Usage Tips from Instant Text Users

Suggestions for Using Instant Text
Part 2 - Managing Glossaries

by Jon Knowles

Glossaries could be considered the heart of Instant Text. They are what make IT such a deep and productive program. I will touch on some of the main points (for those not familiar with the program) and then move on to how I use the Glossaries. I think it will take a collective effort by us MTs to make the most productive use of the glossaries — what follows is just one way to use them.

A glossary is a file consisting of a list of Words followed by a list of Phrases. (You can however construct a glossary which will have Phrases only, which can be very useful.) IT comes with some glossaries already constructed which you can use. You can also build your own or import others if you own, say, PRD or Smartype. You can open up to 8 glossaries at a time and switch from one to the other as needed. You can have a glossary for Addresses, another for Medications, etc. You can merge glossaries and compile one superglossary for each doctor.

What glossaries do is display text in the Advisories for you to select, without having to type the full word or phrase. You can have IT scan work done for a given doctor and automatically compile a glossary from that work. That way, the most common words and phrases the doctor uses will pop up in the Advisories as you type.

Not only that, if you type a common phrase, IT will supply a list of likely continuations based on its analysis of the texts you had it scan. This is the Continuations feature, which makes very great keystroke savings possible.

One Way to Use Glossaries:

At start up I have only my Address glossary open. I switch to that glossary when I have an address to enter. IT handles addresses very well (in adding new ones, for example) and some people buy Instant Text just to handle addresses. I open other glossaries as needed.

To get working glossaries, I merge 9 or 10 glossaries to compile one big glossary for each doctor. To help keep straight which subglossaries are in a new glossary as it is being built, I use two letter abbreviations to keep track of them. IT supports long names and you need the long names. Some of the names start to look ridiculous but it seems to be an efficient way to keep track.

I made a list of the glossaries I want to be part of the final glossary and then merged them, starting with the most used glossaries first. This way, the more commonly used words and phrases will end up at the top of the Advisories.

To build a superglossary I first merge these glossaries, starting with:

Its name? Mwmpagdrmonanu. (Told you!) Most of these glossaries are available in the Exchange glossaries in IT and were compiled by Robert Hill. (Names and Monthday are mine, under construction.)

Since I am a Smartype owner, sometimes I import the fine ST vocab list and use it in place of MTWords. I also have a list of 20,000 med words I have tried out instead of either of these. These lists function as a dictionary or reference list and the words appear in the Words Advisories. (You could also keep the reference glossary separate [not merged], keep it open, and switch to it when you have a word you want to look up.)

Next, I merge my work glossary from each doctor.

Last, I import my abbreviations of Words and Phrases which I constructed while using PRD and merge them. When you import from PRD, the resulting glossary puts all entries (words and phrases alike) into the Phrases section of the new Glossary.

That means, after my final merge, I can have all my favorite abbreviations (about 12,000 now) appear in the Phrase Advisory on the right side, and my reference vocabulary list displayed in the Words Advisory on the left. You use separate keys (markers) to trigger which Word or Phrase Advisory you want. Or type the text and spacebar if you don't want to select from the Advisories.

The full name of my superglossary might be something like: (file from PRD)(Dr. Jones)mwmpagdrmonanu, which I name simply BigJones.

When I want to do a doctor's work, I open his glossary. For these mega-glossaries it takes 4 or 5 seconds to load, but it is well worth the wait. Then when moving to another doctor's dictation, I close the glossary and open a new one.

It takes a little bit of time to compile (and understand!) these glossaries, but you only have to do it once, and it generates enormous savings in keystrokes.