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headDo you find yourself typing the same things over and over again? Maybe it is a canned piece of text that you are required to send to customers or perhaps it is your signature that you type over and over on forums, websites and emails. This awesome piece of simplistic text replacement software is brought to you by Lifehacker editor Adam Pash. I have been using Texter for a few years now and it is simply awesome.

The premise behind the text replacement software is simple – you type something and Texter expands it into something larger or more difficult to remember. How about typing addr and hitting the tab key to type out your mailing address? How about a few characters to spit out awesome quotes that you would never remember? If you are a coder you can use this for repetitive code-like functions you use over and over again – do you see where I am going with this?

Let’s take a look at how to install and use Texter. You can grab the installer from here. The download link is halfway down the page – you can’t miss it!

Run the installer and you will be prompted for an install directory like so:

txtr1


Then you can click finish to launch the application or uncheck the box if you don’t want to start it.

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txtr2

Once Texter is done installing it will take a few minutes on first launch while it configures things in the background. You will see the following screen:

TXTR3

Once the app is finished initializing you will see the graphical user interface below:

txtr4

Hit the plus sign below and enter your first “hotstring” – don’t be put off by the terminology – that is where you type your codewords. Then choose what will be its trigger. If it is a common few letters you will not want to use instant or you might be shooting yourself in the foot If you use a common word and use instant it would turn your common phrase into your replacement text right away. So for those instances use tab or space.

txtr5

I love using instant! As you can see below I used the hotstring klg and it instantly turns into my name. Pretty nifty eh? This saves me a ton of time and typing during the day.

txtr6

You can see below I created my work email, memo or document signature with Texter and when I type Thank and hit tab – blamo!  Instant signature. That shaves 10 minutes off my day.

txtr7

You can include as much text as you want, see below for my preamble to the United States Constitution. I type preamb and hit tab and automagically the preamble appears. Really I can’t get enough of this!

txtrPre

Do you have another method for text replacement? Let us know about it in the comments. I would love to take it for a test run as improvements are always welcomed! Thanks Adam.

  1. Fui
    January 3, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Another worth to try program - Typing Assistant. It is more intuitive and easy to use.
    http://www.sumitsoft.com

  2. Sandro
    November 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    +1 for PhraseExpress.

    Texter was nice but it is not maintained anymore and fails on Win 7.

    Sandro

  3. mitch
    November 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I use Phrase Express and it rocks! It does not interfere at all with the mouse (except you want it to as it can remote control the mouse by macros). Works fine with Japanese charsets as well.

    Mitch

  4. Karl Gechlik | AskTheAdmin.com
    November 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Soooooo it looks like PhraseExpress has a new beta version that I am trying out now. It looks pretty damn awesome and is not messing with any of my other applications. What does everyone else think?

  5. orks
    November 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Tried both Texter and phraseexpress for a couple of times but always gave up because they both mess up with other applications, mouse movement and Portuguese accents. Texter is pretty much what i needed, simple and supposed to do exactly what's required from it but, unfortunately, they never resolved the bad side effects and not even replied to many of complains from the many users that observed the same problem.

    Keep looking for something else for this same purpose.

    Orks

  6. Scott
    November 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Autohotkey has a very easy way to do this as well: autohotkey.com/docs/Hotstrings.htm

    • casper
      November 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      @scott
      ...and with autohotkey (unlike texter, as far as I know) you can run multiple scripts and, therefore, separate project specific shortcuts/strings from the general ones you'd be using all the time.

      Personally, I keep the general script running from bootup onwards, and open (and close) project or email specific scripts as needed.

  7. sefcug
    November 20, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Looks good so I will try out.

    Tried pendriveapps.com/text-replacement-utility-phraseexpress/ at one time, but stopped for some reason.

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