Collected Archives 2 Phrase Expander

This is the second chapter of my dive into The Collected Archives by Kenny Norris (Cabbage Games).

Kenny likes PhraseExpander, or maybe liked. I had a look at the applications site and I feel that its functionality has been overtaken by time. Being able to share things between laptops and desktop computers is a bit old-fashioned today. Now, most things are mobile-first. We also often work multi-screen, across mobile, tablet and computer.

At the same time, the functionality of word processors, spreadsheets, and even mobile apps has come a long way.

There is nothing that Kenny describes in his use of PhraseExpander that cannot be done for free using Google Docs/Sheets or in my case Office 365.

What this did make me think of is how could a soloist make use of features such as autocomplete?

Word has the best autocomplete options. You can type something out just once, highlight it and then add it as an autocomplete option, complete with all the formatting options.

One could either type out or paste in a frequently used oracle, then highlight it and add it as an autocomplete entry. Whenever you need to make an oracle roll, just enter your chosen shortcode, and your oracle will appear in your solo game journal.

Word macros are very simple, if you only want to achieve simple tasks. You can create a new macro, assign a keyboard shortcut for it and then paste in this code into the editor.

Sub d6()
' d6 Macro
Dim MyValue As Integer
MyValue = Int((6 * Rnd) + 1)
Selection.TypeText Text:=MyValue
End Sub

Change the 6 in the MyValue line and you can make a random dice of any type.

Now your document can pull up any commonly used table and act as your dice roller.

It is actually quite easy to get the word processor to roll the dice, look up the result and insert it into your document for you. Just look up arrays on stack overflow, if you want to go down that route.

This is something that will excite some people, but turn others off. If only solo players were also computer nerds(!)

The point is that without installing a new application, there is huge power already at our fingertips. I am more familiar with Word so that is what I choose, but Google Docs and Sheets have a script editor built-in.

Is this the sort of thing you want to dive into?

My cut up solo data is entirely created using marcos. It is not what I intended when I started. I was just making a tool for my own use. I just fell down the rabbit hole and ended up with something so much bigger than I intended.

Who knows where this could lead you?

2 thoughts on “Collected Archives 2 Phrase Expander”

    • I am not surprised in the slightest. Coding text editors also have the options for autocomplete, scripting and macros.


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