Abby - Abbreviation expader

Abby is an add-in to Microsoft Developer Studio 97. It expands abbreviations like "abb" in good old vi.
For example, "w" can be expanded to:
    while () {

Please send bug reports and suggestions to Latest version available at


This software is provided as-is. Don't blame me if it trashes your source files, your system, or your life.


  1. Copy Abby.dll to you add-ins folder of Developer Studio:
    (c:\program files\devstudio\sharedide\addins
  2. Copy the *.abb files to your Windows folder (Sorry).
  3. In Developer Studio, go to the "Tools" menu and select "Customize...".
  4. Go to the "Add-ins and Macro Files" tab (the last one). Mark the checkbox next to "Abby" as checked, and click "Close".
  5. Developer Studio adds a new toolbar with the Abby button. You can move this button to another toolbar by pressing the Alt key while dragging the button.
To deactivate Abby, perform steps 3-4, but uncheck the checkbox next to Abby. To completely uninstall Abby:
  1. Exit Developer Studio.
  2. Delete Abby.dll from your Developer Studio add-ins folder.
  3. Delete the *.abb files from your Windows folder.


Type an abbreviation and press Ctrl+Shift+Space or click the Abby button. Abby will complete it for you.
To add or change the abbreviations, you will need to edit the abbreviations files. There is a separate abbreviations file for each language:
  • - C/C++
  • - Java
  • - Visual Basic
  • - HTML
  • - Everything else
All abbreviations files should be in the Windows folder.

Abbreviations File Format

An abbreviation file contains a series of abbreviations followed by their expansions. Each abbreviations is written in a single line, starting with "@@" and then the abbreviation itself. All the following lines (up to the next line starting with "@@") are the expansion.For example:
while () {
for (;;) {
You can specify where the cursor will be placed after the abbreviation is expanded by using typing "!!" in the desired position. For example:
while (!!) {
If you type "!!" in two positions, the entire text between them will be selected after the expansion. For example:
while (!!condition!!) {


Mark Bartosik helped me solve a nasty COM reference leak. Thanks Mark!

Download Abby - 20KB


  • New version 1.5 available

    Posted by Legacy on 12/25/1999 12:00am

    Originally posted by: Yonat Sharon

    You can get the new version from

    It will only work for Visual C++ 6. If you had an older version installed, please remove all occurrences of "Abby" from the registry before installing.

  • Problem in VC6

    Posted by Legacy on 08/09/1999 12:00am

    Originally posted by: shai

    The idea is greate!!!
    but when I try to follow the installation instructions I get a message : "unable to load this add-in because its server object failed to be created..."

    I'm using: VC6++, NT4(sp3).

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • Moving from an on-premises environment to Office 365 does not remove the need to plan for disruptions or reduce the business risk requirements for protecting email services. If anything, some risks increase with a move to the cloud. Read how to ease the transition every business faces if considering or already migrating to cloud email. This white paper discusses: Setting expectations when migrating to Office 365 Understanding the implications of relying solely on Exchange Online security Necessary archiving …

  • Power and Automation Equipment makers face constrained CAPEX, equipment interoperability issues, and process inefficiencies. However, they can take advantage of secure Internet of Things (IoT) intelligent devices and systems to make better business decisions around asset utilization and performance, while simultaneously optimizing equipment interoperability and services efficiency. Watch this brief video to see how you can unlock the full potential of your assets and value chain.

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date