TextExpander equivalent for windows?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Aniej, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    Does anyone know of a similar type of utility made for Windows that expands text through key commands? Here is a strange additional request, I'd prefer that it not be freeware. Thanks
  2. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
  3. Pat.rick macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hate to dig this one up from the grave, but...

    Breevy is a text expander for Windows that does what TextExpander does. :)

  4. ryansebiz macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2008
    Perfect - thank you!
  5. MacXavier macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
    TextExpander for Windows

    I found an even better companion for TextExpander:

    PhraseExpress runs on Windows and can also import my TextExpander data. This nifty program even translates the TextExpander macros.

    It is free (if not used for business purposes).

    :D :D :D
  6. Pat.rick macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    @MacXavier: Actually, Breevy has been able to import TextExpander snippets for a few weeks now. :)

    Breevy also has a TextExpander mode to make Breevy behave just like TextExpander, and it supports TextExpander % macros in their native syntax, too. :cool:
  7. MacXavier macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
    Patrick, I did a quick test with Breevy first but it did not work for me. It does not support TextExpanders %snippet function. Or do I miss anything?

    I also find PhraseExpress easier to use and snappier. Once I imported the AutoCorrect library to Breevy, it was very slow and unresponsive. I just gave up.

    PhraseExpress is the way to go.
  8. SnailMailFTW macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2010
    I'm using Breevy right now. It imported all of my TextExpander snippets just fine (thankfully I found this thread after searching for a while). :)

    According to the help file, the %snippet% (embedding) macro is indeed not yet supported -- I don't really care as I don't use that function, and all the TE users I know from work don't use it either -- but the developer is working on it.

    I disagree.

    I gave both programs an honest shot, and Breevy is just as easy to use for me as PhraseExpress is, if not easier. I like the look and feel a bit better too -- feels more like a Mac app -- and it feels snappier than PhraseExpress, to me at least.

    For kicks I did a CPU usage comparison between the two programs. I had about 7,000 abbreviations loaded in Breevy (mostly the AutoCorrection set, which according to the developer has over 6500 abbreviations in it) and about ten loaded in PhraseExpress, since I couldn't import my TE snippets into PhraseExpress without it crashing... see below.

    I then held down the 'h' key and according to the Task Manager, Breevy was using 0% CPU (sometimes it would go to 1%) and PhraseExpress was using 6-7% CPU, which is a pretty big difference... a lot more CPU with 700x fewer abbreviations.

    I also noticed a difference in text replacement speed; PhraseExpress felt *slightly* slower for me in that regard. Could just be my imagination though.

    I'm using the AutoCorrect library in Breevy now (and was using it during the CPU usage comparison) and it's working fine... I'm on a junky 6 year old system and it's not slow or unresponsive at all. There was about a 1 second delay when importing the AutoCorrect set into the program, but that's to be expected as there are thousands of entries in the set. :)

    Not sure why a 1 second wait would make you "give up" but anyway... ;)

    To each his own I suppose. Even if it didn't I think I'd stick with Breevy, but PhraseExpress (latest version) actually crashed every time I tried to import my TextExpander snippets:

  9. HenryMullen macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2010
    Breevy crashes

    I cannot confirm your experience.

    Breevy crashed after trying it for less than a minute:

    All I did was to delete some items as shown in the video:

    Do you know, what is interesting about this statement?

    You pretend, you would not care about the %snippet% macro and that you and all your TE friends don't use it at all.

    -Why do you know that it is not supported by Breevy as you do not need about it anyway?

    -Why do you expressly mention that the developer might working on a feature that you are not interested in? Why pointing it out in your "review"? Just because the competitor supports it already?

    -Why do you interview all your TE friends about their use of the %snippet% macro while you don't care? Do you go around in the office often and ask your colleagues: "Hey guys, I am not using %snippets%, do you?". Sounds strange to me.

    Could it be, that you are a Breevy employee trying to discredit a competitor in a very shameful manner by discrediting them with fake reviews?

    Henry Mullen
  10. MacXavier macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
  11. SnailMailFTW macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2010
    I just tried that and it happens to me, too. No crash, but it definitely does freeze when trying to delete a huge amount of individual snippets. Perhaps you should report it to the developer. :)

    Umm... because in the help file that comes with Breevy, it says that the %snippet% macro is not yet supported. That's how I know. :rolleyes: (I mentioned the help file in my first post, too.)

    MacXavier said "I did a quick test with Breevy first but it did not work for me. It does not support TextExpanders %snippet function. Or do I miss anything?"

    Those first two sentences state that 1) MacXavier tried using the %snippet% function in Breevy and 2) MacXavier discovered that the %snippet% function does not work in Breevy.

    The last statement, "Do I miss anything?", implies that MacXavier wanted to make sure he was correct, because he was interested in using the %snippet% command.

    Sooo... all I did in my response in my last post was confirm his statements -- the %snippet% command is not supported -- and then, because he was clearly interested in using the %snippet% command, give him the info that I myself read in the help file: that the developer is working on the feature.

    I had no idea that by addressing his question it'd bother you so much. Sorry, I guess? :confused:

    My coworkers (the "cool" ones who use TextExpander, at least ;)) and I are avid TE users and often talk about how we use TE. We also share our snippet groups with each other.

    While that may sound "strange" to you, it's what we do, and it's how I know that none of my coworkers are using the %snippet% macro (in fact, most of us don't use any macros at all, except for the clipboard one, and the one that positions the cursor). :p

    Are you being serious? I'm not even going to bother answering that, dude. :rolleyes:

    If anything, you're the one who's coming across like a PhraseExpress employee, as you're being awfully negative and accusatory towards me -- for no logical reason whatsoever -- and I don't appreciate it at all.

    Anyways, I'm not in the mood for an argument, I prefer positivity over negativity, so let's just drop this, okay? :)
  12. Pat.rick macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    @ryansebiz: No problem! :)

    @SnailMailFTW: I'm glad you find Breevy easy to use. That's always been one of my main goals (if you haven't already guessed, I'm the guy who wrote Breevy).

    @MacXavier: Correct, the %snippet macro is not yet supported. It's definitely in the works, though.

    @HenryMullen: Thanks for reporting that, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience. It's been fixed in the latest version, which you can download here.

    If in the future you ever happen to come across any other issues, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail directly, as I get alerted whenever I receive e-mails.
  13. MacXavier macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
    OK, I gave both another test run.

    Here is my outcome:


    - This may be a question of personal preference but I find Breevy cluttered and confusing. Too many buttons and redundant options, for example two Delete buttons.

    - No support for different fonts, sizes and bitmaps.

    - No %snippet% macro support yet. Patrick, I appreciate your efforts but you promise everything between heaven and earth in your support forum but it counts what you can deliver today, not what may be the day after tomorrow.

    Phrase Express

    - Very clean user interface

    - Has all features that I could ever ask for: Text formatting, Support for all Text Expander macros, USB portable mode, Clipboard Safe, Very nice editing features.

    - I like the video tuts they offer at http://www.text-expander.com . Some cool stuff there.

    - Free!

    Phrase Express is a no-brainer and I would not know a single reason why I would want to switch to Breevy.
  14. arrash macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Marlborough, MA
    "Texter" is the way to go. Lifehacker had a review on it. Just google liefhack and texter and you'll find link.
  15. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    Texter causes me no end of problems. It causes CTRL and the Windows key to stop working; I have to press escape and then CTRL/Windows key again. For something that is supposed to save time, interfering with shortcut keys makes it counter productive.
  16. Pat.rick macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    @MacXavier: I wouldn't say that either program is a no-brainer. I think Breevy and PhraseExpress are both good programs with different user interfaces and different feature sets.

    Breevy has features that PhraseExpress doesn't have, and PhraseExpress has features that Breevy doesn't have. Also, both programs look different, "feel" different, etc.

    I think the best thing for everyone to do is download both and see which one they prefer themselves (kind of like how it is with all of the different web browsers, some users will like Breevy better, others will like PhraseExpress better). :)

    Not yet, but both features are definitely on my to-do list. ;)

    True, but as you mentioned earlier, PhraseExpress isn't free if you use it at work, or if you use it for / in combination with any task where you receive financial benefit, at home or at work.

    Those redundant buttons -- a set at the top, and a set at the bottom -- were originally there for convenience, but after some user feedback (that they were unnecessary and made things a bit more cluttered than they needed to be), they were removed by default for new users back in early March. Users who installed Breevy before that time will still have them enabled. You can enable / disable them in Preferences -> Interface. :)

    For what it's worth, here is a screenshot of what the main window looks like now, without the two sets of buttons.
  17. Waits321 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2013
    As a new alternative I can recommend FastKeys, a tiny Windows application. In addition to Text Expander it also allows definitions of user Shortcuts and configurable Start Menu.
  18. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    I bought Breevy along with TextExpander as there was an offer on the TextExpander site. I have been using Breevy at work (Windows 7) now for several months and it really is a great little application. I use the portable version so no pesky admin rights needed. I really miss a Alfred/LaunchBar/Quicksilver application on Windows and Breevy really helps with that as it allows me to configure 'quick launch' shortcuts. If you are a TextExpander user on the Mac and work on Windows I can heartily recommend it.

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