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May 09 2010

AutoHotKey: Export PhraseExpress to CSV


yjqjxcni thumb AutoHotKey: Export PhraseExpress to CSVPrograms can be so useful, but they also can be ‘traps’; traps to keep you tied in to them so you can’t leave, or change, or manage your data the way you want to.

I recently ran in to an issue with a program I use called PhraseExpress. It’s a text expander/hotkey/macro program that’s extremely useful and can save lots of time.

I love the concept of the program, but I was wanting to attempt another program and I needed to get my data out. While I’ve my golden rule about being able to export my data, I never checked with PhraseExpress; it didn’t offer this function natively- so I created an export function.

AutoHotKey is another program that can do many of the things PhraseExpress can do, but it’s not as refined as PhraseExpress, but AutoHotKey is more open to change flexibility and users requirements.

So, I was tinkering around with some things and I wanted the phrases from PhraseExpress in this other toy I was playing with. PhraseExpress doesn’t export to TXT or CSV; only their proprietary PXP [binary file] they offer.

Here’s a video Of what I did…

 

Important!

Here’s the AutoHotKey files.

PhraseExpress CSV export v7162013


 

The PhraseExpress program has to be at its smallest window size, as the mouse is looking specific locations. I may revise the program to be more intelligent later; the video explains and shows some of this. The script goes and grabs the description, the content and the autotext; copies those and stores them and then exports them to the CSV file.

There should be nothing incorrect with the script since the data being exported is your data; you should be able to do with the data any way you please.

The PhraseExpress team may add this function later, but for now this is a down and dirty version.

This information is offered as an option to help to help others and to possibly offer an alternate method for backup for PhraseExpress data.

And this is just another way, and another reason why, I love AutoHotKey so much!

Important!

Note: With the release of PhraseExpress 10 you can export to a textual format which negates my script. I’m glad it’s there, sad it took 4 years to implement.  Here’s a reference lilnk: http://www.phraseexpander.com/phraseexpress-export-phrases-csv/

 

I hope this helps.

Until next time,

LEHenryJr

LEHSYS.com


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AutoHotKey: Export PhraseExpress to CSV

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4 comments
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Wang
Wang

Nice, but I do not want to export from Phrase Express because it is cool and I want to use it instead of ActiveWords. So I ask, do you know a way how to import from my ActiveWords. Actually, I would such cool macro in Activewords so I can import into Phrase Express. Can you help?

lehenryjr
lehenryjr

Well, the concept is the same. Use a macro like AutoHotKey; grab the data out and then paste it in to PhraseExpres. I've provide the AHK source code- you're welcome to adjust it as the need fits. On the basic levels, you need the description, content and autotext; from there everything should work - within reason.I hope this helps... Thanks,LHenryJr. www.lehsys.com

Mike Köhler
Mike Köhler

Why all the scripting efforts? PhraseExpress has a automatic backup function. It also exports into plain text and HTML. At least in my corporate network version. I can see in the video that you are using an out-of-date version. Perhaps you are using an too old release.

lehenryjr
lehenryjr

Michael, Thanks for the inquiry. ...I was tinkering around with some things and I wanted the phrases from PhraseExpress in this other toy I was playing with. PhraseExpress doesn’t export to TXT or CSV; only their proprietary PXP [binary file] they offer. I don't have a corporate version and I've version 7, but I'm not going to upgrade to another version just to be able to get my own data. That's why I don't like applications that attempt to lock you in to their program. It's a disservice to customers and users alike; It's a level of disrespect towards the customer audience. If a coder/company wants to write a program for users to use, and put their data in it, it should be just as easy to get it out [export]. Charging those same users, in any fashion, to get their own data out is extortion; any way you slice it- it's wrong. And users should beware of these applications for their own good. PhraseExpress does have a backup function, of sorts, but I make no complaints about it in my post. It's not where it needs to be, but it's there, and really wasn't added until I complained they didn't have one. Backups are very important and should be front stage, and not elusive on any level; it's a ubiquitous practice. The focus of this post is to EXPORT 'my data', which is a function that isn't available to all users of PhraseExpress- unless you pay a premium for the network version- and thanks for pointing that out, but I've already commented about data extortion. I still think PhraseExpress is a good product, I've never said otherwise; I still use it in a limited basis. But AutoHotKey is an outstanding free open source program with great flexibility. The user forums are teaming with people that are willing to help and provide example code/usage. For instance, with 7 lines of AHK code, I replaced 90 percent of the functions of PhraseExpress. I thought that was just amazing. I've already added functions to my script that PhraseExpress doesn't have. So now, I take joy in having control of what my autotext/text expander does and how it does it- and it's free. Have a nice day... and Vielen Dank! Until next time, LHenryJr. www.lehsys.com