Smile Software’s TextExpander and TextExpander Touch

TextExpander from Smile Software is a nifty piece of software for Mac OS X and iOS 4.x that allows you to type special abbreviation codes, and then the software, hovering in the background, expands the abbreviation to whatever snippet of text you’ve associated with that particular abbreviation. TextExpander will also correct common typos and misspelled words using a list you create, or one of the many downloadable collections of snippets. I’ve been using it for a little over a month, and it’s made my work much easier. Instead of copying and pasting standard tech support emails to help users, I open a new email form, and type the user’s name followed by an abbreviation for the specific boilerplate email. It saves the copying-and-pasting clicks. That may not seem like a lot, until you realize that I may send 100 or so basic tech support emails a day, with essentially the same text customized for the particular user’s situation.

I also use TextExpander for things like sigs, frequently typed addresses, or URLs, or chunks of HTML and CSS. Smile Software also offers TextExpanderTouch for iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. TextExpander touch can share your TextExpander snippets over local WiFi, and there’s a list of iOS apps that support TextExpander Touch, and can use its snippets. TextExpander Touch is extremely useful on my iPad.

There are a number of useful pre-defined snippits you can download to use with TextExpander; I think the page at Smile Software is the most useful starting place.

I also enthusiastically recommend the Take Control of TextExpander book.

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