by Matt Zimmerman
ZimmWriter’s keyboard trigger features pack a punch, unlocking the potential to use AI in thousands of desktop apps and millions of websites.
Let’s review the different keyboard triggers.
A magic command can be a question for the AI or an instruction, telling the AI what you’d like it to do.
Here is a simple magic command:
What color is the sky?
Highlight the text and press your magic command keyboard trigger. The default keyboard trigger for a magic command is CTRL 1. It’s similar to pressing CTRL C to copy text, but you press 1 instead of C.
Note: Be sure to use the number keys below the function (F1-F12) keys, as the right numpad keys aren’t compatible.
It’s possible, but I don’t recommend using it. Let me explain why.
In ChatGPT, the AI simulates a conversation and/or memory by feeding into your next request up to about 5,000 words from your previous conversation.
This has its pros and cons. It’s great because it’s easy to ask the AI to adjust output that isn’t quite what you want. However, it’s challenging to make it consistent. Since you’re conversing with the AI, it’s tough to pinpoint the prompt that yields your desired output.
In ZimmWriter, unlike ChatGPT, the AI only processes text you highlight. So while you can simulate a conversation by highlighting previous inputs and AI outputs, it’s not a default. But the upside is that the AI is uninfluenced by your prior conversations which makes it easier to find the perfect prompt for your workflow.
One way to do this is by typing ‘summarize=’ followed by the URL you’d like the AI to summarize.
ZimmWriter will then visit the webpage, read all the data, and feed it to the AI for analysis. It can read up to 10,000 words on a webpage and condense it down to approximately 1,000 words.
ZimmWriter also utilizes GPT-3.5 Turbo for summarization, so the total cost of processing about 10,000 words is roughly 2 cents, while processing 1,000 words costs around 1/5th of a cent.
Another way to access the internet is by pasting your URL (without the ‘summarize=’ before it) and then giving a command.
https://backlinko.com/reverse-outreach Write three paragraphs about this information.
In this case, ZimmWriter performs the same action as mentioned earlier, but instead of displaying the summary, it executes the given command (e.g., ‘Write three paragraphs about this information’) based on the summary, which is not displayed.
But there is a secret trick…
The summary, which you could’ve obtained by typing ‘summarize=’, is now stored in your clipboard without being seen. So, if you’re not happy with the output from the magic command, you don’t need to re-scrape the website and pay for the AI to summarize it again. Just paste the summary that’s already in your clipboard using CTRL V. This way, you can apply a magic command to the summary and save those extra steps!
Know how I shared with you the “summarize=” command above followed by a URL?
Well, you can also just paste in text that you want the AI to summarize! So instead of a URL, just type “summarize=” followed by up to 10,000 words of text. Highlight everything then press CTRL+1 (or whatever your keyboard trigger for magic commands are) to get a summary of the text.
The options are endless!
The “continue writing” trigger in ZimmWriter is an incredibly useful feature that you can easily activate using CTRL 2.
This magic command is simple to use – just highlight a paragraph or two and press CTRL 2. ZimmWriter will then seamlessly continue writing, elaborating on the selected idea.
I’ve found that selecting more paragraphs leads to a more condensed output, so it’s best to choose only two or three paragraphs at a time, unless you’re aiming for a summary.
Another built-in feature in ZimmWriter is the rewrite keyboard command, which by default, is set to CTRL 3.
Using the rewrite keyboard trigger works just like the other commands. Simply select the text you want the AI to rewrite, press CTRL 3, and then wait for the outcome.
I’d advise against giving the AI more than 2-3 paragraphs to rewrite at once, as you might receive a condensed, TLDR output just like with the continue writing function.
Most users don’t usually explore the advanced triggers in ZimmWriter. It’s a shame because this section holds so much power that it can truly unleash the potential of AI to assist with content generation. Let’s break down the different functionalities step by step and see what they can do.
The background information serves as a storage space for details you want to influence the AI’s writing. This information should consist of knowledge that the AI is not already aware of.
In a business context, this could include specific details about the company, while for a product, it might involve particular features or specifications.
Currently, you can store and influence the AI with about 1,000 words of background information.
Now, this is a crucial aspect. I’ll elaborate further below, but remember that the settings (including background information) on the left side of the Advanced Trigger menu affect all keyboard triggers (e.g., magic commands, rewriting, continue writing, and custom magic commands). So, when the background information box contains details, those details will influence the triggers.
However, there are two situations in which the background information (and options on the left side of the Advanced Triggers window) do not impact keyboard triggers:
You’ll also notice some buttons beneath the background information box. Use these buttons to save background information for future use. When you start ZimmWriter again, simply click the button to retrieve the saved background information.
To rename or delete the background information stored in a button, right-click on the button.
Updating the information in a button is just as easy. Click the button to load the information into the input box window, and edit it as needed. Then, right-click on the button to display a pop-up window and choose the save option from the window that appears.
The Advanced Triggers menu has some additional options on the left side of the window which can affect all keyboard triggers (e.g., magic commands, rewriting, continue writing, and custom magic commands).
The following options are already discussed in the SEO Blog Writer exhaustive guide, so I will not re-explain them here. These options include:
I’d like to mention something about the GPT model option that isn’t explained elsewhere. Both Davinci and GPT 3.5 Turbo have a 4,000-token limit for input and output combined (for example, the prompt ZimmWriter feeds into OpenAI and the data OpenAI returns). Generally, 4,000 tokens amount to about 3,000 words in the English language.
So, if you input 3,000 words (say, 1,000 words of background information, a scraped URL with a 1,000-word summary, and a 1,000-word magic command), there won’t be any extra room for returned data. ZimmWriter tries to manage this balance behind the scenes, but keep in mind that if you feed it too much, it’ll limit the amount you get back.
One last thing to note is that GPT-4 allows a larger token limit from OpenAI. GPT-4’s limit is 8,000 tokens, which is roughly 5,000 words. This gives you more flexibility when using GPT-4 with keyboard triggers in ZimmWriter. However, to access GPT-4, you’ll need an API account, which you can get by joining the OpenAI GPT-4 waitlist and receiving approval.
When you select text for a magic command that includes a URL, ZimmWriter typically scrapes the URL by default and processes your command. However, if you don’t want the URL to be scraped and are using magic commands for non-scraping purposes, simply choose the ‘disable URL scraping in magic commands’ option.
Make sure this option is enabled and that the Advanced Triggers window is open or the ‘use settings when menu is closed’ option is activated. This way, any URLs within your magic commands won’t be scraped.
The settings on the left side of the Advanced Triggers window apply only in two situations: 1) when the Advanced Trigger window is open; or 2) when the ‘use settings when menu is closed’ option is enabled.
So, choose the option to use the settings when the menu’s closed if you’d like to minimize the ZimmWriter windows and work distraction-free, while still having your custom settings enabled.
The Advanced Trigger window also features a box where you can input a magic command and save it to one of the sixteen storage slots. This is quite similar to how the background information buttons function.
To use this feature, simply input a magic command, click on an empty button, assign a name to the button, and press save. ZimmWriter will store your magic command, allowing you to access it later. This is an excellent way to keep your sixteen most useful magic commands at hand.
It’s important to note that, unlike background information, magic commands placed in the magic command input box won’t do anything on their own. Consider the buttons and input box as a repository for storing your magic commands for future use.
But there is a nifty feature that lets you link up to three of your saved magic commands to custom keyboard triggers. By default, these custom triggers are assigned to CTRL 4, 5, and 6.
As I write this article, I’m extensively using a custom trigger assigned to CTRL 4. Here’s the magic command for that custom trigger:
Rewrite the text to improve the grammar. Add contractions. Write using an active tone of voice.
In this very article, I’m utilizing a custom magic command to enhance my content’s grammar and make it stand out. I simply highlight the text I’ve written, press CTRL 4, and ZimmWriter processes my text using my personalized magic command. Here is the video where I demonstrate this handy feature.