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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi there, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week I'm focusing on text expansion. That is, inserting long blocks of text, or other commands, with just a few keystrokes. Now in the last video, I was on the Mac, and I focused on an app called TextExpander. Well this video, I'm on a Windows machine, and focusing on an app called Breevy. I've downloaded and launched the Breevy app. So as you can see, it looks fairly similar to the TextExpander app that's on a Mac.
So here I can see a description of what my auto correct is going to do. Here's where I can see the actual abbreviation, and here's what it's going to replace. Now there's lots of replacement triggers. For example, you can have straight up text appear. For example, this one. Be cool alright when you type BCA. You can also have an actual email template, kind of like how I showed you in TextExpander. With the example of a donation letter.
So there's form values. And when you use this autotext like DEARP, you'll get a form in which you can fill out the values. And you'll have a paragraph with those values automatically filled in. This is great for using it in Word documents or even emails. Take this example. If I type g o o g and hit a trigger key it can launch the Google web browser. Just like if I type n p d, it can launch the Notepad app. So let's click New Abbreviation and see what some choices are.
We can type in what we want for an abbreviation. And if I click this arrow next to the replacement text, I'll see that it doesn't have to just be a straight block of text. For example I can change a cursor position. I can have interactive text input which is that form values that I was talking about. You can insert delays. You can launch programs, launch files and folders, and even have it input date, time and math fields.
You can also choose when it's going to do the actual replacement. For example, immediately or after a trigger key is pressed. Now you can set the trigger key in preferences. And I'll tell you where to find that in a second. But you would want to use a trigger key, when your abbreviation is some text that you might find yourself using on a regular basis. For example, this abbreviation here, goog to launch google.com. It's fairly obvious that you'll probably type goog in a sentence somewhere, and you won't want the browser to launch.
So you don't want it to happen automatically. In this case you definitely want to type a Trigger key after. So I can get to my preferences by clicking on the Options at the top of the screen. Choosing Preferences and here is where I can choose my Trigger key. So you get lots of choices, now it's obviously going to be whichever one feels comfortable for you, that you can get to and type quickly. So this is going to be a matter of personal preference. It defaults to the Control key and if that's too awkward for you. Then you come in here and change it to something else.
So, it's very flexible to be based on how you work best. And that's what we want here. I'll click OK to get out of Preferences. And so that's a little tour of how you can use Breevy to bring text expansion, which is great in Microsoft Word documents and email, to your entire operating system.
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