A tool to save your time and temper

I recently had a computer glitch that messed up a couple of my most frequently used programs—just long enough for me to realize how much I depend on them.

One program I wouldn’t want to be without is a software package I bought over 10 years ago called ShortKeys. It’s a text replacement program that can double as a time management aid.

I bought ShortKeys specifically to use for providing feedback when I teach writing classes online, but have come to use it for everything from frequently needed URLs to hashtags and Twitter handles for online chats.

Here’s how ShortKeys works: I set up a ShortKey code for something I need to reuse and don’t want to retype and put that text into the ShortKey. When I need to have that content again, I type the code and the ShortKey types the text for me.

Since each ShortKey can hold up to 3000 characters, I can, for example, put directions for an assignment in a ShortKey and use it to send personal emails with that information to two dozen students.

The beauty of ShortKeys is that I don’t need to strip HTML code from text before putting it into the program. (Sometimes I think half my life is spent stripping code so I can paste it into my blogs and websites.) ShortKeys types the text in the same font used in the target space just as it would appear if I typed each key myself.

ShortKeys and other programs are available from Insight Software Solutions whose website is https://www.wintools.com.

I was told to avoid using ShortKeys for typing passwords, because they would be too easily hacked. But other than that one no-no, your options are just about limitless.

Since I bought my licenses for my computers ages ago, the company has come out with a portable version that can be run from a flash drive. It which would be great if you wanted to be able to carry your ShortKeys with you from home to school.

I don’t get any compensation for plugging ShortKeys. I wish I did. I’m always plugging the program.

BTW, my computer glitches were easily fixed by removing and reinstalling the messed up programs.

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