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Home » Software Reviews » Using Windows 'aText' to Improve Text Entry Efficiency

Using Windows 'aText' to Improve Text Entry Efficiency

By BRUNO FERNANDES

Like the slogan of aText: Save Your Priceless Time, the function and value of "aText" reflects on: through replacing common texts automatically to greatly reduce the number of keyboard strokes,thereby easily solve the problem of "repetitive entry' and save users' precious time. Compared with TextExpander, aText is not as well known as it. However, after changing TextExpander to a subscription system, the price-performance ratio is extremely low, and many details are not even polished than aText, thus we recommend aText more.

What can aText do for users?

Basic Function:

aText can quickly enter content by entering several letters/symbols, including but not limited to whole text (formattable), pictures, links, mail signatures, etc. Insert a basic snippet through aText, eliminating the problem to repeatedly fill in th suffix when writing an email:
atext auto complete email suffix
Insert time through aText saves the trouble of checking with the clock every time:
atext auto complete time

Advanced Features:

aText is also applicable to the case where there are individual variables in a large section of fixed text; for example, in a paradigm email, generally only the name of the recipient needs to be modified:
atext auto complete fixed text
Another example is mathematical calculations or English cloze filling:
atext mathematical calculations

Execute Script:

Apart from text expansion, aText can quickly execute preset scripts to output what you want. For example, to quickly calculate a random password:
atext calculate random password

Or execute a more complex script:
atext calculate random password

Snippet's editing page supports various formats and languages:
atext editing snippets

Automatic Spelling Correction:

With aText, users no longer have the worry about spelling mistakes when writing English. Different from the text processing software Word, Pages, etc., that comes with the spell correction function, they can only be applied in their own software. Using aText can achieve automatic spelling correction in almost all interfaces that support text entry.

Application Example & Snippets Sharing:

In daily use, besides using aText to quickly enter the recipient address, mailbox, etc., other content, there are more interesting application scenarios. Next, combining several application scenarios used frequently shares the Snippets settings, and provides configuration file download to help users understand and master the usage of aText more easily.

Insert multiple lines of formatted text

Just enter「;book」 (without parentheses, the same below) to quickly get the formatted multi-lines text.
atext formatted multi-lines text

Standard quickly enter proper nouns and special symbols

Just enter「dt;」and it will automatically insert 「DEVONthink 」.
atext standard input

File/Folder Naming

In daily file consolidation, except for the setting of naming rules is tedious and also a repetitive task. We give「rename」,the repetitive and difficult to remember work to aText; just enter「.fbn」when saving the file, tick the big category and insert「year month」automatically, and finally fill in the necesssary information and press Enter to get the predefined name.
atext file or folder rename

Unify Markdown shortcuts in various editors

There are countless editors that support Markdown, but there is no uniform standard to the handling of shortcut keys that affect writing efficiency, resulting in the need to re-adapt the new shortcut keys when changing the editor for some reason. In fact, we can think about it the other way around, why do we have to passively accept shortcut keys preset by different developers? We can achieve unification across all platforms in some way. Maybe someone knows that the famous Keyboard Maestro under macOS has shortcuts to「redirect」the menu, but the threshold is a bit high to use. For Markdown, we can use aText to preset snippets of standard Markdown syntax to achieve the effect of no longer relying on the editor settings. For example, if we want to insert a link, we only need to enter「url`」to automatically insert the link in the clipboard, and we can position the cursor on the link description, which is smooth and natural.
atext markdown

macOS and Windows co-shared snippets

If using aText on macOS and stored lots of snippets, aText has also updated the macOS version timely so that it can export json format for use by aText for Windows.
atext share snippets

Use the aText for Windows menu 「File」 → 「Open」 to get the 「aTextData.json」for import and use. For the import of a single Snippets Group, pls pay attention: selecting「Import」will keep the original snippets and select 「restore」will clear all snippets.

After many tests, after importing macOS snippets, some snippets will have some minor problems, such as the menu becoming text, etc. situation, and this should be a bug in the beta version.

Summary

Since aText push out Windows version, its usability has been greatly improved, eliminating the embarrassment that Windows platform just has TextExpander, the only text entry efficiency software.If users want to use it on all platforms and have the requirements to the performance, only TextExpander is available (Linux users can use Chrome instead), but for users who mainly work on macOS and Windows dual platforms, aText will be a high cost performance choice. Although TextExpander supports iOS and iPadOS, it is not convenient for users who mainly use Chinese keyboards. There are also fewer third-party apps that support TextExpander integration. The current aText's Windows version provides a free trial without any functional restrictions. Interested friends can go to the aText official website to download and try. You can also download Windows 10 aText app from the Microsoft Store.

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