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Text expander and clipboard enhancer tools

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Posted by Franz Grieser
Nov 2, 2012 at 08:47 AM


Hi all.

What tools do you us

a) for text expansion (AutoText, boilerplate, etc.) - e.g. PhraseExpress, Breevy, ...
b) clipboard enhancing - e.g. Ditto



Posted by Franz Grieser
Nov 2, 2012 at 08:54 AM


Ah, I forgot: What I am looking for is tools for Windows.



Posted by Geoffrey Miller
Nov 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM


Hello Franz,

In answer to a.
I’ve used Blackwell’s Idealist database every day since 1995 (version 3, not the buggy version 5 after Blackwell sold out), and this contained a very useful glossary feature. Text entries could be stored using any abbreviation and triggered by the F3 key. This is such second nature to me that, when I bought Nagarsoft’s “Direct Access” some years ago, I changed the default expansion key to F3 and this worked well. “Direct Access” then became “PhraseExpander” and I duly upgraded and now use this. However, it has a problem in that, on occasion, it will not recognize F3 and the “Find” dialogue appears instead. This is a real problem with Firefox. I have looked at other alternatives, and also tried the very similar (and free) “WordExpander” which is much faster in operation but requires at least a two-letter shortcut whereas “PhraseExpander” will work with one. I’ve stayed with “PhraseExpander” because of the following useful feature, below, but would happily consider other suggestions.

“PhraseExpander” also has a useful facility to store the last twenty clipboard entries, but for clipboard enhancing I’ve used Clipmate for longer than I care to remember.

Kind regards, Geoffrey


Posted by Dr Andus
Nov 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM


Franz Grieser wrote:
>b) clipboard enhancing - e.g. Ditto

My main use of clipboard extenders is a) cleaning up copied text from PDFs before pasting into CT, and b) as a back-up service, should I lose stuff that I may have copied before.

For a) I use NoteTab Light (free): SHIFT+CTRL+P activates the pasteboard, which you can keep activated (I created a dedicated text file Clipboard.txt for it that is always open), CTRL+C copies and pastes the content, CTRL+A selects all, and CTRL+J joins the broken lines that are adjacent only - which is important to preserve the original paragraph structure. Then CTRL+A, CTRL+C and CTRL+V to paste it into CT (or anywhere else). It may sound like a lot of steps but it’s fairly quick. There is an additional option of “Modify > Spaces >  Single Space” to remove extra spaces between words (and there are more text cleaning options). Not bad for a free software.

I bought ClipCache Pro originally for the above purpose but it turned out it had some interference with CT, only pasting the letter “v” for some reason with its QuickPaste option. Also, it joins all the lines even between paragraphs, which is no good. So I use it for purpose b) now.


Posted by yooj
Nov 2, 2012 at 01:22 PM





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