Shorthand for WindowsTM
Known Bugs and Common Problems

Please consult the Shorthand Help file (select Contents from Shorthand's Help menu) for problems not covered here. You may also consider discussing your problem with other users by posting your question on a Shorthand Message Board.

For questions on the basic operation of Shorthand (e.g. how to move your word list to another computer), please see to the FAQ page.

If you are using Chrome and find that the ENTER key does not work when Shorthand is running:
See Shorthand Compatibility Issues.

Problem: I get the error "Unable to write to Shorthnd.ini file.

Solution: See How to Change Shorthand File Permissions

Problem: Shorthand does not work or expand correctly.

Solution: See Shorthand Compatibility Issues.

Problem: Shorthand does not work in Internet Explorer.

Solution: Internet Explorer (IE) 7 and later has Protected Mode enabled which prevents Shorthand from tracking your keystrokes.
To disable Protected Mode:

  1. Click the Tools icon (the "gear" icon in the upper right corner) in Internet Explorer, choose Internet Options, and select the Security tab.
  2. Unselect (uncheck) the Enable Protected Mode box. Note that you will need to restart Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect.

Problem:: In Microsoft Word, there is an extra space after the first character in my expansions. (e.g. "dr" expands to "d octor")

Cause: Microsoft Word sometimes insert extra spaces if you select "Simulate Clipboard Paste if Text Only" as the Shorthand text transfer method.


To disable the automatic spaces in Word 2010 and later:

  1. In MS Word, click the File tab (found at the top left corner of your MS Word window) and then click Options on the bottom of the File Options pane.
  2. On the left pane, select Advanced.
  3. Under the "Cut, copy and paste" section, uncheck the "Use smart cut and paste" box.
To disable the automatic spaces in Word 2007:
  1. Click the Office button (the large round button on the upper left corner)
  2. Click Word Options (at the bottom of the menu).
  3. On the left pane, select Advanced.
  4. Under the "Cut, copy and paste" section, uncheck the "Use smart cut and paste" box.
For older versions of Word:
  1. From Word's Tools menu, click Options then click the Edit tab.
  2. Uncheck the Smart cut and paste box.

Problem: My abbreviations are not being expanded as I type.

Solution: We suggest you enable Shorthand's Suggestion Window to see if Shorthand is tracking your words correctly:

  1. Choose Preferences from Shorthand's File menu.
  2. Select the 4. AutoReplace tab.
  3. Select the Show Suggestion Window check box.
  4. Click OK. You should now see the yellow Suggestion Window (which you can move and resize) on your screen.
  5. Click the HIDE button to make the Shorthand Main Window disappear.
Now whenever you type something, you should observe your most recent word displayed in the Suggestion Window. This should give you a clue to what is causing the problem. For example, if you type "asap" in your word processor, you should see "asap" in the first line of the Suggestion Window. If you type "asap" and but just see "sap" in the Suggestion Window, that means that another program may be interfering with Shorthand.

If nothing shows up in the Suggestion Window while you type, this means Shorthand is not tracking your keyboard at all. Here are some reasons why Shorthand could not track your keyboard:

Problem: Shorthand is expanding words inside another word.


Problem: Expanded words are not capitalized when CAPS LOCK is on.

If you have set Shorthand's Transfer method to "Simulate Clipboard Paste if Text Only": Shorthand uses the Windows Clipboard to transfer text and the Windows Clipboard ignores the state of the CAPS LOCK (this is a Windows "feature" and not a Shorthand bug).

Instead of using CAPS LOCK to capitalize words, we suggest you use one of these techniques to capitalize an expansion:

Simply type the abbreviation in all CAPS using the SHIFT key. For example if you have the following abbreviation:

subj = subjective

typing "SUBJ" will expand to "SUBJECTIVE". (note: use your SHIFT key to type "SUBJ"; using the CAPS LOCK key will not work).

Another technique is to define separate abbreviations for your long forms you need in all CAPS.

For example:

subj = subjective

Problem: Shorthand does not expand abbreviations in word processors running via a remote desktop through a virtual private network.

Solution: You can make Shorthand work with a word processor running via a remote desktop by having a small piece of your personal desktop show on the screen: You can do this by minimizing the connection screen just slightly. (Thanks to Karen S. for submitting this tip.)

Problem: Shorthand is not working with my Edix computer system.

Solution: Turn off the macros in TWS (thanks to Darlene E. for submitting this tip).

Problem: The keyboard sometimes locks up under Windows NT/2000/XP.

Cause: Windows NT/2000/XP differentiates between the left and right Ctrl/Alt/Shift keys and does not correctly process commands from Shorthand for the Ctrl/Alt/Shift keys on the right side of the keyboard.

Solution: This has been fixed in Version 8.50 and later for normal typing conditions. There is one exception: The keyboard's SHIFT key could be stuck in the "down" position under the following circumstances:

  1. Your keyboard's NumLock is ON
  2. You attempt to expand a Shorthand keyword containing the following Shorthand code: {@KEY shift+numpadKey} where numpadKey is any key on the numeric keypad.
The problem is that, under the above conditions, Windows (not Shorthand) is generating an extra SHIFT DOWN keystroke which messes up your keyboard's state. The recommended workaround is to turn off NumLock if you need to simulate shifted numeric keypad keys (e.g. Shift+Home, Shift+End, Shift+Ins, Shift+Del, Shift+PgDn, Shift+Left Arrow). Or you can also press and release the SHIFT key on the left side of the keyboard to reset your keyboard back to its normal state if you observe your keyboard is erroneously generating shifted keytrokes.

Problem: When Shorthand plays back text, the first character of the keyword is not erased. Keystrokes or characters are also sometimes lost after Shorthand expands a keyword.

Cause: Your word processor cannot process the keystrokes fast enough.

Solution: Choose Preferences from the File menu and increase the delay between keystrokes. This will slow down Shorthand.

Problem: Keystrokes are lost when using Shorthand to open or switch to a new window.

Cause: Windows may ignore keystrokes while opening or repainting a window.

Solution: Try inserting an {@PAUSE} tag after the keystroke command to open or switch to a new window. This will allow Windows time to open and display the new window.

Problem: Shorthand does not insert characters correctly into the application.

Cause: The application is incompatible with the current setting of Shorthand's text transfer method.

Solution: Try changing the text transfer method. Shorthand has two methods for transferring text: by keyboard simulation and by simulating the clipboard paste operation. If you encounter a problem inserting text into an application, try changing the text transfer method in Shorthand's Preferences box. If you are using Microsoft Word, be sure to disable MS Word?s AutoCorrect wizard by choosing AutoCorrect from MS Word?s Tools menu and unchecking the "Replace Text as You Type" box.

Problem: Keyboard does not respond to keystrokes.

Cause: Shorthand may have gotten out of sync with your word processor.

Solution: Use the mouse to activate Shorthand by clicking on the Shorthand icon. Click the Hide button to send Shorthand to the background; this should reset your keyboard. If your keyboard still doesn't work: Shorthand may have crashed; shut down and restart (reboot) Windows.

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