ShortCut is a desktop accessory designed to make life easier. It
does this by looking at the keys that you type and if it spots a
sequence that you have previously defined, it automatically
backspaces over it and enters the full version. This is similar in
operation to the Thunder! and JackSpell spelling checkers. The
principle is that you define a list of shortcuts and their
replacements, and this will speed up your typing. For instance, you
might enter 'die as the key word, and 'directory' as the full
version. Vogler recommend using a special character at the end (like
'#') to stop 'dir' being replaced in other words like 'dire'.
ShortCut can be used for any text operation, not just word-
processing. The default selection provided with ShortCut is a large
list of GEM library functions for programmers. Any GEM application
that accepts text can benefit from ShortCut (even dialog entries are
ShortCut is not however without problems, but none are major and
most are avoidable. The first is plain annoying. Some programs
(First Word being one) cannot input text as fast as ShortCut can
send it, and thus a delay must be set. The annoying part is that the
speed is not saved in the keyword files, thus every time you start
ShortCut you have first to change the speed to that required.
Another problem is that ShortCut does not queue other keys that you
type while it is 'auto-typing'. This means that if you hit keys
during the auto-type they appear in the middle of the word, thus
causing garbage. To be able to continue typing straight after a
keyword and still get the correct sequence would be much better. The
most major problem is that you can enter a blank keyword, and as
soon as you click on ADD, the replacement starts pouring into your
application continuously. Stopping it takes several minutes of
frantic attempts to hit the CLEAR button of ShortCut to kill it.
Another disconcerting problem is that it does not appear in the Desk
menu at power on, but waits until the first application is run. I
cannot think of any reason for this, and find it annoying as I
thought ShortCut had not loaded the first time.
The 12 page manual is nothing to write home about, but does its job
adequately. The program is quite intuitive to use, and so the manual
will not be needed much anyway.
Overall, ShortCut does do its job well, and for someone who does a
lot of repetitive or complicated typing (sequences up to 30
characters), ShortCut is well worth looking at, but if you have any
other keyboard enhancers make sure it will work with them.