Help / FAQ

Thanks for installing ABBREX! ABBREX is built to be very easy to use so all you need to do is just surf the web as usual and ABBREX will automatically expand abbreviations on the web pages you visit. Just two things to remember:

  1. If you just installed ABBREX, you may need to refresh your already open web pages.
  2. After a web page you are visiting finishes loading, ABBREX waits until you are idle for a few seconds before expanding abbreviations on that page.
If you have any questions, please check out the frequently asked questions below and do not hesitate to contact us with questions, comments or feedback. Thanks for using ABBREX and enjoy!

Click on a question to expand/collapse it or expand all questions.

  • Why doesn't ABBREX work / expand abbreviations?

    If ABBREX doesn't automatically expand abbreviations on the web pages you visit, here are a few things to check:

    1) If you just installed ABBREX and you haven't restarted your browser, you may need to refresh your already open web pages for ABBREX to expand abbreviations on those web pages.

    2) The ABBREX icon (4-way expanding arrows) on your browser toolbar indicates whether ABBREX is enabled or disabled. If the ABBREX icon is green, it is enabled. If it is red, it is disabled (you can also tell ABBREX's status by hovering over the ABBREX icon). When ABBREX is disabled it won't expand abbreviations on any web page so make sure it is enabled if you want it to expand abbreviations.

    3) Aside from the main enabled / disabled toggle, ABBREX also has the black list / white list filters you are probably familiar from other add-ons. Normally ABBREX is on black list mode meaning it will expand abbreviations on all web pages unless you put a domain in the black list. If you switch to white list mode, it won't expand abbreviations on any site unless you explicitly put that domain in the white list. So this is also something to check for if ABBREX doesn't expand abbreviations.

    4) When you go to a web page (or you have a bunch of already open tabs), ABBREX waits until the page(s) you went to (or have open) FULLY loads (This includes all page resources. Basically the browser "loading" indicator must stop). This is important. ABBREX will not automatically expand the abbreviations on the web page(s) until it is sure the web page content is fully loaded.

    5) After that, ABBREX waits until you are idle. For Firefox, this means you aren't doing anything on your PC (mousemove, type, scroll, etc.). For Chrome, this means you aren't doing anything on the any of the open web pages (mousemove, type, scroll, etc.) (The difference is because Chrome's idle API doesn't let you track small idle durations in case you are wondering).

    AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN IDLE FOR 3 SECONDS, ABBREX starts to expand abbreviations on all your open tabs one by one starting with the currently open tab. It also waits 3 seconds between each web page expansion while it does that. The reason for the 3 second wait is not to disturb user if s/he is just surfing. The fact that you are idle means that you are probably reading the web page so it's safe for ABBREX to expand abbreviations at that point so it will automatically do so.

    You can change this 3 second idle timeout to anything you want in ABBREX options. If you set it to zero, ABBREX will expand abbreviations on the web page pretty much as soon as it can after the page finishes loading. You can also set the option to something higher than 3 seconds if you don't want ABBREX to expand abbreviations on a web page unless you stay idle on the web page for a long time.

    Now all this sounds a bit complicated but normally all you need to do is: go to a web page, wait a few seconds (be idle) and ABBREX should just expand all abbreviations on the web page. That's it.

    Also, remember that you can always force ABBREX to expand abbreviations on any web page at any time (even if ABBREX is disabled and/or the web page is black listed) by left-clicking on the ABBREX icon (Firefox) or by left-clicking on the ABBREX icon and selecting "Run ABBREX on this page" from the menu (Chrome).

  • What is the difference between a context and a tag?

    Some web domains (such as forum websites) usually house many web pages about different subjects. For example game company Paradox Interactive has game forums for Europa Universalis 3 and Victoria 2 (and many other games) all under the domain. Since ABBREX abbreviations are domain based, to be able to distinguish between abbreviations concerning Europa Universalis 3 and Victoria 2 we use contexts. When adding abbreviations to ABBREX on domains that house many different websites, please specify the context it refers to. This helps ABBREX classify abbreviations within the same domain.

    Tags on the other hand help ABBREX classify abbreviations in general and not in a domain context. Tags are used for general-purpose classification and tagging of abbrevations in ABBREX just like they are used as keywords throughout the internet.

    To illustrate this with an example, let's say we want to add an abbreviation on game forum site

    PU: Personal Union

    This particular abbreviation applies to Europa Universalis game series so we enter Europa Universalis for context (you can specify multiple contexts if you want).

    We can specify, for instance, Gaming, Europa Universalis, History as tags for this abbreviation since it applies to gaming, Europa Universalis, and it is also a generic term in history.

  • What does a generic abbreviation mean?

    Some abbreviations apply to only certain websites (such as abbreviations for computer games: CS (City State) in Civilization series, ZvZ (Zerg versus Zerg) in Starcraft series, etc.). On the other hand, there are many abbreviations that are non-website specific that apply to Internet in general (such as LOL or OP (Original Poster) in forum sites). When adding abbreviation meanings to ABBREX, consider whether the abbreviation meaning you enter applies to that specific web site or Internet in general. If you have any doubts, it is usually better to leave the generic designation off.

  • What is karma? How can I earn more karma?

    Karma allows you to vote abbreviation meanings up or down. You also need karma to be able to change abbreviation meanings others entered. You earn karma by adding new abbreviation meanings or by assigning tags to domains.

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