PhraseExpander Pro (v. can now detect typing position in browsers

Since October 2013 I have been using PhraseExpander Pro v. 3, and then  v. 4, on a daily basis. (I have discussed the reasons for switching to PhraseExpander before here, and I also mentioned some crucial improvements to its algorithm here.) PhraseExpander has become an essential part of my writing setup, and not only because it is triggered by every single keystroke I type (though that is an important part of it). I use its SmartComplete feature not only to reduce the amount of repetitive typing, but also to help me remember long strings of coding (e.g. the HMTL code for inserting images or highlighting text in Gingko) and the aliases for anonymised people and organisations in my research.

In this post I just wanted to point out an improvement that was released in today’s version of PhraseExpander and which greatly improves the way it works in browsers. In previous versions the SmartComplete box would need to be manually positioned, and it would be stuck in the same position, regardless which part of the browser you were writing in. But in v. now the SmartComplete box pops up right by the cursor, which makes it a great deal easier to use in a browser. This will be extremely useful when writing in an online service such as Gingko app, where different cards reside in different parts of the browser. Below is a screenshot of PhraseExpander’s SmartComplete box displayed by the cursor in Gingko in Firefox. I also tried it in Chrome, and it works the same. See the rest of the latest changes to PhraseExpander here. PhraseExpander with Gingko in FirefoxP.S. In the meantime I have discovered a number of other important benefits to the new handling of browsers in PhraseExpander. Now the SmartComplete box is displayed correctly in Chrome apps as well (i.e. standalone Chrome applications that can run offline), such as the one for WorkFlowy, which I use daily. Also, it can now be used more easily with Google Sheets and Google Docs, and to write emails in browser-based email services.

3 thoughts on “PhraseExpander Pro (v. can now detect typing position in browsers

  1. Hi Dr Andus,
    I see you use multiple apps for your writing, I too use Gingko and WorkFlowy to do chunks of my writing. Then there’s Evernote. Quick question: do you have some sort of workflow or app that tracks word count across multiple apps?

  2. Hi Frank,
    Interesting question, I never completely thought through how I’m tracking word count, which I just realised I do in many ways. One problem is that different apps use different methods to calculate word counts (some may calculate elements that you may not want to include in the word count), which creates confusion. I normally write my first draft in WriteMonkey, which displays its word count at the bottom. I also record my daily word count progress in a Google Sheet, to track my productivity. For applications that don’t have a word count, I use a nifty AutoHotkey script that allows you to highlight any piece of text and by pressing a keyboard shortcut it displays the word count using the MS Word method. If I wanted to be consistent, I could just use this script in every software. Finally, I store my written-up chapters in a Scrivener file, which tells me the overall total word count for the manuscript.

  3. Thanks for running through your workflow. I think I’m going to set up a note in Evernote with a table of the different apps/ platforms I write in and include my word count for each:

    – Gingko
    – WorkFlowy
    – Evernote
    – Squarespace interface (blogging posts)

    From that list, only Gingko and Evernote have word count features. For the rest I’m going to paste into in my browser. It also gives a spread of the top 10 keywords and how many times each was used in its “Keyword density” feature.

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