Is there some sort of auto text-insertion program with macros, similar to PhraseExpress for Windows in Linux?

In case you've never seen this application it offers the following features:

  • Organize frequently used text snippets.
  • Expand abbreviations in any program.
  • Automate repetitive tasks.
  • Auto-complete repetitive phrases.
  • Quick access to the Windows Clipboard History.
  • Correct spelling mistakes in any application.

The key feature being that you can paste prebuilt snippets of text. There are of course other features I'm interested in, but in general I was wondering if there was an application that offered similar features to PhraseExpress on Linux.

  • Something that would work in a GUI or on the command line, it doesn't matter. – leeand00 May 15 '12 at 19:46
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    What does PhraseExpress do? I don't understand what “auto-complete program with macros” means. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 15 '12 at 23:36
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    AutoKey? – Mikel May 16 '12 at 0:02
  • @Gilles You type something short, and the auto-complete program listens to what you typed; if it matches something in it's list, it will type a large string of text for you. That's how a simple auto-complete program works...but Phrase Express takes it further, allowing you to add a scripting language that will move the cursor around, copy and paste the clipboard, press key combinations etc...it's very powerful, and alot faster than typing everything yourself. You can reach wpm of over 300 if you do it right. – leeand00 May 16 '12 at 14:24
  • @leeand00 Is this program an OS-level service that activates when you type in any program? Or is it an editor on its own right? Because if the latter: Emacs. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 16 '12 at 19:09

Any time I'm looking for alternatives to some application, whether it be a Windows app or Linux app, I'll take a look for one on alternativeto.net. Here's a list of what alternatives there are for PhraseExpress:

According to that entry there are 3 that are similar to PhraseExpress.

Of the options listed AutoKey is likely the best listed and the one I'd start with.

AutoKey is a desktop automation utility for Linux and X11. It allows you to manage collection of scripts and phrases, and assign abbreviations and hotkeys to these. This allows you to execute a script or insert text on demand in whatever program you are using.

AutoKey features a subset of the capabilities of the popular Windows-based AutoHotkey, but is not intended as a full replacement. For a Linux-based implementation of AutoHotkey, see IronAHK. AutoKey's GUI features a number of concepts and features inspired by the Windows program PhraseExpress.

AutoKey's UI is even inspired by PhraseExpress so it would seem to fit the bill.


Strange question. What do you want to achieve? Have an editor with auto-complete?

For vim look at this: http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/VimTip91 or generally search for "dictionary autocomplete".

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