, thanks for the tip cracksloth.  Memoclip certainly does add some features I hadnt thought of before.  Now if only you could combine them... mouser?  Heh heh, no, I'll let you run your own show!  Thanks for the constructive criticism/new information. 

Kevin