Need a 'text expander"? Pathagoras offers one of the best ones out there. Here's why.
A text expander is a tool that allows you to type a few characters. With just those characters, the program offers a guess as to what word or 'expanded text' you are intending. So if you type 'feb', Word surmises that you want the word February. A small overlay box is typically offered and you can accept the suggestion by pressing the Enter key. Other programs offer variations on that theme. Some automatically insert the text without a specific request (which can be a real pain if you really intended the text you actually typed). Some allow the ability to insert large blocks of text by offering a dictionary of terms from which you can select . All these programs are fabulous (well, some are) and quick. The problem is that the text snippets they insert on your behalf are 'locked away' in their proprietary boxes. Accessing them, editing them and resaving them takes you outside of Word proper, which means learning a new program (or at least a new aspect of Word that is not necessarily intuitive).
Pathagoras' <Alt-G)> function can augment text expanders you may already use. If you don't already own one, this is a great one to start with. The <Alt-G> has been discussed in previous sections. It offers a very powerful 'type and 'g'et' tool for those documents which you have made part of your document assembly system.
But there is really no limit on what you can '<Alt-G>' (yes, we made it a verb) into your documents. The power inherent in an <Alt-G> call makes Pathagoras very much like every other text expanders on the market (ActiveWords™, FastFox™, etc.)as well as Word's built in AutoCorrect feature. And it is far superior to Word's Quick Parts. (We are not going to explain the differences here. If you have used Quick Parts, you already know its drawbacks. If you haven't used Quick Parts, it's because it never been called to your attention by others . . . and for good reason. Sorry, Microsoft.)
The main difference between Pathagoras' text expander' function and that of the others is that Pathagoras requires you to affirmatively press the <Alt-G> combination. Here are some of the benefits of the 'affirmative call' requirement of Pathagoras.
•You can use real words for your key words. If you want to use a 'real' word such as "letterhead" to reflect the call to your company's letterhead, use it. You don't have to use a cryptic 'ltrhd" or other abbreviation.
•The other expanders are constantly monitoring what you type. If you type any text that matches a 'programmed' group of letters, the expander takes over and gives you what it thinks you want.
Example: You are typing a letter. You want to abbreviate the month of February, but have assigned "Feb" to 'February' in your 'expand' list. With some expanders, you will get "February" when you type 'Feb' whether you want it or not.
This will not happen with the 'affirmative call' requirement of Pathagoras. If you want 'Feb,' type it and move on. If you want February, type Feb and press <Alt-G>.
•Text via <Alt-G> is saved in and directly called from actual Word documents. That means you know how to access and edit those source documents. The text expanders discussed above (including Word's Quick Parts) store their text replacements in remote and inaccessible (unless you are in their programs) locations.
•Text called via <Alt-G> comes in as formatted text (including automatic paragraph numbering) because it came from formatted text.
Here are some other features of <Alt-G>:
•Like others, Pathagoras lets you call in text with <Alt-G>. But you can also open a folder by typing the assigned number or name.
•Typing expanders are typically intended to call in short phrases, not complete documents, and were surely not designed with document automation in mind. Pathagoras allows you to call in complete, fully formatted documents with ease.
• Pathagoras is fully compatible with any typing expander. If you already use and like your text expander for snippets that don't require what <Alt-G> can offer, keep on using it. Use <Alt-G> where it fits your needs the best.
•Unlike AutoCorrect and most other text expanders (which are typically bound to your computer), everyone on the network can easily point to the same locations to make <Alt-G> calls.
•There is no limit to the type of information you can have available. You can call in images, spreadsheet elements, bookmarked sections or larger documents. <Alt-G> can handle it all.
•See Order of Search rules to see the methods and the locations Pathagoras will search when you press <Alt-G>.