Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
Engadget for the iPhone: download the app now
AOL Tech

Auspex is a free text replacement app for Windows with tons of potential

Finding a really good free text replacement/expander app for Windows isn't an easy task. Yes, AutoHotKey is an excellent program, but it's not a good fit for people who don't enjoy hacking plain text configuration files. Breevy is an extremely nice GUI app, but it's shareware. Auspex -- developed as part of NANY 2011 at Donationcoder -- might be the free program we've been waiting for.

The Auspex interface makes it easy to add new text replacement strings. Give your entry a name, a mnemonic (the text that will be expanded -- ms in my example), select a trigger, and add your replacement text. You can also set up a list of applications you want to monitor or ignore so that Auspex doesn't kick in when you don't want it to. Autocompletion (and a fair sized dictionary) is built-in as well, and you can control everything from how soon suggestions are made, to the colors used in the pop-up boxes -- just press tab to complete a word.

One fun feature of Auspex is its "odometer." As you use your text replacements, Auspex will keep tabs on the number of characters you've saved. There's also a wizard for creating new entries, though it's a bit of a work-in-progress at the moment. True text manipulation wizards will appreciate the fact that Auspex supports regular expressions, which enables you to create complex text replacement schemes.

Auspex has oodles of potential, but it is a bit buggy at the moment. On Windows 7 Professional x64, we received a number of access violation pop-ups while using it. While the program never actually crashed, it did get rather distracting. Unfortunately, we weren't able to determine whether it's a 64-bit compatibility issue or a software conflict on the test machine. Still, as Auspex updates and bugs are squashed, it looks like the app could become a must-have free app for Windows users looking to enter text more efficiently.

Download Auspex for Windows

Tags: apps, efficiency, efficient, free, hotkey, macro, portable, regex, regular expressions, RegularExpressions, text expander, text replacement, TextExpander, TextReplacement, typing, utilities, windows