Comparing Expander Programs
by Cheryl Flanders
Cheryl Flanders responds to a question on sci.med.Transcription:
What advantages does Instant Text have that are important? Why should I buy it instead of PC Shorthand? [...]
And is there any other reason why Instant Text is better, faster, more efficient? I have heard stories about how it gains you more. But does it really?
I can comment on both (having been a Shorthand user for 5 years prior to switching to Instant Text).
You have to memorize every abbreviation you create in Shorthand (and many of the other text expanders out there). Instant Text automatically sets up your abbreviations (Short forms) using the first letter of each word in phrases — no memorizing. You can also change any short form IT creates.
Instant Text automatically creates Continuations that pop up in the advisory after you've inserted a phrase. You can hit your marker key many times to continue on with sentences instead of keying in more abbreviations. (Continuations are created when you compile glossaries from old documents.) The Words list is also automatically created and put far more available expansions in IT than I ever would have put in Shorthand. This dramatically increased my productivity after switching from SH – that and the fact that I no longer had to memorize everything.
What is the difference between the Instant Text 3.5 Basic and the Instant Text V Pro?
IT 3 does not include many of the new features in Pro V, such as macro abilities within your expansions. Includes allows you to combine several glossaries instead of individually switching back and forth between glossaries. Pro V also automatically links to all programs that you have open — you have to manually link with IT 3. I was on the Beta team for Pro V and the new automatic features save many more keystrokes and is well worth the additional price.
The Instant Text site has a thorough explanation of all new features
If you really want to pick my brain about IT, feel free to email me. Or check out the IT forum for really great tips.
No, I don't work for IT, I just think it's THE best expander out there — and I tried many before I made my switch from SH.
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