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I'm looking for a portable text expander tool without restrictions on the usage environment (i.e. personal, academic, or professional use...).

Requirements:

  • Able to replace text as you type, without popups.
  • Has a built-in word list for common English typos (or a plug-in). e.g. tehthe and thatsthat's.
  • Supports user defined text replacements
  • Portable. At least no installer required and able to run from a USB stick. Even better if it doesn't save any data in the user profile or cleans up after itself when closed.
  • A license that contains no restriction on the mode of use. It should allow both personal and professional use.
  • Free or relatively cheap, up to or around $15 (or 15€)
  • Single purchase (no subscriptions)
  • Should run on Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Nice to have

  • Definable snippets for date and time stamps.
  • Able to import/export word lists from/to a common format (like csv).
  • GPL, MIT or a similar kind of license

What I've tried:

I use PhraseExpress at home and I'm pretty fond of it. It also has a portable version, but the problem is that the free license only allows usage on personal computers, and the standard license is $50.

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I doubt you'll find a piece of software that cheap, given the number of requirements you have.

I am the author of PhraseExpander but our pricing starts at $59 given the features and quality we offer (like fill-in-the-blanks templates, phrase SmartComplete, autocorrects library, spell checker and phrase sharing). Our main target is professionals and medical doctors in particular.

It would satisfy all your requirements except for not being portable.

A simpler solution (that's priced at $10) is Fastkeys (we are not affiliated with them). Another one is Shortkeys (priced at $29). I'm not sure if they are still actively developed.

Those would be good options with you are interested in basic text expansion. If you are interested in a more complete and maintained solution, I suggest that you give PhraseExpander a try.

  • Thanks. FastKeys looks like the nearest fit. It has a portable version and is only $10. PhraseExpander has more features than I need at the moment, in addition to not being portable, but I will get the trial version on my personal laptop and see if it's worth the investment for me. If you make a "Lite" version in the future, which has less features, is cheaper, and portable, then please update the answer ;) – Tymric Aug 9 '17 at 8:23
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    So glad I could help. As mentioned, it really depends on what you need to do with a text expander. If you are OK with limited functionalities and almost no support, there are some cheap options. If you need it to perform business critical tasks, that's where PhraseExpander shines. As everything in life, you get what you pay for :-) – Andrea Nagar Aug 9 '17 at 12:47

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