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MacExp vs. ShortKeys vs. both.


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I'm just curious how many folks out there run both MacEx and ShKeys at the same time?


Several years ago I learned about the Lite version of SK, and was impressed enough that quickly bought it. Some time after that I was perusing the Insight website and found ME; so now I own both. Obviously ME is in a class of it's own, so SK can never replace it, but ME can replace about 98% of the functionality of SK...


SK is unique though, because you can import a Word autocorrect file. By doing this, and having its activation set to Suffix mode, you have a veritable system-wide autocorrecter/spell-checker. (Note that at one time I had converted the Word autocorrect file into ShortKeys, then exported them, then imported them into ME, but it didn't work well.)


A couple of times I've had both installed at the same time. My previous work computer had low memory, so I uninstalled SK. My new one has 2GB though, so I'm thinking of putting it back on. It does worry me having too many busy backgroud applications go all the time though... I'm always afraid Windows XP will freakout. Also, I've noted that I do accasionally get misfires in the middle of long words when using SK as a autocorrecter...


Do any of you guys and gals run both? Any special setups that you can share (tell about)?

Thanks :) -steve

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ShortKeys is another fine program from the people who publish Macro Express. ;) It may help if we first provide a description of shortkeys:


'ShortKeys' is a program that allows you to create 'shortkey' macros. A shortkey is an abbreviation. You type an abbreviation and a macro runs. For ShortKeys the macro consists mainly of typed text. In Macro Express a shortkey can activate a macro containing typed text or any number of macro commands. To prevent a shortkey from running at inappropriate times (e.g. in the middle of a word) there are settings and rules about when a shortkey will run. You must decide if the rules you want are centered around a prefix or a suffix. When using a prefix you type something in front of the shortkey like '##' or '//'. The suffix option causes the program to expand the shortkey (run the macro) when you type something after the shortkey.


For example, using // as a prefix you could type '//cycl' to cause ShortKeys or Macro Express types Cyclobenzaprine. Using suffix keys you could type 'cycl ' to type Cyclobenzaprine. Note the space that follows the shortkey activation of 'cycl'. This keeps the shortkey from activating if you type 'cycles', 'bicycle', or 'unicycle'.


Both Macro Express and ShortKeys support shortkey activated macros. There are some differences, however. For example, ShortKeys allows shortkey activations of 32 characters while Macro Express allows only 10 characters. A complete list of differences is found on the Differences between ShortKeys and Macro Express page. As SteveK points out, you can have both ShortKeys and Macro Express running. And there are cool benefits to using both at the same time.


Using the prefix shortkey option requires that you type a prefix in front of the shortkey. So you type things like //clear or //addr. This is the best option for activations that are common words. You are likely to want to use prefix keys for some things.


What if you want a macro to run when you type 'ocmmon' that corrects the word to 'common' or 'hte' to 'the'? You certainly do not want to use the prefix option in this case. Use the suffix option. That way, after typing 'hte' your macro can type 'the'. The shortkey does not activate until you type a space or some other punctuation so it will run if you type 'hte' followed by a space but not if you type 'brighter' or 'brighten'.


There are times when you would prefer to use prefix keys while other times you would prefer to use suffix keys. But neither ShortKeys or Macro Express allow you to use both. By using both programs you can have a set of shortkeys that use suffix keys and another set of shortkeys that use prefix keys. Or, you may want to use different prefixes for different groups of shortkeys. You could create a set of shortkeys with a prefix of // for programming and a set of shortkeys with a prefix of ## for technical support.


I love shortkeys. I use them for things like signature lines, frequently repeated lists of instructions or answers to questions, auto-corrections and while programming.

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Ahhhhh ShortKeys. No wonder I couldn't find anything about it on Google. I started with Keyboard Express a very long time ago but I've never used ShortKeys as I assumed all the functionality was included in ME. Is this not the case?

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Ah... I learned something today. Thanks Kevin. See, that's what I get for assuming. Although in my defense I think someone told me as much some time ago but I can clearly see things like a spell check would be missed by our initiator.


BTW, my apologies for sidetracking the topic. I'll stop now!

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ShortKeys is another fine program from the people who publish Macro Express. ;) It may help if we first provide a description of shortkeys: <snipped>


Thanks for pointing that out Kevin... In my original post I shouldv'e pointed out that it's more of a companion product by the same company, and not a competing product...


Also I wanted to note that in my OP I mentioned occasional misfires. It occurred to me that this mostly happens in Word and when composing emails in Outlook. I disabled the native autocorrect in these applications and I think that fixed it. I'm sortof embarassed to admit it now, since it's such a no-brainer :rolleyes: .... I thought it would be good to document it in the forum though.


Thanks for the replies everyone. :)

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