How to show FastKeys settings window?
Left-click the FastKeys tray icon to open FastKeys main window. Alternatively you can right-click on the FastKeys tray icon and select Settings from the menu. For quicker access, you can later assign shortcuts to these actions. If the tray icon is missing, click the triangle icon in the task tray and drag the FastKeys icon into the system tray to make it permanently visible.
Newbie - how to get started with FastKeys?
There are many self-explanatory examples provided in FastKeys. Double-click to open the items to see how they are defined and then try them. Here is how to add a new Text Expander item: Creating a new command
What is the best practice for setting abbreviations?
Good practice in text expanders is to use abbreviations which do not conflict with regular text typing - we recommend memorable strings which are hard to type by mistake. When a number of your items increases you may create a more detailed organization for your abbreviations. For example, some experienced users put a prefix (special character, for example comma etc.) in front of the abbreviations, some use different prefixes for different groups etc.
You can also use "Manual confirmation" option - this way you can press Escape in cases when triggering is not desired,
How to organize the items?
In FastKeys, the items can be organized into Tabs. Right click on any tab to create a new tab. Move items between tabs using Cut and Paste from the context menu or by using Windows shortcuts Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V. The other way of organizing is to use Phrase files (Text Expander) or Wordlists (Auto Complete) which can contain numerous simple phrases.
Click on the column headers to sort the items alphabetically. Sorting of the items first needs to be enabled in Preferences > General.
I cannot remember all abbreviations
No problem, FastKeys offers many ways how to manage this. Here are some ideas:
Multiple substitutes - The same abbreviation can trigger multiple substitutes which can be selected from the popup window. Use a delimiter (default is "/") as a first character in a new line to divide multiple substitute actions for the same abbreviation.
Quick Find - Press shortcut (default is Alt+Space, you can change it in Preferences > Shortcuts) to open a search dialog for easy access to all FastKeys commands. Type some keywords to search or press up, down, left and right keys to select commands and modules. You can also easily access latest executed commands.
Display suggestions as you type - select this option in Preferences > Text Expander to show suggested abbreviations and substitutes while typing.
What's the difference between AutoComplete and Text Expander
Text Expander expands text abbreviations into longer phrases.
Auto Complete suggests words or phrases while you type.
FastKeys is much more than this as it offers many advanced features and settings which can make the differences narrow, however the majority of users use Text Expander to speed up typing by expanding frequently used phrases and Auto Complete as a word suggestion utility by using wordlists like Common words, Drug names etc.