Increasing your productivity by reducing repetitive typing

Keyboard typing can be a pain even for every day computer users. It is a known cause of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI). Text expansion utilities can prove quite helpful in reducing the amount you type and thereby the associated risks.
A text expansion utility is a software that stays in the background monitoring for specific phrases. And then replaces (or expands) them to a predefined text.

If you have used Microsoft Word, this works a lot like as the autocorrect feature which looks out for and corrects common spelling mistakes. Actually, spelling correction is one of the basic uses of a text-expander, with the most obvious advantage being that it is now available with any  application within Windows.

In addition to correcting spellings, it can expand abbreviations (or short forms). For example, type asap and it will turn it to "as soon as possible". This is where text expanders get their name. There is a lot of choice when it comes to choosing one - but my vote goes to the freeware PhraseExpress.

View the video below for a brief overview.

My favourite features of PhraseExpress are:
  • It's freeware (thank you!)
  • A portable version is available (double thanks!)
  • It's ability to learn your corrections and repetitions in the background (smart!)
  • You can import auto-correct settings from Microsoft Word, build up a database of commonly used phrases by getting it to analyse your sent mail folder in Microsoft Outlook, etc
  • It is really really fast 
  • And very intuitive to use.
Oh and yes, about 10% of this post has some amount of contribution from this software :)