If, like me, you spend much of your waking hours slogging away at the keyboard churning out masses of text, you are no doubt on the lookout for any
trick, tip or tool which will help speed up the process. Leaving aside the possibility of actually improving my typing skills - but that sounds
suspiciously like hard work to me - what other solutions are available? Of course, you will say that word processors exist for this very purpose and I
sometimes wonder how on earth people managed before they (word processors, I
mean) were invented. But when you come to think of it, word processors, as their name suggests, are better at PROCESSING text than GENERATING it. What exactly are the options available where the latter is concerned in, for example, Word? As far as I can see, there are three: Auto-text, the clipboard and Auto-completion. These are excellent features in their different ways but they all have their limitations. Auto-text does require a little input at the outset and of course it is limited to its specific application, i.e. it won't work outside Word or whatever word processor you happen to be using. Also, and to the best of my knowledge, the text summoned up will be in its original format. For example, if you have saved your text in bold italics it will be reproduced in that format. The chances are that this is not appropriate. The clipboard is more suited to moving text around within and between
applications than to actually regenerating it. As for Auto-completion (a standard feature of Star Office but not, as far as I know, of Word) it is of course limited to a single word and still has to be taught words it doesn't recognize. Again, it cannot be used outside its own application. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to generate text automatically with no or very little input and in any application!
Help is at hand in the shape of a very clever little piece of software called
EasyType. It really does summon up words and phrases with no or virtually no input from the user. In the case of words (you can set the minimum length)
the process is entirely automatic: the second time you type the word, it is displayed in a box (often containing a choice of two words) near the cursor
and all you have to do is insert it using a hotkey of your choice. It doesn't have to be a word
recognized by a dictionary either! Where phrases are concerned, you just have to save your phrase via a process which is far
quicker and more flexible than with Auto-text and then proceed as with a single word.
EasyType has a host of other clever features including a shorthand manager and support for foreign languages - foreign language "libraries" can be
downloaded from the website, but of course the best way to find out what EasyType can do for you is to give it a try. I personally use it for
generating difficult words and for phrases which I use quite often - "Barnaby
Capel-Dunn, the world's greatest translator", for example - but which I can't be bothered to save. Like all really useful aids, it takes a little (but only a little) getting used to. You very quickly find your way around and - an important point - learn when, and when not, to use it. Perhaps best of all, EasyType is a work in progress; it has already improved out of all recognition in the four months I've been using it and more enhancements are apparently in the pipeline.
All in all, I think this is an application with a difference and certainly well worth exploring. Give it a try!!