Short Form Rules

The Short Form Rules dialog enables you to tailor the rules used to assign short forms when adding new entries.

Instant Text computes short forms based on the words of an expansion.

Word Delimiters

Words inside an expansion are delimited by white space.

The Delimiters menu enables you to decide if you want hyphens and underscores to be considered as word separators too.

Checking the Delimiters → Capitals Separate Words menu item enables to separate words written using the camelCase and PascalCase naming conventions commonly used by programmers:

Substitutions

Prefix and Ending Substitutions can be added via the Substitutions menu.

These substitutions are applied to the words of the expansion, prior to computing the short form, in order to influence the computation.

A substitution of the prefix ex by x, for example, will have the effect that all words starting with ex will have short forms that effectively start with x instead of e.

Note that substitutions are only there to influence the computation of short forms. They never alter your expansions.

Once Instant Text has

  1. parsed the words of an expansion
  2. internally performed the defined substitutions

it computes the short form by applying a rule which depends on the number of words.

Rule for 1 Word

  1. Click on the top ruler to select the number of leading characters you want to retain.
  2. Click on the bottom ruler to select the number of trailing characters you want to retain.

In the image below, we have clicked 4 on the top ruler and 2 on the bottom ruler:

which will result in short forms taking the 4 first and 2 last characters.

Clicking the top ruler * character has the effect that the short form retains all characters.

Given the fact that you can always skip characters inside short forms, this is undoubtedly the best choice.

Rule for 2 Words

Likewise, use the top and bottom rulers to specify the characters you want to retain.

You may specify a separator to separate the characters retained for each word.

Rule for 3 Words

Likewise, use the top and bottom rulers to specify the characters you want to retain.

You may specify a separator to separate the characters retained for each word.

Rule for 4 Words and More

For 4 words and more, only initial letters will be retained. You may specify the number of leading and trailing words that should be taken into consideration.

Test Your Own Rules

At the bottom of the window, you can enter an expansion and test your own rules!