Snippets make TextExpander amazing

TE_logoIf you re not familiar with TextExpander, it’s a utility which runs in the background on your computer all the time and does nothing, until you type out a predefined string of characters.  It then leaps into action, replacing those characters with a preset block of text.  Simple enough.  For example, you could make a “snippet” with your email signature in it.  And then give it a trigger like “mysig”.  Now every time you type “mysig” at the end of an email your full signature will get dropped in.

I’ve been running TextExpander for some time now but using it rarely.  Mainly i’d been using it to sign emails, like in the example above.  One of my gripes over the software is the lack of support for URLs in the snippets.  So while i was googling around looking for a trick to get URLs working i stumbled across TextExpanders snippets page.  Here you may download files loaded with preset snippets for all sorts of useful typing situations.  My favorite is definitely the HTML snippets file!  Maybe you are not like me in that >= 50% of the typing i do in a day is in HTML / CSS / PHP.  But if you are like me in this regard then you will certainly appreciate these easy and useful text replacement shortcuts!

For example, the old way:

<p>When i <em>need</em> to add a <a href=”#”>link</a> to something there’s a<i>lot</i> of extra typing &amp; time involved.</p>

Here’s is how i would type the above example, the NEW way (the TextExpander codes are in bold):

,pWhen i ,emneed to add a ,a#link to something there’s a,ilot of extra typing .amp time involved.

The end result of “the NEW way” looks identical to “the old way”, but my fingers had to work much less.  And they are very happy about that.  And so am I!

It’s WAY easier to show this in action, rather than tell you how it works.  So, if you’re bored, or interested, watch this movie wherein i build an HTML page in seconds (more like 2 minutes) using the magical powers of text replacement:

Did you notice how it places the cursor for you?  Making it even MORE useful and time-saving!  OK, i’m excited about text replacement, probably because it’s taken me years to get on the bandwagon.  Or maybe it’s because i keep falling off the bandwagon?  That’s fun too! 😉

PS:  The music in the video is Flying Lotus – Dance Floor Stalker, off the Reset vinyl EP.  In case you were curious….

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