How to trigger a template

 Once templates are stored in PhraseExpander, you can trigger them in 3 different ways from any application.

In this article

Trigger a template with its abbreviation

This is the most common method. 

To set it up, you need to associate an abbreviation to the template by typing it in the abbreviation text box.

When you type, PhraseExpander will display a little label near the cursor to remind you of the templates associated with the letters you have typed.

There are two ways to set up the abbreviation:

  • With confirmation: after you have typed the abbreviation, you'll need to press SHIFT (or the chosen confirmation key) to insert the template.
  • Instant execution: when you can enable this option for the template (by clicking on the orange bolt icon), no confirmation key is required, and the template is triggered immediately after the last letter of the abbreviation is typed.

Trigger a template with a shortcut

You can assign a keyboard shortcut to a template, so it's triggered after typing a key sequence, for example, CTRL + SHIFT + F4

To assign a shortcut to a template:

  1. Right-click on the template in the template list
  2. Select Shortcut
  3. Assign the desired shortcut and click OK to confirm

Alternatively, you can assign a shortcut by clicking on the shortcut link (as shown in the picture below) when a template is opened in the template editor.

To display the shortcuts in the template list, make sure the Shortcut column is displayed.

You can set the shortcut from the template editor

Trigger a template by selecting it from its group

  1. Assign an abbreviation (or shortcut) to a group to display all the templates it contains. 
  2. Execute the template by typing the abbreviation of the group, choosing the desired template, and confirming by pressing the SHIFT key.

Search templates via Quick Find

If you don't remember the abbreviation for a specific template or you want to search for all the templates you have defined, you can use Quick Find.


Open the Quick Find by pressing the ALT+ SPACE shortcut

Quick Find lets you find any template


Type the text that you want to search

Search is performed in real time


Press SHIFT to enter the text in the active application

If you want to change the key combination used to trigger Quick Find, go to  File → Options → Shortcuts

NOTE: you can use Quick Find to perform calculations as well. Simply type a math expression there (e.g. 4+5*3).
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