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-- by James E. Powell
Current versions of the top three word processors watch as you type, waiting to recognize an abbreviation that you've specified (such as "ASAP") and expand it into text you've defined ("as soon as possible," for example). If you want that ability in other applications, you're in luck. ShortKeys is a handy utility that eliminates the need to type repetitive text.
Just enter a word or group of characters, and ShortKeys erases your keystrokes and pastes in your associated replacement text.
ShortKeys works with a variety of programs, such as databases and e-mail. I used it to insert boilerplate text in a database, and defined another shortcut so that it inserted my standard closing into all my e-mail messages. I immediately noticed the significant amount of keystroke time I saved.
ShortKeys is flexible enough for any situation. Abbreviations are case-sensitive and can contain up to 10 characters. You can define an optional two-character prefix (such as ##) so you'd have to type ##ASAP to trigger the replacement, letting you keep the abbreviation in your text if you wish.
You can set up to 1,000 shortcuts per file, and create as many files as you like. Replacement text has a 3,000-character limit. Both 16- and 32-bit versions are included.
Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.
Windows Magazine, March 1997, page 167.