Typing Tools

Trying to type on the small screen is a challenge at best. Even the large onscreen keyboard found on the iPad can be a frustrating experience at times. That’s where auto-text apps come in. These apps let you set up dictionaries of words, phrases and even paragraphs and assign each a unique abbreviation. Then, when you want to include that phrase in your text, all you do is type the abbreviation and the app takes care of the rest. Because finding the pound sign on a small keyboard can be a challenge, just setting up your most commonly used Twitter hash tags can save a significant amount of time. And where do you think those smart people get their hearts and flowers updates? Once you start using these apps you’ll find all kinds of phrases you use frequently.

These apps help make typing on the small screen less frustrating. And, once you get used to using them, you’ll want them on your desktop too. Here’s a look at some of the auto-typing apps available for you.

Mac and iOS users can take advantage of Text Expander [iOS – $4.99, Mac – $34.99]. Text Expander works in a growing number of apps and can keep your abbreviations dictionary synched between the desktop and mobile versions.

Mac users will also find the free Typinator and TypeIt4Me apps work quite well.

Android users can take advantage of the Smart Keyboard app [trial – free, pro – $2.99]. It is a complete keyboard replacement app that allows you to fully customize your device’s keyboard. One of its many features is a smart dictionary that is used to save commonly used text. Unfortunately, this app is not available in the Amazon or Barnes & Noble app stores.

Windows users aren’t left out either. There’s AutoText [Win – $22.85] and PhraseExpress [Win – free].

As you get comfortable using these auto-typing tools, you’ll be surprised at how many ways you find to put them to use. It’s the tool that keeps on giving.



Tech Notes – 24 February

  1. Excitement continues to build as we get closer to the release of the 1940 census. How about a look back at data processing in census days gone by . . .
  2. Online privacy is also at the top of this week’s headlines with Google feeling the heat. Here’s a tip to protect your search privacy.
  3. Upcoming events and other topics of interest.
  4. Share
    Scanfest is Coming! http://bit.ly/x6SYbE via AnceStories


    Wed, Feb 22 2012 11:36:57
  5. Share
    PDF for Research and Publishing http://flpbd.it/Wp5Rw


    Tue, Feb 21 2012 20:13:45
  6. Working on a book project? Smashwords can produce your book in every e-format you could possibly want, provide a bookstore for selling your book and see that it gets placed at all the major bookstores too. And, it won’t cost you a dime. Check out the free Smashwords Style Guide to learn how to turn your word processing manuscript into published ebooks.
  7. From the Gazette archives – where to find affordable graphics for use in your family history projects.
  8. Spring has come to the Creek with lots of bloomings to enjoy.
  9. Share

    Moultrie Creek Azalea Festival


    Fri, Mar 06 2009 19:00:00

Tech Notes – 17 February

This week’s roundup of interesting tech news and tips:

  • This quick video shows you all the things Google Search can do.
  • In less than four years Smashwords has published more than 100,000 ebooks from over 36,000 authors. You’ll find a good number of their genealogy-related titles at Moultrie Creek Books.
  • Apple releases the next OS X  – Mountain Lion – to developers. Looks like it has even more iOS goodness in it. You can get a sneak peek at the beta version of Messages – the replacement for iChat – with a free download.
  • Lifehacker has a great tip for keeping your earbud cables organized using a Chapstick cap. Yep, that Chapstick – and it works great!
  • I recorded my presentation – The Future of Memories – today for Family Tree University’s Spring Virtual Conference – March 9-11, 2012. Are you going to be there?
  • Puzzazz has developed handwriting recognition for the Kindle eInk readers and put it to use in their Sudoku Unbound #3 game. Players use their finger to write the numbers into the boxes to solve the puzzle. Hopefully we’ll soon see their TouchWrite technology put to work in even more Kindle apps!
  • This week’s featured title at Moultrie Creek Books is Somerset Homecoming: Recovering a Lost Heritage. Dorothy Spruill Redford spent ten years tracing the lives of Somerset Plantation’s slaves and their descendants. Her endeavors culminated in the joyous, nationally publicized homecoming she organized that brought together more than 2,000 descendants of the plantation’s slaves and owners and marked the beginning of a campaign to turn Somerset Place into a remarkable resource for learning about the history of both African Americans and whites in the region.
  • Did you know you can get your favorite genealogy blogs delivered to your e-reader? Learn how easy it is to have your Genealogy News Delivered.

Tip: Capture Screenshots on a NOOK Color

You can take a screenshot on your NOOK Color. It takes a bit of doing, but it works. Here’s how:

Press the Home (N) button and the Volume Down (vol-) button at the same time. A camera icon appears on the status bar. Tap it to view the shot in the screenshot gallery. You’ll find them stored on your NOOK in the My Stuff area of your Library. You can crop the shot here and make it your wallpaper, but to move the image to your desktop, you’ll have to connect your Nook via USB, then copy the image from the Screenshots folder to a folder on your desktop.

My guess is the same steps will work for the NOOK Tablet.