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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Text Expanders -- Finding What Works for You

As Tara covered in her Systems for Creating Shortcuts post, finding what works for you and is easy for you is the most important task when creating text expanders. If you aren't going to remember to use the shortcut on a regular basis it's not even worth having. For this reason, I give you a short example of the differences in our text-expanding styles.

Tara's ShortKeys

ShortcutOutput
commcommunity
comucommunicate
comlcommercial
comtecommitee
probproblem
progprogram
projprojects


Mandi's ShortKeys

ShortcutOutput
commcommunity
commucommunicate
commecommercial
commicommittee
probproblem
progprogram
projproject


My ShortKeys

ShortcutOutput
comtcommunity
comucommunicate
comlcommercial
comiecommittee
prbproblem
prgprogram
prjproject


You can see we all have different ways of deciding what combination of keystrokes will work best for us. While both Tara and Mandi went with pro as their prefix for problem, program and project, I chose to eliminate the O because I doubt my ability to remember to hit Control and cancel the ShortKey from expanding when I come across someone who says, "No prob." To keep the rest easy for me, I continued with that when creating program and project as well.

Whatever method you decide works best for you, go with it. When you are adding our text expander lists to your text expander program of choice, consider how that fits in with your current way of doing things and whether or not you can make it better for you. The end result should be increasing your productivity, so be sure whatever method you choose is easy for you and does just that.

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