Manual Input Overview

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The Manual Input is a powerful macro that allows you to insert additional customized information when executing a phrase. This information will be requested by an input dialog box upon executing the phrase.


A manual input dialog requests for additional information.

A manual input dialog requests for additional information.


This macro can be used to:

- compose a text from a dialog with multiple options

- insert a name, date or other specific information in a piece of text or an email

- make a selection from a list of predefined choices

- automatically perform web searches (Google, Wikipedia and others)

- insert a parameter (or a part of the filename) when launching an application


How to create a new Manual Input

1.In the Phrase details pane, click on the Macro buttonmacroand then on Manual Input
PhraseExpander opens the macro creation window

2.Fill in the required fields and click on the Preview button to see how your macro will look like

3.Click OK to confirm
The phrase will now contain the new Manual Input macro


An overview of the Manual Input design form

The manual input design window lets you define how the information will be requested.

The manual input design window lets you define how the information will be requested.


Here's a brief overview of the Manual Input design form:

1.Navigation bar: clicking on the left and right arrow you can quickly navigate between Manual Inputs, if more than one is defined in the same phrase.

2.Description: a description of the Manual Input to help the user fill in the data.

3.Display as disabled: if checked, the Manual Input will be initially displayed as collapsed. This is useful only in conjunction with an Input form macro, to create optional sections that are initially displayed as disabled.

4.Display as: define how the Manual Input should be displayed. The available options are: Dropdown, List, Grid, Text Area, Calendar.

5.Predefined values: if you want to pre-populate the Manual Input with certain default values, you can enter them here.

6.Custom format: you can customize the value entered by the user. For example, if you enter "#ITEM#", the text that the user enters will be automatically put between double quotes.

7.Show preview box: when checked, PhraseExpander will automatically display a preview of the text that will be inserted by the Manual Input. You are allowed to customize it before it's sent to the target application.

8.Preview: gives you a quick way to see how your Manual Input will look like, without having to trigger the entire phrase.


The text generated with the Manual Input macro

When the Manual Input macro has been created, PhraseExpander will generate the instructions needed to display it. You'll see in your phrase something like this.


If your phrase contains many Manual Inputs, it could be hard to read. To improve readability, you can activate the Easy View mode.


Display all manual inputs together in a single form

By default, PhraseExpander will display the manual inputs one at a time. If you want to display them together in a single form (to speed up data entry), you need to insert an Input Form macro.


The types of Manual Input available in PhraseExpander

PhraseExpander can display different kinds of Manual Input, and you can choose the most appropriate one based on the kind of information you need to request.


1. Dropdown/Textbox

Display a dropdown with a number of predefined entries to choose from or a simple textbox.


2. Checked Dropdown (Professional only)

Display a dropdown that allows the selection of more than one item.


3. List (Professional only)

Display a list of predefined values that the user can check.


4. Grid (Professional only)

Display a grid selection with multiple available options for each row.


5. Calendar

Display a calendar selection box.


6. Text Area

Display a block of text that the user can edit.