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Text Expander for Windows: Try these top 10 text expander apps to stop retyping things in 2023

Automate repetitive typing with these text expanders for Windows. OSlash. Beeftext. PhraseExpress. Magical. aText. TextExpander. Breevy. AutoHotkey. FastKeys. FastFox.
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The pen may have been mightier than the sword until the last century. Today, it is the keyboard that rules the wor(l)d. With more and more working hours being devoted to written communication across organizations, there’s a need to make typing smarter, less time-consuming, and more efficient.

Enter text expansion, a technology that virtually types for you. The idea is simple: You take words, phrases, or even long paragraphs that you type many times a day and you create shortcuts for them. Using a text expansion software, these shortcuts then automatically expand into your chosen words or phrases. For example, you could set up a text expansion shortcut so that whenever you type "lmk”, it is automatically expanded to "let me know”. 

This can save a lot of time and effort, particularly when typing the same words or phrases repeatedly such as in pitches, cold outreach messages, recruitment emails, and canned responses.

Many text editors and word processors today come with varying degrees of built-in text automation to make this job easier for us. They are usually free of cost but lack the advanced features and benefits of paid text expansion apps.

In this article, we’ll explore the best free as well as paid, native as well as third-party text expansion apps for Windows.

Text expander for Windows: Using AutoText and AutoCorrect on Microsoft Word and Outlook

Let’s start with the basics: built-in text expansion on Windows. If Mac has Text Replacement, Windows isn’t far behind with native text expander(s) for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook in the form of AutoText and AutoCorrect.

While both the features help you automate typing, the way each does it differs. 

AutoCorrect text expander for Windows

AutoCorrect automatically rectifies common spelling and grammatical errors for you as you type. If you commonly mistype the as teh, it is AutoCorrect’s job to revert the latter to the former. The good part? AutoCorrect does it without needing any intervention from you.

However, you can also manually configure snippets inside AutoCorrect to ensure your work is free of common typos and mistakes. You can select up to 255 characters that you want to make into a reusable snippet and program the correct replacement text for common errors.

AutoText text expander for Windows

AutoText, unlike AutoCorrect, has proper text expansion functionality. It allows you to create abbreviations that are automatically expanded as you type. Unlike AutoCorrect, it does not replace anything on its own, nor does it have a character limit. 

To use AutoText, you first need to enable it inside Microsoft Word and Outlook. Then, you can create new AutoText entries by adding your abbreviations and the corresponding expanded text. 

Once you have created your AutoText entries, you can use them by typing the abbreviation and then pressing the space bar or the enter key, at which point the abbreviation will be automatically expanded to the full text. AutoText can store not only plain text but also formatted text and graphics for retrieval on command. 

Check out this quick guide for a complete lowdown on creating and using AutoText entries.

In summary, AutoText is a feature that expands abbreviations into full words or phrases, while AutoCorrect automatically corrects spelling and grammar mistakes. Both can be useful for saving time and effort when typing, but they work in different ways and have different strengths and limitations. And unlike Text Replacement on Mac, they do not work natively across the entire Windows ecosystem. 

Recommended reading: Why Mac’s built-in text replacement isn’t a perfect solution for text expansion

Some other frustrating limitations of built-in text expanders include lack of URL shortening capabilities, inability to share and edit common snippets with coworkers, limits on word and character count as well as lack of formatting options for snippets.

Text expander for Windows: Third-party text expansion apps

There are a number of third-party text expanders that overcome such limitations of built-in solutions. 

Here are our top 10 text expanders for Windows to try out in 2023.

1. OSlash

If you’re looking for the best text expander that comes with a built-in suite of productivity enhancing features, OSlash is your choice. 

You can use OSlash text expander to auto-type text everywhere you work. It allows you to make your message personal, with the option to add dynamic variables. Plus, it comes with numerous features to manage a team, including the ability to share snippets with coworkers and a permission system to manage who can edit which snippets.

Type: Browser extension

Available for:Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Edge, Brave

Top features:

  • Lets you create custom keyboard shortcuts to access and share your frequent web pages, apps, documents, and URLs, in less than a second
  • Rich-text editor to create and format snippets across all web apps
  • Ability to personalize messages using dynamic variables and macros
  • Allow you to highlight anything on the web and convert it into a snippet
  • One-touch access to your shortcuts, snippets, tabs, and activity
Recommended reading: Embrace faster messaging and better user interactions with OSlash text expander

2. Beeftext

If you’re looking for a simple, no-fuss text substitution tool for personal use, look no further than Beeftext. 

It has one of the cleanest UIs where you can preview the Combos (trigger keywords + snippets) along with their name and hotkey. There is also a quick search function to help you find the right Combo when you need to use, edit, or review it.

Type: Native app client and portable version

Top features:

  • Works in any app that supports copy-paste
  • Relies on Unicode encoding that supports all languages and special characters
  • Allows you to group snippets together for better accessibility
  • Does not store and transmit keystrokes

3. PhraseExpress

PhraseExpress is one of the most feature-rich text automation apps for Windows. For this reason, it also costs more than most of the other tools on this list. 

Its capabilities are not limited only to text expansion. It can automate virtually ALL your repetitive actions with a powerful Macro Recorder that “records your actions like a tape recorder for infinite playback.” 

It can also help you generate full-fledged documents from scratch using a custom selection of your templates. 

Type: Native app client and portable version

Top features:

  • Snippets can be stored locally and shared with others over the cloud or using network-shared folders
  • Flexibility to assign the same shortcut for multiple snippets and choose the best fit from a smart dropdown menu
  • Autocomplete snippets instead of memorizing cryptic abbreviations
  • Multi-language support lets you translate snippets into other languages. The same phrase library can be switched to another language instantly

4. Magical

Find copy-pasting data annoying? Magical to the rescue!

What started off as a basic Auto text Expander for Chrome now does a great job of helping you move data across systems or tabs as well as auto fill-in sheets and databases. This is in addition to expanding shortcuts into texts in over 10,000 apps on the web. 

The only bummer? It supports rich text formatting only in select applications and there is no native support nor support for browsers outside of Chrome and Edge.

Type: Browser extension

Available for: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge

Top features:

  • Search shortcuts seamlessly with tags or type // to activate a dropdown for shortcut discovery
  • Create and lookup your shortcuts anywhere on the web with the Magical Panel
  • Get curated shortcut templates with magic packs
  • Create unlimited shortcuts with unlimited character count per shortcut

5. aText

Like many other text expansion apps, aText comes with built-in AutoCorrection features to let you automatically capitalize new sentences, correct double capitals, fix spelling errors and more. It also goes above and beyond text expansion by letting you run ​​basic scripts to automate your everyday tasks

Type: Native app

Top features:

  • Import data seamlessly from multiple tools including TextExpander, TypeIt4Me, SpellCatcherX, Automaton, CSV file etc.
  • Embed clipboard content within snippet, embed snippet within another, send use editable fields in snippet
  • Built-in snippet groups for misspelling correcting, HTML and JavaScript coding

6. TextExpander

TextExpander is a long-standing industry incumbent popular with everyone from freelancers to conglomerates alike. 

One of its biggest USPs is the extensive library of snippets and templates available within its Public Groups. TextExpander users can subscribe to any of its Public Groups to take advantage of ready-made snippets across a wide variety of use-cases. 

Type: Native app and browser extension

Available for: Windows, Chrome

Top features:

  • Share snippet groups with your circle and across devices
  • Get free app updates on all plans
  • Auto-subscribe users to snippets and get snippet statistics

7. Breevy

A lightweight text expander for Windows, Breevy offers its users a clean and logical UI that aids faster typing. It also uses simple, custom abbreviations to replace text blocks across all apps on your Windows machine. You can integrate it with DropBox to import your TextExpander snippets too.

Type: Native app client and portable version

Top features:

  • Over 6500 abbreviations to automatically correct your spelling errors and typos in any application and over 13500 abbreviations for medical transcriptions 
  • Import preset AutoCorrect entries from Microsoft Word
  • Smart case adaptation that matches the case of abbreviated text to the expanded snippet automatically
  • Launch applications, websites, files, and folders in just a few keypresses

8. AutoHotkey

Not just a text expander, AutoHotkey is an easy-to-learn scripting language for Windows which lets you automate any desktop task. It’s free and open source and often used by experienced programmers for developing quick prototypes. 

You can configure AutoHotkey to expand text right away or pause for you to indicate whether you want the expansion to be triggered or not. It takes some getting used to, especially if you have zero coding/development experience.

Type: Native app

Top features:

  • Record, reproduce, and automate mouse and keyboard actions using the macro recorder
  • Define custom hotkeys for specific actions using your keyboard, joystick, and mouse
  • Design custom data-entry forms, user interfaces, and menu bars
  • Auto expand abbreviations into text and auto-correct spelling errors using custom scripts

9. FastKeys

FastKeys is more than your ordinary text expander. It is an all-in-one automation tool for Windows that boasts over 500 ready-to-use commands to automate your everyday repetitive actions. 

Type: Native app

Top features

  • Build a custom start menu to fire up chosen apps on your computer upon login
  • Configure custom keyboard shortcuts to open sites, run powerful scripts, and start programs in a couple of keystrokes
  • Use the macro recorder to record keystrokes and mouse actions and teach the computer to perform everyday tasks on its own

10. FastFox

FastFox is an intelligent text expander for Windows that makes it easy for even non-developers to create and use macros for automating daily tasks. All you’ve to do is use a combination of Ctrl, Alt and Shift with other key strokes to create the shortcut keys for your macro, enter your command for the set of actions and save it.

It is highly contextual—it learns your most typed words and phrases and suggests them to you as you type, helping you fly through your everyday typing tasks.  

Type: Native app

Top features:

  • Intuitive autocomplete to insert text from abbreviations on the go
  • Snippets can include plain as well as rich text and images
  • Unlimited number of text shortcuts that can expand to any text length

Before you choose a text expander for Windows, make sure to estimate the gamut of tasks you will need it to perform. You might benefit from a simple, minimalist text expander that only automates typing or consider a more versatile tool for automating your workflows as much as possible.

Recommended reading: The ultimate guide to task automation

Try the most powerful text expander for Windows: OSlash

Wondering where to start?

OSlash is a great place! 

OSlash is a text expander that works as a browser extension which means you can use it to work with any OS across any kind of device. What’s more? Your snippets get automatically stored and backed up to the cloud via your OSlash account, so you never have to worry about losing them or wasting hours copy-pasting them as you switch systems.

You can create snippets visible only to you, to your team, or to your entire organization, making it an extremely adaptive tool that you can use both personally and professionally. 

Use OSlash text expander to create go-to templates for your business communications as well as shave minutes off typing your frequent phrases, messages, and emails.

Give it a spin today! We bet you’ll love it. Download the extension to get started.

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