Text replacement tool aka autotext aka text expansion tool for Microsoft Windows

The Hotstrings Newsletter

Here you can find Newsletter dedicated to all productivity issues which I find everyday. Every Friday, the latest issue is sent to all subscribers.

Each message is dedicated to single subject.

Enter your email and sign up for free right now.

You may have heard of a poem called "Seven Mile Shoes" by Jan Brzechwa, a Polish poet and lawyer who is also known as the author of fairy tales and poems for children. It tells the story of Michal, who one day bought the "seven-mile shoes" of the title: after taking one step, he would instantly walk seven miles. Admittedly, these shoes are a real nuisance for the poem's protagonist, who can't get to the places he's supposed to go, but it's easy to imagine that such shoes would find a buyer today. Especially as they could be exchanged for other "normal" shoes. 

I don't know why, but the wonderful invention described in this poem stuck in my mind. Years later, as an adult, I came to the conclusion that such shoes 👞 did exist. But they are not shoes in the literal sense. Their equivalent is... a bicycle 🚲. It is the bicycle that allows us to cover much greater distances in the same amount of time than we could on foot. And we use a lot less energy to do it. And unlike the seven-mile shoe, the bicycle has a handlebar, so we can control the direction of our journey.

For a long time I have dreamed of a device and/or software that would allow me to type more quickly using a computer keyboard 🖮. After all, a properly constructed sentence ends with a full stop. Why do I have to start the next sentence with a capital letter? Why do I have to remember what all those abbreviations mean, like TCP, AIDS, API? Do I have to go on the Internet to look up the definition of a word and type it in by copying and pasting? Isn't there a tool that would allow me to recall long strings of letters and characters, such as my bank accounts, by typing a predefined text, such as "my bank accounts" or the shorter "mybankacc"?

As I could not really find such a tool, I decided to create one. I stumbled across a short video on YouTube that demonstrated just such a spell. It looked amazing: all you had to do was create the right definitions, or use the ones someone else had already written, and then use them over and over again, and in all the windows or editing fields that accept text!

The video I watched was about a programming language called AutoHotkey, and the part of the language it was about was called Hotstrings. After watching it, I decided to create an application that would allow you to prepare definitions in as simple a way as possible, similar to using other programs, i.e. using the so-called graphical user interface.

If you want to know more about the Hotstrings tool, I invite you here. And if you are interested in the poem "Seven-Mile Shoes" by Jan Brzechwa, have a look here