TextExpander 5 - Suggestions Reminders and More

TextExpander 5 – Suggestions Reminders and More

I recently bought a new Mac, and instead of migrating my files and settings I decided to start fresh and install things as I needed them.[1]

Let me tell you, that 10 minutes without TextExpander was painful.

TextExpander is one of my absolute favorite applications. In fact, friend-of-DocumentSnap Deron Bos captured my thoughts from a talk I gave last year.

Give Me My TextExpander!

In fact, I’ve used TextExpander four times in writing this blog post up to this point. (If you don’t know what it is, TextExpander is an application that allows you to create small snippets of text, and when you type them they automatically expand to larger blocks of text. A Windows equivalent is Breevy. Oops, there’s five TextExpander uses.)

TextExpander 5 is a new version that has some nice new features that you can see listed here, but here are some of my favorites.

Snippet Suggestions

TextExpander 5 will watch for phrases you type repeatedly and can suggest them as new snippets. This is a clever way to find opportunities for even more time and keystroke-savings.

TextExpander 5 Suggestions

I was worried that it would clutter up your snippets, but what it does is create a new Suggested Snippets group with no shortcuts assigned. Then you can go through there and add what you’d like.

TextExpander 5 Suggestions

Snippet Reminders

You know how sometimes you type something that you had a TextExpander snippet for, but you had forgotten? You can now be reminded.

TextExpander Reminder

I have to admit, I was very slightly disappointed with this. I was hoping that it would somehow remind me as I was typing, so I still have an opportunity to use the snippet to complete the rest of the text.

The way it is now, it is saying “Hey! You could have used a snippet just now but you didn’t. Smarten up next time.”

Still handy, but it could be even better (in my opinion – I have no idea how you’d do it from a UI perspective).

Inline Search

You can assign a keyboard command to search for snippets, and the search will now be inline where you are typing. Nice touch.

Inline Search

That’s Just A Few

That’s a few of the new features that I think are cool, but TextExpander 5 has added things like iCloud Syncing, the ability to move your Dropbox-synced library, a nice snippet preview and an easier way to use fill-in snippets.

David Sparks made a nice little video showing off some of the changes in TextExpander 5. It’s a solid upgrade.

  1. Pro-Tip: Doing this in the middle of a new course launch is not super-smart. Lesson learned.  ↩

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 4 comments

Pat Collins - July 8, 2015 Reply

I wasn’t clear in my question. I have Windows 7 so I would have to use Breevy. I don’t trust the public cloud so I have considered buying a private cloud. Does that make any difference in safety and will a private cloud work with Dropbox in sharing info among all my electronics?

Pat Collins - July 8, 2015 Reply

Do you know if I use a private cloud of my own, will it work like Dropbox?

Monica M. Ricci - June 26, 2015 Reply

Brooks, I have wondered how the TextExpander app is better than the native capability of the Mac OSX (SysPrefs > Keyboard > Text > add text shortcut to the left hand column and the expanded text to the right column)

Do you know if the TextExpander app has anything super fab that the OSX has missed?


    Brooks Duncan - June 29, 2015 Reply

    Good question! First, of course, if the built-in snippets work well for you then that’s cool – no need to spend the money. I like TextExpander because I find it works a little faster and is a lot more configurable. I find that it also allows you to do more geeky things like date math, moving cursors around, fill in forms, and the like.

    If you’re really curious, you could give TextExpander’s free trial a run and see how you like it.

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