Features of text prediction and expander software, why I use it and why you should too.

As a translator, like you, I spend hours upon hours per day banging away at my keyboard. Sometimes it can be fun, to feel your fingers flying, obeying your thoughts as you see your translation come to life. However, that same movement of the fingers takes its toll. The wrists begin to ache. The mind makes an effort to spell such words as "polypropylene", and other times, words can be long. This can be tedious, especially for hunt-and-peck typists.

Then, of course, there are those commonly misspelled words not caught by the radar of spell checkers. These can later be a bear to weed out. Consider "tis" instead of "its", "singe" instead of "sign", or heaven forbid, "pubic" instead of "public". Sure, you say, "I always proofread my translations three times." (So do I). But there is still a chance of the typo that that got away. Wouldn't it be better to nip them in the bud before they even hit the screen? After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Besides the automatic autocorrect, every word at least three letters long will trigger a window or box with suggestions. For instance, if I type "sug", I will see a numbered list starting with number 1, "suggestions", followed by number 2, "sugar", then number 3, "sugars", number 4, "sugary" and lastly number 5, "suggest". Now, if you select number 1, you don't need to type a number. It will suffice to hit Enter, but if you want a suggestion farther down the list, you need to type its corresponding number. Then it will pop into your text. So you never have to type the entire word.

What separates Typing Assistant from other similar programs is the size of its dictionaries and the fact that it will learn new words as you type. For instance, It doesn't know the word "antidisestablishmentarianism", but if I type it again, it will pop up in first place! This is called Auto-Learn. No fumbling with menus or options. Another thing I noticed is that when I type a word that is in the dictionary like "restaurant", which is not in first place the first time I type it, the next time , it is number one. If you want to add a word or phrase that is two or more words long, no problem! Just highlight the text and press Control+Winkey and bingo!

There is also a text expander which can automatically type whole paragraphs by entering a few letters by way of shorthand. For instance, if you want to type "See you later", you can tell Typing Assistant to use "syl". Then, type "syl" and the menu will pop up and "See you later." will be at the top of the list in the results window followed by "syllabic", "syllable", etc. I especially like this feature for those long names for UN Conventions or long-winded ministries and committees. Why look them up every time or type them out longhand. Our profession depends on doing things once whenever and wherever possible. Otherwise we are wasting time and resources.

You might be thinking about speech recognition in the back of your mind. There is a lot to say for it. However, it is expensive, requires lots of system resources and is not always suited to the task at hand. From experience, I can say that it is great for texts where you are able to think and speak fluently. If you have to do a lot of research and/or think a lot, it isn't of much help. And that is without mentioning the considerable cost for the software and accessories. Typing Assistant costs a fraction of that cost and is lightweight , sits in your system tray and is easy to learn. Most of the time, you are only limited to one language; Typing Assistant supports a handful. Some of them besides English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian. This is an indispensable feature for me, because I do a lot of typing in Spanish, and the words with accents in them take longer to type.

One last feature I would like to mention: the Auto-Launcher. You can configure it to launch your most used programs instead of having to hunt for their icons on your desktop or clicking on the Start Menu. A window will pop up with a list of the programs you added. Convenient. By the way, I wrote this article with the help of Typing Assistant. For a 45 day fully functional trial, click here: http://www.sumitsoft.com/download.htm

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ProZ.com - https://esl.proz.com/translation-articles
Why I Use Typing Assistant =
Author: Emilio Flores
By Emilio Flores
Published on 11/28/2015
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