If you are a writer like me or just someone who types a lot, then it’s a no-brainer to use a text expander application. For instance, when you are typing you will come across some big words, phrases, sentences, certain email responses, signatures, etc., that you have to type multiple times a day. In these situations, a text expander will help you quickly fill in rather than you typing in the stuff manually each and every time.
In case you are wondering, a text expander is a simple application that lets you type shorter character sequence in place of the actual words, phrases, and sentences. These character sequences will be automatically expanded in real time into full words, phrases or even entire sentences depending on your configuration.
Windows has many different text expander applications. However, here are some of the best text expander applications for your Windows system.
Text Expander Apps for Windows
TextExpander is one of the most popular, mature, and robust applications that Mac users have been enjoying for a long time. It has all the bells and whistles you will ever need. Using the TextExpander, you can expand words, sentences, code snippets, formatted text, pictures, etc.
Some of the features of TextExpander include but not limited to using the text expansion in any application, sharing snippets with your team, accessing snippets on all your devices, creating boilerplate snippets, positioning the mouse cursor wherever you want in the expanded text, inserting the clipboard content into the snippet, searching for snippets with a single keyboard shortcut, grouping of snippets, support for scripting, etc.
As you can tell, TextExpander is a full featured application with all the right features that can help beginners and pros alike. Not to mention, the user interface is pretty minimal and easy to use. So, if you are looking for a capable text expander application and don’t mind paying the monthly or yearly subscription then give it a try, the price is well worth it. That being said, there is a free 30-day trial too.
Pros: The text expansion works in all applications. All your snippets are stored in the cloud. This enables you to use them on any device. It is easy to use compared to the other applications on this list.
Cons: As of writing this, the Windows application is still in beta. So, you might face some bugs and inconsistencies.
Is it free: No, TextExpander requires you to have the monthly or yearly subscription. However, you do get a 30-day free trial to test the software.
Pricing: For a single user, pricing starts at $4.16 per month or $3.33 per month if you choose the annual subscription. For teams, the pricing starts at $9.95 per user per month and $7.96 per user per month billed annually. You can get more details here.
PhraseExpander is also a popular text expander application for Windows. Just like TextExpander, the application has all its features with some more. However, unlike TextExpander, this app is mainly aimed towards enterprises and professionals like doctors and demanding works like data-entry jobs and customer care.
Some of the extra features you find in this application are suggestions and abbreviations while writing, auto-correction, spell checking, custom snippet triggers, support for remote sessions, macro language, multi-level grouping, support for templates and automation, manipulation of text and creating variables, etc.
Since the PhraseExpander is highly customizable and powerful, even if you are not a professional, you can use it for all your regular text expansion needs. Considering all the extra features you get, the pricing is a bit higher when compared to the TextExpander.
Pros: The application is powerful. With all the extra features you can make your work very easy.
Cons: PhraseExpander works only on Windows systems, it is not cross-platform. There is a learning curve to getting used to the user interface.
Is it free: No, you need to buy the application with a one-time fee. That gives you lifetime access with one year of upgrades per user, per machine. If you need it on multiple devices, then you need to buy multiple licenses or their Home & Office Pack or Roaming pack.
Pricing: PhraseExpander has two different plans with $59 and $149 for Standard and Professional licenses respectively. You can see the difference between those licenses here.
PhraseExpress is yet another powerful and advanced application for Windows that is available in both free and paid versions. Along with the regular text expansion features, it also has other features like Dynamic phrases, date and time stamps, end-to-end phrase file encryption, sharing snippets with teams and users, various Windows automation tools, clipboard manager, system-wide auto correction depending on your writing style, etc. As you can tell, PhraseExpress is much more than a simple text expander.
If you are looking for a free and dedicated text expanding application, the PhraseExpress is for you.
Pros: PhraseExpress is free for personal use, and it is cross platform. You can also download the portable version if need be.
Cons: Due to all the features you get, there is a learning curve.
Is it free: The application is available in both free and paid variations
Pricing: PhraseExpress offers three different plans with $49.95, $139.95, and $219 for Standard, Professional, and Enterprise licenses.
Features you get in the paid version: With the paid version you will get access to some advanced features like sharing, desktop menus, MS Word formatted phrases, Clip Collections, SQL Server support, etc. You can see the complete feature list here.
Breevy may look simple at a glance but it is one of the most capable text expanders for Windows. In fact, it offers several different options to easily manage all your snippets and make your typing job easy. Unlike PhraseExpress or PhraseExpander, it is just a text expander and does a pretty good job at that with its easy to use user interface. Moreover, you can import or sync snippets from TextExpander.
Pros: Very easy to use and customizable. The application is also available in the portable version.
Cons: It is not cross platform.
Is it free: No. You need to buy the license with a one-time fee on per user basis.
Pricing: Breevy has a single package, and you can get it for $34.95, a one-time payment.
AutoHotKey is the best and my most favorite software for Windows. That being said, Unlike the others on the list, AutoHotkey is not so much as a dedicated text expander but a macro-creation and automation tool for Windows. However, if all you want is a simple text expansion with no added features, then AutoHotkey is for you.
Using AutoHotkey is nothing hard but you should be comfortable with scripting as you need to manually script what words or sentences you want to expand. To get started, install AutoHotkey, download this sample script and try it out. You can open the script with any text editor to see the instructions in it.
So, if you are a bit adventurous and don’t mind scripting then do give AutoHotkey a try. Again, this is not a dedicated text expander. But you won’t be disappointed when you see how much AutoHotkey can do.
Pros: Open source, light-weight and must have software for every Windows user.
Cons: Not a dedicated text expander and requires you to be comfortable with its own scripting language. It is not cross-platform compatible.
Is it free: Yes it is completely free.
All in all, every application in this list has its own merits. Personally, I’ll go with TextExpander. The reason for this is simple, it’s user interface straightforward and easy to use, I can pay for it on a monthly basis and the application can be accessed on other devices like Mac, Android, and iOS with all the snippets syncing between them. But if you are looking for free alternative PhraseExpress will work well too. So, do try the applications shared here and see what fits your needs.
Hope that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above applications or to share your own favorite text expander applications for Windows.
Also Read: 7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On Windows