Which Time-Saving Text Expansion App Is Right For You?: Windows Edition
Have you ever thought about how much of your workday you spend typing?
If it tends to be in short little bursts, it may not seem like a lot. An email reply here, a chat conversation with a guest there. But over time, it adds up! Enter, text expansion apps. These fabulous time-savers allow you to say more with fewer keystrokes. With text expansion apps, you can simply type in a short codeword, called an abbreviation that will then be replaced with a larger chunk of text, called a snippet.
The fun part is that you get to make up the abbreviations and snippets yourself, so information that you tend to type over and over (like your business’ contact information or answers to common questions) are at your fingertips for super-quick usage. While each abbreviation may only shave a few seconds off your work time, it can quickly add up to hours of saved effort over the course of a week or month.
Everyone has different needs, and there’s a text expansion app for all of them.
There are quite a few of these apps out there right now, and they all bring a lot to the table. So our aim is to narrow it down for you and eliminate some of the guess work. We’ve already tackled the text expansion apps for Mac. Now let’s get you Windows users up to speed!
TextExpander: The Collaborator
Pros: Yep, this one exists for both Mac and Windows! And like the Mac version, TextExpander for Windows is pretty high-functioning. It’s easy to use and functional across all of your Apple devices. The snippets can be customized with plain text, hyperlinks and images. You can also create snippet groups, specify case sensitivity, create form letters, and more. It even reminds you to use the snippets if you forget! Plus, it has some awesome team collaboration features that allow you to share snippets, so everyone in your company is on the same page.
Cons: It’s a subscription service, so you’ll either pay $3.33/month for a single user or $7.96/month for the team package. It’s not astronomical, and it really is a great program, but it is still another recurring payment to add to the budget.
PhraseExpress: The Swiss Army Knife
Pros: This app is a bit more advanced than TextExpander. In addition to managing your snippets, it can also convert them into multiple languages, which is super helpful for hotels and other companies with a global clientele. PhraseExpress also has built-in templates to help you get started. Other nifty features include autocorrect, a predictive text tool, and automation of repetitive tasks with macros (which are like snippets, but they incorporate codes for information that changes, like the current date and time or your clipboard contents). It’s a really versatile app, and it’s completely free for single users!
Cons: If you want to get PhraseExpress for commercial use, you’ll pay $139.95/year, which is a fair amount more than the annual total for TextExpander ($95.52). Some users have also reported that it’s got a bit of a learning curve to it, but once you get used to it, it’s a breeze.
Breevy: The Manager
Pros: Unlike other text expanders, Breevy doesn’t only work as a text expander. You can also assign abbreviations to quickly open Windows programs or control Windows features. How cool is that?! Its interface is simple to use and customizable, so you can set it up in a way that makes the most sense to you. It also supports Dropbox syncing, so you can access your snippets across multiple devices. Plus, you’ll only pay a one-time fee of $34.95 for it!
Cons: It’s pretty much a single-user-only app. As far as I could tell, there’s only the one price advertised, and no download option for commercial use. But if you’re running your business solo, Breevy could still be a great option for you.
WordExpander: The Nice Guy
Pros: WordExpander is just so chill. No frills, no drama. If you’re into simplicity, this is your guy. Installation is quick and easy, and the program doesn’t require any extra configuration. Still, you get the same basic, lovable functions that the other apps provide, like autocorrect, the predictive text tool, and macros. This is the perfect option for people who maybe aren’t super tech savy, but still want to be able to take advantage of the time-saving magic of a text expansion app.
Cons: You know what they say about nice guys finishing last? Well, WordExpander has a doozy of a con — It doesn’t have a current release. *Sigh* But, it is apparently in the works, so if the above rings your bell more than any of the other apps, keep an eye out for it! In the meantime, in true nice guy fashion, WordExpander is happy set you up with his BFF, PhraseExpress.
Bottom line: There’s something for everyone
If you’re managing a team, you’re probably going to get the most value out of TextExpander. If you’re a single user, it’s a toss-up between PhraseExpress and Breevy — it just depends on what you like and what you’re willing to spend. Respect to the WordExpander holdouts; it’s truly awesome for those who crave simplicity! That’s why we included it on the list. But if you don’t want to wait for the new release, PhraseExpress is a good alternative, since it’s free for single-users — nothing to lose.
As always, let us know if you’ve used any of these apps and what you thought of them! Feedback and updates are always appreciated.