The End Of PhraseExpress

No, I am not announcing the company has gone down the tubes, I am simply announcing that I have come to the end of my using PhraseExpress at home and at work.

The last few weeks I’ve found myself using the text-expansion less and less, and the suggestions that came up becoming more intrusive than useful. I could have spent more time configuring the settings when it started becoming troublesome for me, but my goal in installing it on my home and work computers was to quickly and simply make my computer usage more streamlined.

Since using PhraseExpress is now presenting challenges to my work, I have decided that I won’t be using it any more and will simply carry on as before writing out everything myself.

mex_express_standoff

The immediate benefit of this is that it is no longer interfering with the ‘tab to complete’ function in Excel, so I am back to tab-completing formula options when the right suggestion pops up, which is more efficient for me.

Another benefit is that I am no longer seeing suggestions for the most complicated words all the time, such as when I start writing a word beginning ‘int’ I don’t then see the suggestion of ‘interruptions’ every single time.

The immediate downside is that I don’t have the shortcut code words I made up for word strings I don’t want to write and rewrite over and over. I can copy-paste those anyway, so it isn’t a huge loss in that department.

The other downside is that I never really looked at the macro options and probably missed out on a whole load of shortcuts there, but you don’t miss what you don’t know, so I can’t feel too bad about that one either.

It was a nice experiment while it lasted and I’m glad I tried it out. It certainly wasn’t an extensive trial, but PhraseExpress was not the only tool I was testing out when I started all this and I came out of it with some very good tools that really did make me more productive or simplify my work life.

Conclusion

Pros:

  • Reduces repetitive typing
  • Can reduce errors in complicated words

Cons:

  • Can get in the way of other auto-complete features
  • Needs some manual set up to make it most useful

If you are looking for a text expansion tool, you could do worse than PhraseExpress. It performs the job well if you give it a little time, but if you have other auto-complete features in the programs you use, such as formula completion in Excel, you might find it getting in the way.

Overall I liked the software, but I don’t think I spend enough time writing, especially not repetitive writing, to warrant using it further.

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