Thought Asylum TextExpander Snippet Groups Update

Since the release of TextExpander 5 on OS X and TextExpander Touch 3 on iOS I’ve been updating and revising my TextExpander snippets to take advantage of some of the new functionality and to get some of the contents better aligned for sharing online with the public. Today I’m happy to say I’ve taken a significant step forward with a new update to the Thought Asylum TextExpander snippets groups.


I’ve been publishing posts relating to TextExpander for some time now (since 2011 in fact) and I’ve been sharing snippets online for just as long. But many of the snippets I have had and have continued to create were not neatly placed in snippet groups suitable for sharing with the public at large and there were still a few more rough edges on some others than I would have liked.

With the latest major releases for TextExpander I decided to overhaul my snippets and add some new ones based on some of the new functionality. I decided that this would also be a good opportunity to have a purge and to restructure my snippets into groups where I could share a lot more of them online. I’ve now reached a point on my to-do list where I’m publishing, or re-publishing in some cases, what I’ve got.


There are likely still some rough edges and there is certainly some supporting information I want to put out onto this site in the form of some blogs that explain some of the snippets in more detail, but as it stands I’m hoping there’s enough information available to get people up and running with most if not all of the snippets.

For those past visitors who are particularly astute, you may have noticed I’ve restructured a little bit of the site to make the TextExpander information (as well as information on Alfred, Dropbox, Evernote and Workflow) more obvious and accessible. Within the TextExpander section there are now several areas of information.

TextExpander Overview - provides a few details about what TextExpander is with the other information it used to hold being pushed out to newer pages.

TextExpander Posts - lists the blog posts on the site that relate to TextExpander along with a few words describing the post.

Snippet Groups - the previous list of snippet group downloads has been expanaded into a new section listing the snippet groups and information about each. Each group now has its own page documenting the snippets in the group, the abbreviation to action the snippet and some details about what it does (with a link to relevant blog posts where available).

  • Dates - snippets to insert formatted dates and time stamps.
  • Miscellaneous - snippets to do other things that don’t yet fit into any other snippet groups.
  • Shell Commands - snippets to automate getting information via some automation around executing shell commands on OS X.
  • Symbols - snippets to insert various useful symbols (typographic, mathematical, etc.)
  • Text - snippets to process and format text. Either working with fill-ins or more frequently the clipboard, these snippets will transform tour text in a variety of very useful ways.
  • TextExpander - snippets that use the AppleScript-ability of TextExpander to return information about or work with TextExpander. A very “meta” snippet group.
  • Web - snippets based on working with web technologies (such as HTML), external web services or even your web browser.

I’ve also tried to standardise on some of the naming. Where a snippet isn’t plain text for example you’ll see some types in parentheses at the end of the name.

  • (AS) = AppleScript.
  • (BASH) = BASH/Bourne Again Shell.
  • (JS) = JavaScript.
  • (PY) = Python.
  • (PERL) = Perl.

I’ve also tried to mark snippets working with the clipboard content using “[Clipboard]” and those making use of fill-ins as “[Fill In]”; though I can almost certainly guarantee I’ll have missed naming some of the latter.

As many of the updates are still quite new I’ve not necessarily given them a long period for bedding in and the usual level of testing, but hopefully they’re in a serviceable state for wider use.

What’s Next?

As mentioned above I do want to write up some of the snippets in blog posts and explain a little bit more about how they work. Hopefully I’ll be able to get at least one or two out shortly, but I’ve so much I want to blog about at the moment and so little time to do it that this might take me a little longer than I’d like.

I also still have some snippets to create on my to-do list so you can certainly look forward to some further updates to these snippet groups when I actually sit down to start working through them.

I’m also open to suggestions for snippets to create. Ones that I might personally find useful will probably take priority, but if you’d like to send me any ideas, why not send a tweet to @sylumer?

I hope that people find at least a few useful snippets in this latest update and if you do find it useful please let me know by giving me a shout out on Twitter.

Author: Stephen Millard
Tags: | textexpander |

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