The below screencast is one of nine that I did for the new version of TextExpander for the Mac. At the end, I added a bit about automating email subject lines and message bodies with one snippet and I seem to have touched a nerve. I’ve received a ton of email about this. A lot of people didn’t realize this is possible.
The trick is the Tab key. In most mail applications, the tab key moves you from the subject line to the message body. Setting the curser in the subject line, you can have a TextExpander snippet type the subject line, the tab key, then the message body. For instance:
Subject: How about some waffles?
I’m really hungry for some waffles. How about you?
If you are automating email that includes a standard subject line this can be a huge time saver. Don’t forget you can also include variables and fill-in snippets in the subject line as well. For instance, if you are standardizing the email for your monthly invoice, the subject line snippet could be:
ACME %b Invoice
which would render as:
ACME June Invoice
Anyway, if this stuff interests you, it wouldn’t hurt to watch the below screencast. If you’d like to see more in this screencast series, click on the “Playlist” button. I’m proud of all of them.
Today Smile Released TextExpander for Mac, Version 5. The new version has some great new features including the ability to recognize frequently typed phrases and offer to create new snippets for you, remind you when you type a phrase for which you already have a snippet, improvements to fill-in snippets, iCloud sync, and Java Script support. I did a whole series of videos on the new version and they came out great. There are 10 videos in total and they really give you the soup-to-nuts training in TextExpander. If you are already a pro, just watch the “What’s New” video below.
This is probably a lawyer thing but I often find myself adding signature lines to the bottoms of documents, particularly contracts. Something like this.
Dated: November __, 2014 ________________
I was doing this the other day for about the millionth time in my 21-year career as an attorney when it occurred to me I could automate this with TextExpander. Here is my new snippet
The first bit:
Dated: %B __, %Y ____________________________
This creates a line with the date using the format of Current Month __, Current Year (e.g. November __, 2014). Then it tabs and and draws a line for the signature.
The second bit:
This repeatedly bangs the tab key and then dumps the contents of the clipboard.
The way I use this is to select the person’s name from somewhere else in the document, copy it, and then fire off the snippet at the bottom. I use xsigline to trigger this snippet.
This is probably a lawyer-only thing but I do know a few lawyers read this site. Either way, you can download the snippet here.
The new TextExpander Touch for iOS is pretty great. You know that problem where apps like Apple Mail and Pages didn’t recognize TextExpander? Not anymore. Here’s a little video I made showing off the new keyboard.
My beloved TextExpander is 50% today at StackSocial. TextExpander is my most frequently used automation tool. It replaces small bits of text with great big chunks of text and so much more. Want an idea what you can do with this application? Take a look at my TextExpander snippets.
There are a lot of ways to paste text. The most common way I do it is with the Command-C and Command-V shortcuts. However, a lot of times you are working with text that is carrying a lot of formatting baggage and when you use the standard paste, the text shows up in your document unusable. Most apps that deal in text give you an option to paste and match formatting and the keyboard shortcut for that is usually Shift-Option-Command-V or some near-variation of that. The trouble is that the shortcut isn’t universal and, even worse, some apps that involve text fields don’t have any support for an option to paste as plain text.
TextExpander to the rescue. This is perhaps the easiest snippet I’ve ever posted. I just invoke the clipboard formatted as plaint text. My snippet is xpt (X-Plain-Text). This works everywhere on the Mac. (Even Microsoft Word.) I find typing x-p-t much faster than wrapping my fingers around more complicated combinations or mousing into menus.
I’ve also got one for pasting rich text from the clipboard, x-r-t, that I use much less frequently.
I know this is a bit obvious but I showed this to a friend recently and she thought it was pretty swell. You can download my clipboard snippets below. Also, I’ve got a lot more snippets for download over here.
Max Masnick is using Text Expander to quickly enter defer and due dates in OmniFocus. Max primarily uses this for events that have the same defer and due dates. For example if you want a task to disappear but show up as due on Monday at 9am. I don’t have much cause for that style task because I so rarely use due dates but there is no reason you couldn’t also use this to defer with later relative due dates, for example two weeks from Friday, which in OmniFocus speak would be 2w Fri. Moreover, Max figured out how to combine defer dates and TextExpander so of course he gets a link.
The good doctor did a post last night following up on our recent MPU episode on TextExpander in which he takes a lot of the grunt work out of my existing Markdown link TextExpander snippet. It’s a very nice bit of work and worth setting up.
I had the pleasure of producing a video for Smile Software about the new features in TextExpander touch version 2.5. I’d like the think the video does a good job of getting you up to speed with TextExpander touch regardless of your experience with the app and demonstrates some of the new 2.5 features. The snippet group management is much improved. You can now watch, download, and otherwise consume it at Vimeo.
Yesterday Smile released TextExpander Touch version 2.5 for iOS. This free update includes a new iOS 7-style user interface and several tools to assist snippet management from within iOS. They spent a lot of time working on the little things and it shows. Some of my favorite new features are:
I use TextExpander often on both the Mac and iOS. The new URL callback method for sharing snippet groups to apps has been working fine and I’m happy to see Smile giving TextExpander even more love. Did you know I’ve got a bunch of snippet groups right here for download?