Let us look at word abbreviations first. To abbreviate a word, you start with its first letter and add one or more of the later letters in the order in which they appear. Stated in another way, the first letter is needed but you can drop several of the other letters.
For example, to enter the word characteristics you could use any of the abbreviations given in the column labeled Short:
Any of these options will work at any time and you may use any other variation you think of: The first letter must be included and the abbreviation must have at least one other letter. Other than that, you may drop several letters of the word - the choice of abbreviations is whatever you like at the moment you are typing — no memorization necessary!
Another example shows the kind of abbreviations you could use to type the complex word dichlorodifluoromethane:
As the above examples show, abbreviations can be quite arbitrary. Many of them correspond to various styles of formulating abbreviations that specialists of the domain might use with the knowledge of what is distinctive in the product. Others, such as doooh and duh, are less likely but work equally well. The only thing that matters is that the letters you include in an abbreviation must be in the same order as in the word you abbreviate.
The fact that you do not have to memorize a given abbreviation for a given word is a significant improvement over shorthand facilities offered by word processors — AutoCorrect and QuickCorrect — and similar tools.
Each of these abbreviations offers a reduction of the number of letters to be typed that is at least a factor of four. This shows the superiority of the subset abbreviation rule of Instant Text over a word-completion approach: In a context of chemical products, there could be a long list of names that start with dichloro, or even dichlorodifluoro, and you would need to type close to half of the word before word-completion has a chance to complete it.
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