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Advice on ShortKey suffix keys


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Stan recently suggested the use of suffix keys to Terry for SK activation and it got me to thinking which was better. Prefix keys are the default in MEP so that would suggest that ISS believes they are superior. But it seems like suffix keys would be much more flexible and useful. But I want to consider this carefully as this is not something would want to change down the road after users have gotten used to one or the other. Also the keys selected for prefix can be real words like "client" which would not be a good choice for a suffix so one would have to redefine them.

 

At the moment I'm leaning toward suffix. The first big macro I've completed is a client ID search macro. Users often have to tag things with a CID so I wrote a macro that searches by a user string and returns the value. At the moment it seems really clever if they type "cid:?" and activate the macro which would return something like "CID:1328". This seems more intuitive than "##cid".

 

So what do you all think? Are there pitfalls I haven't seen here? How do yo all do things?

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Stan recently suggested the use of suffix keys to Terry for SK activation and it got me to thinking which was better. Prefix keys are the default in MEP so that would suggest that ISS believes they are superior. But it seems like suffix keys would be much more flexible and useful. But I want to consider this carefully as this is not something would want to change down the road after users have gotten used to one or the other. Also the keys selected for prefix can be real words like "client" which would not be a good choice for a suffix so one would have to redefine them.

 

At the moment I'm leaning toward suffix. The first big macro I've completed is a client ID search macro. Users often have to tag things with a CID so I wrote a macro that searches by a user string and returns the value. At the moment it seems really clever if they type "cid:?" and activate the macro which would return something like "CID:1328". This seems more intuitive than "##cid".

 

So what do you all think? Are there pitfalls I haven't seen here? How do yo all do things?

Well, I don't know that ISS thinks prefixes are superior. I don't believe suffix keys were an option in previous ME versions, so they just left the default in MEP as what ME users were used to.

 

I personally have 0 experience with suffix keys, but - being a creature of habit - have continued to create only prefix-activated short-keys.

 

That being said, as in your other post, your clients have no short-key habits to break, so if you think suffix activations are better, then I would think it best to go that direction. But again, I have no experience with them, so can't enlighten you on the potential drawbacks.

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Both are extremely useful. Suffix is good for typing shortcuts. Prefix is good for other tasks.

 

I wish I could have one set of Prefix and another set of Suffix shortkeys. But since I have to choose, Prefix is best for my style of working. When I teach courses on Macro Express, I find that Suffix shortkeys are easier for most people to understand, maybe because they resemble the AutoCorrect feature in Office applications.

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Both are extremely useful. Suffix is good for typing shortcuts. Prefix is good for other tasks.

 

I wish I could have one set of Prefix and another set of Suffix shortkeys. But since I have to choose, Prefix is best for my style of working. When I teach courses on Macro Express, I find that Suffix shortkeys are easier for most people to understand, maybe because they resemble the AutoCorrect feature in Office applications.

I was thinking about the similarities to autocorrect in word as well. Check me on this, can't we effectively have both with suffix? I mean there's nothing to say that with the suffix option I couldn't have a shortkey ##cid, wight?

 

Kevin did point out that you could run their other program ShortKeys in conjunction with MEP to have both. I see there's even a free Light version. You might want to check that out. Personally I don't think it's worth the added cost for my client.

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Both are extremely useful. Suffix is good for typing shortcuts. Prefix is good for other tasks. I wish I could have one set of Prefix and another set of Suffix shortkeys.
There are technical reasons why Macro Express only supports one at a time. But ...

 

But since I have to choose ...
You can have both. Our ShortKeys product has all the shortkey features of Macro Express plus a few more (Compare Products). You can run both programs at the same time and have Macro Express set to use Prefix and ShortKeys set to use Suffix (or vice versa).

 

ShortKeys comes with a free 30 day trial. Or you may want to try ShortKeys Lite. This version is free for personal use but has a limit of 15 shortkeys.

ShortKeys is a text replacement program without the same macro capabilities as Macro Express Pro. You can have it run a Macro Express Pro macro by typing the correct activation. If you try this and have difficulties let us know and we will help.

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Check me on this, can't we effectively have both with suffix? I mean there's nothing to say that with the suffix option I couldn't have a shortkey ##cid, wight?

There is a slight difference. With Prefix you would type '##cid' and with Suffix you would type '##cid '. Note the ending space.

To explain fully for those following along, in this example, using Prefix the shortkey would be named 'cid', and the ## is defined in the Shortkeys Prefix Keys setting. Using Suffix the shortkey would be named '##cid'.

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To wrap this up I wanted to let anyone who is interested that I have decided to go with the suffix option. There is simply more flexibility but also works better for AutoText like capability which is something I'm starting to introduce to this client.

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Sorry about the late reply to this topic... I've used Shortkeys along side MacExp in the past. The two apps work great together. Unfortunately, SKs doesn't consistently work well with all apps. I dunno-- there might be a correct combination of settings that will make if work 100% of the time with 100% of other applications. (?)... It's important to note that if you use it as a universal spellchecker, you need to *disable* the autocorrect feature in your MS Office apps. Also, you can import the MS Office autocorrect library into SKs... (it's a .acl file) There are several MSO.ACL files in the Program Files/Office folder. As I recall, the one in the \1033 folder is the correct one ... The others are Spanish, Math, etc. There errors I get with SKs is that if I'm typing too quickly (remember I'm using the Suffix activation with <Space> and punctuation characters as suffixes) and don't realize I've activated a SK, then I'll insert characters in the middle of playback. This doesn't happen every time. Maybe once per day. And it's not specific to any application. If a person is mindful about not "typing-through" SK activations, I suspect MacExp and ShKeys would be a really good combo! -steve

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To wrap this up I wanted to let anyone who is interested that I have decided to go with the suffix option. There is simply more flexibility but also works better for AutoText like capability which is something I'm starting to introduce to this client.

 

I think that's the best choice too.

 

However, I'm getting an annoying number of failures which I find I can then fix with Restore Keyboard Hooks. Given that I use shortkeys maybe several hundreds of times a day, statistically it's no big deal, but still a PITA! And in many years of using 'macrophrases' in Stiletto (which I'm gradually replacing by shortkeys) I don't recall a failure. When you're used to typing #em for your email address, it's surprising how frustrating it is to have to suddenly type it in full!

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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