Everyone likes shortcuts, right? Or am I the only person who likes to find faster ways of doing things on the computer and off? This time I have found a program called ActiveWords that makes using my computer faster.
The idea is that with ActiveWords I can take many tasks and accomplish them just by typing a word to run commands on my pc. For instance, I can all sorts of stuff from using shortened key words to get longer words to pop up making typing quicker to opening programs or websites just by typing a designated word. Let’s not get ahead of things because I will definitely show you some of the functionality later in this article.
ActiveWords is a free program to the individual user and is only for the Windows user. To see what all the fuss is about, head over to ActiveWords.com. Meanwhile I would like to give you an idea of what ActiveWords can do to speeds things up a bit for you.
Once you download, install, and read some of the tutorials, you should click on the yellow “add” button in the toolbar. This should give you a box full of options allowing you to add some shortcuts.
As you can see, there is a list of actions you can associate with any key word your heart desires. Let’s start with the first one: substituting text. I noticed that one of the default shortcuts had to do with typing something like “signature” and out would pop an email signature of sorts. Think of something that contains quite a few words that you find yourself typing a lot and we’ll start with that.
Click “Substitute Text” and then “Next.”
Then just type what text you want to show up and the description (so you can easily find it on the “View ActiveWords” list.
On the next screen you will need a key word. Choose your keyword and enter it in the “ActiveWord” box. This is what you will type in order to get the replacement text you entered in the last screen.
Note that since the program comes with a default ActiveWord triggered by “signature”, you’ll either want to delete the old one or just modify it instead of making a new one. I chose to make a new one for the purposes of showing the feature.
There are other tasks that you can do like being able to run commands on your PC and opening an oft used program (having it open whilst setting it up will make it easier for ActiveWords to find the program file) or document. Let’s quickly try to set up an activeword for an oft used folder (I use my screen shots folder all the time).
Hit “add another”, highlight “open a folder” and click next. The only difference between this setup and the setup for a word replacement is that instead of typing replacement text you just browse for the folder you are looking for.
ActiveWords will give you a default description similar to this: “Open – Screen Captures.” Personally, I would add in parenthesis “folder” so you can easily identify it later. Then on the next screen enter an activeword just like last time.
Now, if you ever want to use any of the activewords you’ve set up, you trigger them by typing in the chosen activeword and then hitting SPACE twice. You can also use F8 to trigger them (either having highlighted the activeword or directly after typing it).
Try out ActiveWords and see if it will make things quicker and easier for you too. Do you have a program that makes using your computer easier and faster? What about similar solutions for other operating systems? Please share in the comments.