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I own a license for SmartAssist. It was implemented 2002 by Thorsten Schleinzer (author of Lion and LingoClick), but was never released to the public and stopped after the beta. I still have the software and a license (potentially the only one, because I knew the author personally and I was a beta tester), but after 13 years, I wonder whether there's a similar software that can achieve the same result which is still actively maintained.

This software

  • monitors the keyboard input like a key logger, thus works across all programs
  • it keeps track of special keys like backspace, thus still recognizing a shortcut when correcting a spelling mistake
  • when it detects a shortcut, it
    • replaces the shortcut by the defined term, including placing the cursor to a specific position (e.g. inside an HTML tag) or
    • opens a dialog to ask for input ("variables") and then replace or
    • shows a tooltip or
    • executes a command (runs a program)
  • runs portable (no installation required)
  • works on Windows 7 and higher

The editor allows

  • organizing shortcuts in groups, allowing to enable/disable groups depending on the task. In the screenshot below, "Java Tips" is disabled.
  • allows enabling/disabling single shortcuts. In the screenshot below, "<abbr>" is disabled

My budget would be ~20 USD for such a tool.

Smart Assist Screenshot

2

You can easily achieve this with free open source AutoHotKey tool.

Beginners

You can use AutoHotkey to:

  • Automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write a mouse or keyboard macro by hand or a macro recorder.
  • Remap keys and buttons on your keyboard, joystick, and mouse.
  • Create hotkeys for keyboard, joystick, and mouse. Essentially any key, button or combination can become a hotkey.
  • Expand abbreviations as you type them. For example, typing "btw" can automatically produce "by the way".
  • Retrieve and change the clipboard's contents.
  • Convert any AHK script into an executable file that can be run on computers >where AutoHotkey is not installed.

...there's much more, it has its own GUI, can run programs, DLL's, etc. – check list on software home page.

It has no visual editor, but you can easily configure it through a text file. I think this is not a big issue.

  • Thanks. I know AHK and I have automated some tasks with it. AHK is a nice general purpose tool and may be useful for someone reading this answer. The usability is not so good: many cryptic command to learn. For the btw example to work, I must press the Enter key. AHK does not work well with Notepad++. – Thomas Weller Dec 28 '15 at 13:34
  • @ThomasWeller – what is your expectation on btw command to work? Fire on w? (BTW, you do not need to press Enter. If you want to type by the way,, then just type btw,. (Similar for trailing dot, space etc.) And AHK does work excellent with Notepad++, I'm using it all the time. Are you sure you launched AHK eleveated (i.e. "Run as administrator")? In Windows 7 and higher, it must be launched this way, otherwise it sometimes fails to catch keystrokes etc. To me this looks like an operating system issue, it wasn't present in Windows XP. – miroxlav Dec 28 '15 at 15:45
1

You could try Breevy, a powerful text expander.

I used it in the past for one month to compare it with other similar products, and this was the best for me, however, because I didn't required to use it anymore, I cannot give a personal productive critique to mention their benefits or cons, so just feel free to test it by your own.

It is a trial application, which comes at the price of $34.95 per user (not per computer). The application development seems active as seen in the copyright description of the installer file.

Breevy user interface

Breevy in action

  • 1
    Nice. Downloaded and installed the trial. I've noticed your activity here. I think you're contributing well to the site. Keep up the good work! – Thomas Weller Feb 16 '16 at 20:43
  • @Thomas Weller Nice words to hear from a moderator, thankyou very much, I do what I can to express myself as I really want to, but its a little bit complicated using my poor English as you noticed when editting my post :P. I hope you enjoyed the applicattion that I suggested for you, out there exists more programs like that, I downloaded a lot in the past, but I don't remember their names, sorry. bye! – ElektroStudios Feb 16 '16 at 23:28
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    Breevy is useful, but version 3.34 does not work well with dead keys (reproduced and reported). It also sometimes looses the trigger key (not reproduced yet). – Thomas Weller Mar 17 '16 at 14:35

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