As a medical practitioner, one types in notes that consist of combinations of standard phrases to describe e.g. a physical exam. E.g. a note could contain one of several phrases describing the cornea, then another phrase describing the anterior chamber of the eye, next the iris, pupil, lens, vitreous, optic nerve, macula, etc.

There is a lot of repeated typing of the same phrases.

What I'm looking for is an application where I could enter e.g. "C" and get a popup of different phrases describing the cornea, pick one in a fast way and have it pasted into the text, then push say "L" and have different phrases to pick from describing the lens, etc.

In the beginning one would have to enter the different phrases into the correct category.

Any ideas for such software, such as a text editor, plugin for office program/browser/clipboard under $100? I use Windows and Linux. Thank you.

  • Please specify a) Operating System, b) Program to be pushed to or does it need to be the clipboard & c) Price Range - you will have a lot more chances of a useful response. May 28, 2017 at 3:47
  • Thank you for replying. I have clarified the question. I can imagine this to be useful in many different situations. May 28, 2017 at 9:13

3 Answers 3


PhraseExpress http://www.phraseexpress.com/ comes very close to what I need and I have started trying it out. The phrases are stored in folders and all of the phrases belonging to a specified folder pop up in a box when a key shortcut (specific to the respective folder) is pressed. Then one can pick one of them with the keyboard or mouse and it is pasted into any application that has the keyboard focus. $50 for standard license.

  • Just what I was about to suggest. Strictly you would need the $139.95 version of course. May 28, 2017 at 15:54
  • Standard license allows commercial use, so I think it's enough. May 28, 2017 at 16:14
  • It is a bit hard to find on the site but: phraseexpress.com/freeware.htm#pro gives you their definition of professional use. May 28, 2017 at 16:20
  • This is confusing. How do they define "commercial use" then, which "Standard" and "Professional" versions both allow, see phraseexpress.com/docs12/09/shop.php? It seems the two versions differ only in terms of features. May 28, 2017 at 16:32
  • I guess that using a Standard copy occasionally for something related to your work is OK but not if it is a day to day, I agree it is confusing on that point. It may be worth raising this as an issue with them as it may be an artefact of a translation from the original which was probably in German. May 28, 2017 at 20:37

Try TextExpander. It lets you create text snippets of any length that are pasted in when you type the designated abbreviation in any app. You could have a variety of statements about the cornea with their own abbreviations (e.g., Cor1, Cor2, Cor3). You can also have longer snippets with fillable blanks or dropdown menus inside them (see image). The dropdowns pictured here can be navigated using the keyboard or mouse.

textexpander abbreviation expansion window


You could possibly make use of Sam Hocevars WinCompose which is primarily used to give you keystroke sequences for Unicode characters, e.g. holding RightAlt then typing AE results in Æ, with U" you get ü, with (R) you get Ⓡ, etc. (there are more than 1700 other mappings) and it is inserted into any Unicode aware application as if your keyboard has the key for that character - about now "this interesting but" not what you are looking for so far I hear mutterings of.

However, you can create your own shortcuts and the inserted items do not have to be a single Unicode character but can be any sequence of Unicode characters, (which includes plain ASCII). You can add custom rules by creating a file named .XCompose or .XCompose.txt in your %USERPROFILE% directory.

This will not give you the pop-up and select that you asked for it can give you some stock phrases and it may be possible to either modify the WinCompose, (it is Open Source), or get together with Sam to produce a Medic-Compose or some such.

  • Thanks; this is interesting. But the "pop-up" feature is a must in my case to "eyeball" the phrase I want out of several phrases possible in each category. May 28, 2017 at 15:36

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