By ActiveWord Systems, Inc. Free to try Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Oct 11, 2010

ActiveWords is a nifty free program that does seven useful things when you type key words or letter combinations and hit the space bar. In fact, the developers believe program's seven categories make up the 80 percent of computing tasks in the 80/20 paradigm: Substitute Text, Launch a Program, Open a Document, Navigate to an Internet Site, Send E-Mail, Open a Folder, and Scripting. You specify your ActiveWords using quick, easy commands, and then associate the words with one of the seven tasks via simple wizards. It lets you create easy-to-remember shortcuts that do what you need most often: Type "addy," for example, and have ActiveWords fill in your entire address. Or launch a program by typing its initials. Open a Web site with a word you're typing anyway; a dictionary site, for example.

ActiveWords' main interface is a thin toolbar that appears at the top of your desktop and looks like part of a maximized application. A Menu and basic icons flank a display that shows text as it's typed. Clicking the ActiveWords symbol on the right-hand side calls up a dialog for selecting basic ActiveWord commands such as add, help, find, and weather (which fetches weather information) as well as editing and customizing the choices. We began with the video tutorial, which is brief and does an excellent job of walking new users through each function. We typed "add," hit the space bar twice, and the Add ActiveWords wizard opened. We selected Open a Document, browsed to a file, selected it, labeled the action, created a four-letter ActiveWord, deselected the Confirmation Flag (since the "word" was an abbreviation, not standard English) and created an active word, which launched the silly GIF animation we'd selected when we typed it and hit the spacebar: pretty neat. It'll be well worth your time to create ActiveWords for your name, address, and groups of email addresses, and for launching programs you often use but don't want on the Start menu. Whatever it is you want to do quicker, ActiveWords can make it so.

The freeware version is limited to 30 ActiveWords, which is probably more than most users need anyway. Power users can get the commercial version, which handles more like 20,000 ActiveWords.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 4.0

Version 4.0: The main list of your Words and Actions is now much more attractive, flexible, and powerful. You can easily locate, add, and edit your Words and Actions in a clean, contemporary user interface. Search is super powerful, allowing you to restrict search text by field and by Action type, making it very easy to quickly locate exactly what you are looking for. You can drag'n drop almost any content or Windows objects to the Floating Icon, instantly creating Words and Actions. Drag'n drop sections of documents and Web pages, URLs, files, folders, programs, you name it. A new Substitute Content Action includes a robust RTF editor, and images are stored in the local database, assuring they will be included whenever a Substitute Content Action is triggered.


Release August 26, 2019
Date Added August 26, 2019
Version 4.0

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows, Windows 7, Windows 10
Additional Requirements None


Total Downloads 6,537
Downloads Last Week 1
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Developer's Description

ActiveWords makes all words active. Enter or select any text in any context at any time, and be directly transported to services related to the meaning of that text. Make a small investment in tagging all the things you do with words that mean something to you.

Then, trigger those words, your ActiveWords, to instantly get what you want. ActiveWords includes the AWInkPad, leveraging the power of your 20,000-word vocabulary to both keyboard and ink on Windows touch devices. You can now sync your ActiveWords between Windows x86 devices using most cloud services.

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