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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You know how sometimes you type something that you had a TextExpander snippet for, but you had forgotten? You can now be reminded.
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).
You can assign a keyboard command to search for snippets, and the search will now be inline where you are typing. Nice touch.
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.