Keyboard macros for OpenLabyrinth

In some of our OpenLabyrinth scenarios, especially those using our new text chat function, Turk Talk, we find that users want some way of rapidly entering pre-recorded text into the text fields in a case.

Anything that can make text entry easier will generally work in an OpenLabyrinth text field. This includes voice recognition software. On newer Macs, this comes built in, using Siri as a voice recognition engine.

But in a group environment, talking to your cases might be distracting to your neighbours. So, for this, you can use an app that expands short phrases into longer ones. There are several out there.

We have been experimenting with an extension to the Chrome browser called Auto Text Expander. This is free and can be installed easily into Chrome. Simply go to the Chrome Extensions page. At the bottom of the page showing the Extensions you may have added already, you will see a link to ‘Get more extensions‘ — you can then search for Auto Text Expander and install it from there. The installation is easy and it is also easy to add your own shortcuts.

Once installed, you will see a small icon beside your URL bar that looks like this


When you are defining your shortcodes, remember not to include text fragments that would be part of a normal word. For example, we often precede our shortcodes with a semicolon e.g. ;scode — but if you were to use something like this:

top ………… go to the top of the page

…then when you type ‘stop’, it would appear as

sgo to the top of the page

There is only one hiccup  when you are usingAuto Text Expander in play – you need to type the keys exactly as written. If you make any changes or corrections or pauses while typing the shortcode, it will not be recognized or expanded. When that happens, delete the shortcode and type it again smoothly and cleanly.

If you are working as a group, Auto Text Expander also has a way to Export your shortcuts so that others can import them into their own browser. This way, you can synchronize your shortcuts across the group.

As with other Google Chrome extensions, once you have installed it onto Chrome, it will also show up on your other computers where Chrome is installed.