Texter, a Timesaver
Texter (Lifehacker code), a text-substitution application, can save your time by replacing abbreviations (hotstrings) with frequently used phrases you define.
I heard of this before but never thought I really need it. Recently, I needed to post many entries with some common phrases, so I thought it’s time I try this.
After installing the latest version and reading through the instructions (including three videos), I could immediately see how convenient it can be. For instance, in one forum I need to apply the formatting on the linked text manually so that people can notice the link (some system error, I think). With Texter plus the usage of “%c” & “%|”, now I can insert a url in text at a lightning speed! (check the 2nd demo)
Installation is very easy. In the end, it will ask you whether to check for the update at the start-up. You can modify the setting in Preference (It shows error message when I right-click the icon and select “Preferences” from the menu. But I can access it in Tools/Preferences when calling up the management window by double-click on the icon or pressing ctrl-shift-M.) Then it resides in your system tray. To uninstall it (exit the program if it’s running), you just delete Texter folder inside Program Files.
The official homepage is informative so here I just highlight some usages:
Add a new hotstring: set the abbreviation for the hotstring and the text to be replaced and then choose the trigger mode (I used Tab).
- On the fly: Press Crtl-Shift-H or
- In the management window: Click on “+”
Add/Import/Export a bundle: you can categorize hotstrings into different bundles.
- In the management window: Click on Bundles on the toolbar
Note that you cannot change the hotstring name later but you can modify the text. If you want to change the hotstring name, just create a new one and delete the old one (Click on “-“).
I introduced similar tools before, add-ons for Firefox and Thunderbird, but they are not the same thing. Texter is Windows-based so it can be used with any application softwares in Windows. Texter can replace Clippings or Signature extensions for Firefox but not Quicktext for Thunderbird (see my previous post for the reason).
Update: This v0.5 seems to have some bug. After restarting Win XP, the previously set hotstrings turn into numbers that Texter couldn’t recognize. In Tools/Preferences/Stats, it shows two error message:
Snippets expanded: ERROR
Characters saved: ERROR
Some people had similar problem too. Don’t know why yet. 😕 However, if you create a new bundle and save the hotstrings there, Texter will still recognize them in the new bundle after being restarting, but not in the Default one.