Best text expander software?

I installed Zorin core on an old laptop recently and am fairly pleased. Does anyone have text expander software that they like? For example, letting you type "addr" and then expanding it to your full address. Create once, use many times. Text expansion.

I miss all the expansion shortcuts I have on other OS's & devices.
Was looking into autokey (based on Windows autohotkey, which I don't have but is apparently very popular).
I used the software button in Zorin and saw that espanso was ready for download. Looked promising, but it was a no-go. And, I see that it's in the experimental phase for most distros, so...

Very new to Linux.

Welcome aboard, @silvermap. :blush:

I think both Espanso and AutoKey should serve the purpose. Would you mind telling us why exactly you did not like them?

You could also check out other alternatives here.


You could look at all the alternatives here:

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Thank you both.
It’s not that I don’t like them. Autokey is still in the running, although I tried Espanso first since I don’t need to remap keys or do anything beyond text expansion. Haven’t tried it yet.

I did try to get Espanso working. Started with Zorin’s built-in software tool and followed the official instructions carefully. But, I’m out of my depth when it comes to 99% of command line stuff. I got as far as confirming that I have ‘wayland.’ Never got it to run. Uninstalled it.
(For what it’s worth, I tried the same thing in Windows 10 on the same laptop and that didn’t work either. It appeared to install and even worked for a second. Now all it does is prevent me from shutting the laptop down(!)

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Granted, it is always a pain to figure out alternatives to software you are used to on other operating systems.

I use PhraseExpander on my Windows devices and gladly pay for it, so I can appreciate your problem.

Maybe you simply got off on the wrong foot, though. I would not grab it from the Software Store, but straight from their website. The version in the store is not only a Snap package, but also rather outdated.

When using Ubuntu / Zorin, the DEB package is recommended instead. And, as with many things, it does not play nice with Wayland. You could simply switch to X11 and make your life a lot easier. From there, it is four steps in the command line:

sudo apt install ./espanso-debian-x11-amd64.deb
espanso service register
espanso start

Slap espansoGUI on top and enjoy. :sunglasses:

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Ragnir, this is a bit of a revelation for me. I am vaguely aware that X11 is an environment, so Wayland must be too, but I didn’t realize I could easily switch. I’ll read up on that.
Is it possible that switching will break what I already have installed? (Newbie question, I know). I just have firefox, Telegram and 7zip.

I’ve always been afraid of github. I see all those files and don’t know what to do with them. But, I recall using wget long ago, on Unix before Windows was popular.

The final two commands are something I did try, but as you said, the software store version is not recommended. I’ll keep that in mind for other software.

Now, if I can find someone like you guys on a Windows help forum I’ll be all set.

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Hey, no worries—it is a journey, and we are all here to learn. :blush:

As for X11, yes, it is a windowing system and provides the very basic framework for all things GUI (and a few other things). Mind you, it has been around since the early Paleozoic era, so it does come with its own issues. Enter Wayland, its successor, which has quite a few tricks up its sleeve.

The problem is that Linux is a huge pile of people doing their thing, and glaciers move like a bullet compared to that pile moving to agree on standards.

Thus, Wayland is nice in theory, but X11 is still the most compatible at this point in time. That is why they will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands unless they get it up to speed.

Luckily, you can change it on the fly without breaking anything. You can decide upon every start of a session which system you would like to use. Just click on the small cog wheel in the lower right on your login screen and choose "Zorin Desktop on Xorg" instead of "Zorin Desktop" (which is Wayland) and log in:


Once you have made your choice, it will stay active until you change it.

As for GitHub, it can be a bit challenging at first. But it is basically just a repository for all kinds of files and wget is a command that basically just means to say "download from". Not much mystery involved. And each repository will usually have some kind of instructions to go along with it.

Feel free to let me know if you need any further assistance. :sunglasses:


A minor point: But Almost all of the applications you can get int he Software store are just fine.
There can be an exception here or there but they are quite rare.


Ah, that's good to know, thanks. Every few years I try to dip into Linux out of curiosity, and the most unsettling thing is that you can do something right and it still does nothing, or worse- something unintended or bad. Trying this stuff out on a cheap laptop makes it less disconcerting.

I should probably leave most software alone until I have my main computer up and running again, but I'd really like to give espanso a try (back on topic). I have switched to X11.

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Look no further :grin:

Tenforums was my go-to spot for all things win10. So many useful tips, tricks and tutorials to customize and/or receive help for any issues related to your windows 10 installation.

It wouldn't be too far of a leap to assume that, by now, you probably have win11. Recommend going to elevenforums for this, same place, same people.


I’ll check it out, thanks! Have not gone to eleven (unlike Spinal Tap) nor checked if the computer is capable of upgrading.

I just bought this ancient ThinkPad and immediately tried Zorin. Have been using OSX since ‘09 and Windows XP before that.

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