I finally started using TextExpander about a week ago or so. I had bought it on sale for half off at some point, but never got into it until just then. And I’m loving it. I’ve saved over 5000 keystrokes already, and I know that because TextExpander keeps track of such statistics.
For those who haven’t heard of it: It’s a Mac app that you can buy in the Mac App Store that will automagically auto-expand something you type into something bigger. People use it to set up things as large as form emails, or as small as signature files or email addresses. I’ve used it for that latter piece, using a different four character shortcut for each of my four email addresses. Anytime I have to fill in a web form now, I save a bunch of repetitive typing. I type ’emgm’, for example, and it auto expands out to my Gmail.com address. ’emoo’ expands out to my OptOnline.net email address. But I also have shortcuts for typing out the image captions on AugieShoots.com, so all I have to do is input four numbers (for ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and focal length) and TextExpander handles the rest. I have shortcuts set up for writing Pipeline to make it simpler to include links, or to put my standard header at the top of each column.
Not a night goes by in using my computer where I don’t think of another way to simplify my life with this application. The only bad news is that the full program will run you $35 at the App Store, so I encourage you to try the free trial download direct from SmileSoftware.com first. The SmileSoftware.com website has a bunch of links to tutorials, books, videos, etc. where you can learn more about the program and how people are using it.
Good news for those of us stuck on PCs at work: There’s an app that the TextExpander people work with called Breevy. It will import your snippets (the ‘technical’ term for shortcuts) from your DropBox.com account to be used on your PC. If you can install software on your computer at work and they allow you access to DropBox, you’re good. Of course, it’ll run you another $35 there.