The Shareware Review People

ShortKeys 98


Type of Program: Text Insertion Tool
Supported Platform: Windows 95
Company Name: Insight Software Solutions
Version: 1.5a (both products)
Price: freeware (Lite) (shareware)$19.95
Installed size: 345K (Lite, 610K (Shareware,


ShortKeys 98 is a text-insertion tool that allows you to add predefined boilerplate text into any text-processor and word-processor file. Each "unit" of text to be inserted is represented by a user-defined text code. ShortKeys 98 posts a list of all saved codes and their corresponding text units in a single viewer window. Up to 3,000 characters can be saved in each ShortKeys unit, and you may store up to 1,000 ShortKeys units. Whenever you're working on a file, just place the cursor where the insertion is wanted, enter the text code, and the text insertion is complete. The code is overwritten automatically. For command lines and to ensure your text codes never match real words in your text, you can select special prefix or suffix characters to the code.

When active, ShortKeys 98 minimizes to the system tray and waits in the background until you invoke any ShortKeys code --there's no need to bring up an invasive menu or window with each maneuver. If you're concerned about memory usage, there's a low memory option, allowing ShortKeys text to be retrieved from the hard drive file rather than being pre-loaded into RAM. (This is a good choice if you have less than 64K of RAM or have lots of large text units in ShortKeys.)

Another interesting option is Solitary vs Non-Solitary code usage. Most times, you just want the code to initiate an specific insertion, but not be inserted itself -- so you'd pick some arcane thing not likely to look like a real word. But, there may be occasions where the code you've chosen is a letter combination you want recognized even if it's embedded in other words on the target document (like a global replace function), so you'd choose Non-Solitary usage. Either way, ShortKeys 98 is very handy used for letter salutations and closings, taglines, form replies, letterheads, web and email addresses, frequently used legal, medical, or other professional paragraphs used in everyday memos or reports. Whatever your need is.

Thankfully, ShortKeys 98 doesn't take a programmer or rocket scientist to set up, and it seems geared toward getting you up to speed fast. Any more options, and maybe this program would be less nimble. From installation to defining, say, 5 ShortKeys units, it'd take you 10 minutes, tops. (Oh, and yes, you can add text from the clipboard.) But if you're the leisurely type, there's a good Help file to get you acquainted, and there's support for registered users at the product web site.

The freeware version, ShortKeys 98 Lite, has the above features, except: no network support, no command line parameters, and there's a maximum storage of 25 ShortKeys units. The shareware version, ShortKeys 98, is free to try for 30 days, fully functional, with a nag screen on shutdown.

User Friendly:
Cost: (freeware) (shareware)
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell

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