Typing can get repetitive and tiring if it involves the same blocks of text to be inserted over and over again. It’s more efficient to use a text expansion tool where short, unique keyword combinations expand into an editable, full text paragraph. This is a more productive way to send canned responses online or reuse scientific blocks of text and code snippets.
The following is a curated list of the best text expansion tools for Windows. All programs below have been tested to be completely malware-free and run on Windows 10. They also work with all your computer programs such as browsers, Word files, PowerPoint, and coding editors. Additionally, they utilize “macros,” which are keyboard shortcut keys to generate your chosen text.
Formerly known as WordExpander, PhraseExpress is a versatile text expansion and autotext software, which remains free for personal home use, but professional users must register a license. With an intuitive program window, you get straight down to creating your shortcut keys for blocks of text.
You can assign hotkeys to these blocks of text if you intend to remember them for a while, otherwise they will be prominently displayed in the system tray. You can add customizable background colors for easy phrase identification. It supports dynamic text blocks such as checkboxes, radio button groups, and drop-downs.
No matter which application you’re using, PhraseExpress does text expansion perfectly. Apart from Windows, it also supports Android, iPhone, and Mac.
Among the paid software, PhraseExpander is a reliable tool, although it comes with a free 21-day trial. This software is geared toward healthcare industry professionals, but almost anyone will find the text-expansion features handy. On a test pad, you can verify the hotkeys for the block of text, where autotexts and autocorrects can occur easily.
The best part is that the software displays relevant suggestions as you type, which makes the interface more handy and worth the premium price. You can either type the abbreviation or use the assigned shortcut hotkeys for a full display of text. PhraseExpander also allows you to insert special characters automatically, like ® or ©.
TextExpander is a highly-developed and polished premium tool which comes with a 60-day free trial without a credit card. Creating snippets of text and generating previews is easy on the dashboard, and the snippets can be shared easily with coworkers and friends.
You can control the snippet parameters in Preferences, which include whether to use macros or abbreviations, paste timeout in seconds, and fix the sensitivity of the software.
With system-wide spelling correction in multiple languages and an ability to “search” snippets, you get access to an all-round productivity tool. The only downside of the software is its size, which at 345 MB, is the heaviest on our list.
If you’re looking for an absolutely free text expansion tool, QuickTextPaste offers one of the best options. The website maintains a regular checkup of viruses and Trojans to ensure that the downloaded file does not contain malware. To run the program, unzip the executable, and it will automatically be placed in the system tray. The program is extremely lightweight, unlike many others in this list, at only 157 kb. But the interface looks a bit outdated.
To create a new autotext, just add it as shown below. You can enter text blocks up to 4000 characters, which is very impressive for such a lightweight free application. You can easily edit the hotkeys and use the expanded text in any computer or browser application.
FastFox Text Expander for Windows is a freemium tool by NCH Software, which comes with intuitive and advanced features. The application is lightweight and easy to use, and you can create simple text shortcuts in the dashboard itself.
FastFox has many useful options such as “shortcut suggestions,” which monitors your keystrokes and suggests shortcuts based on what you type. You can have shared shortcuts for a whole range of commands, macros that restore data across groups, and enter company logos and other images inside the text, such as salutations or signatures.
To successfully expand an abbreviated text, simply type “enter.”
At only 6.1 MB, the all-in-one FastKeys Windows automation software is one of the most dependable freemium tools you can use. Apart from text expansion, it supports mouse gestures and user commands to create a powerhouse of shortcut keys. Most basic features of the software are similar to the above examples, but there are some advanced features such as “macro recorders,” which record keystrokes and mouse actions to teach the computer automatic entries. However, it does require some self-training. If you’re a programmer, user experience designer or professional coder, this will be a very useful tool for you.
If you’re dealing with complex characters and difficult words, text expansion tools allow you to type just once and reuse the text block several times. Programmers and coders can save a lot of time by not having to type repetitive code sections. Are you a Linux user? You can make your own keyboard shortcuts using Autokey, too.
Have you used a text expansion tool recently? Which features do you like the most? Please share in the comments.