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Entries in TextExpander (24)

Sunday
Sep242017

TextExpander and External Keyboards on iOS

TextExpander is a fantastic tool that fundamentally allows you to enter a string of characters and trigger a response that can replace the text with different content (e.g. plain text, formatted text, an image). On some platforms it can do even more, triggering scripts; though generally the intent is to then return and output some content.

One of the platforms TextExpander is available on is Apple’s iOS, the operating system that runs iPhones and iPads. Whilst these devices have on screen virtual keyboards, they also allow interaction through physical keyboards, but in order to use TextExpander effectively with physical keyboards on these devices you have to do a little preparation work. Whilst Apple’s own built-in text expansion functionality works (and I have a handful of simple expansions set-up in there) it is a pale shadow in comparison to TextExpander.

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Saturday
Aug052017

TextExpander Wants

The cloud-based cross-platform release of TextExpander has been around for over a year having launched in early April 2016. Whilst there has undoubtedly been a lot of progress on the apps (the Windows version in particular) the promise of the cloud platform I still don't think has been realised and there's still a lot of scope for improvement.

In this post, I'm offering up a handful of ideas of where I'd like to see an improvement or offering from TextExpander. Most of these have already been shared with TextExpander, but the more consumer interest in a feature the more likely they'll be to implement it and the sooner they'll consider doing so.

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Sunday
Mar052017

Why I Stuck With TextExpander

Around a year ago Smile released their new version of TextExpander. This new version created quite a bit of 'heated debate' in the Mac community and whilst many eschewed the update I chose not to. I'm glad I did and I thought others might find it interesting to get some idea of why that's the case.

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Monday
Dec192016

TextExpander: Merge Text to a Single Line

It's the little things that really irritate me. I've just got one of those personalities I guess. I can't help myself - if there's an itch I always have to find a way to scratch it. One of these itches for me is copying and pasting text out of PDFs and getting unwanted line breaks in the resulting plain text. I decided to address this irritation with a little bit of text manipulation.

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Saturday
Apr232016

Exporting Snippets from TextExpander (v6)

TextExpander has long used Dropbox to synchronise snippets, but with the advent of the latest version (v6 on Mac), the snippets are now synchronised by a proprietary synchronisation service. Thoughts about the move to a software as a service (SaaS) model aside this then poses the question how can you access your snippets for the purposes of independent backup or sharing with users on earlier TextExpander versions?

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Monday
Apr042016

Keyboard Maestro: Adding TextExpander Snippet Expiry Dates

In my last post I described a method for tagging temporary TextExpander snippets with a date stamp and using some scripting to automatically remove expired snippets. In that post I mentioned that I use Keyboard Maestro to schedule the expired snippets clean-up script and that I also used it to help me in setting up those temporary snippets. In this post I'm going to provide some details on exactly how I'm using Keyboard Maestro to help with this.

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Monday
Apr042016

Auto Managing TextExpander Temporary Snippets

Any Mac user interested in things such as automation and productivity will no doubt have come across TextExpander, Smile Software's utility that allows you to instantly replace a string of text with a different string of text. This can be used to auto correct typographic errors, insert boiler plate chunks of text or even trigger scripts or fill-in forms that can return more dynamic sets of text. Like so many others who start using it I now find it indispensable.

The expansion snippets that people create fall into two time-based categories. Those that you want to use long term/forever and those that you need for just a little while to get the job done. Today I'd like to share a little Mac automation to help with the latter.

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Saturday
Jan162016

ThoughtAsylum 2015 Review

Happy new year everyone. We've passed another year's end so once again it's time to take a look back at what's been most popular on thoughtasylum.com in the past twelve months and what's I've been up to.

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Saturday
Oct312015

TextExpander: Clipboard Underlining

A while back I refreshed and expanded upon my TextExpander snippet groups and promised to start covering some of the inner workings of what the snippets actually do. Today I found a bit of time to make a start on that and I'm beginning with some of the snippets related to underlining.

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Saturday
Sep122015

Smart Quotes in TextExpander Form Fields

Today I was using one of my TextExpander snippets that utilises form fields to add some content to this site. I'm one of those people who still typically works in HTML when working with a content management system (sometimes it is the only way to get things how I want them) and when I was adding HTML content into one of the form fields I noticed that the double quotes for the attributes were being automatically being turned into smart quotes rather than staying as the nice simple dumb quotes I needed. It wasn't something I'd noticed before and it was incredibly frustrating to correct after using the form field each time. After a bit of digging around in TextExpander preferences, etc. I finally found the rather simple solution.

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