I’m an adequate typer, made better by spell checking on my Mac. Thanks to TextExpander, I’m now a quick typer for a couple of reasons: 1) I don’t have to remember what to type, and, 2) I don’t even have to do the typing. A good Mac utility should do the work for you, right?
Mac OS X’s spell check shows up nearly everywhere, giving us little warning signs when we misspell a word. That’s as far as it goes.
What we’ve always needed is a Mac utility that does more, types for us, changes bad spelling on the fly, fixes typos, and fills in tediously typed paragraphs.
SmileOnMyMac is a Mac utility software developer and their crown jewel, according to me, is TextExpander.
TextExpander saves you countless keystrokes with customized abbreviations for your frequently-used text strings and images.
There’s no way to use fewer words to tell you what TextExpander does. Unless, ‘it expands text on the fly’ works for you.
Setup & Go
TextExpander operates as a preference pane in your Mac’s System Preferences. Double-click to install, then open up the preferences.
The Snippets are those pieces of text that are spelled correctly. TextExpander reads the text you type while you type it. When you type something that isn’t spelled correctly, TextExpander and retype it for you, spelled correctly.
Snippets can be organized into groups, pulled in from external files, and even synced between Macs via your .Mac account.
Wait. There’s more!
Type Less & More
TextExpander (trying saying ‘TextExpander’ five times really, really fast) does more than just auto-correct. Use it to insert custom text into your document. Type a special keystroke combination, and TextExpander inserts the text automagically.
- Insert customized email signatures into text
- Insert entire paragraphs, images, photos, with a few keystrokes
- Fill out basic forms with pre-filled text
- Insert current date or time with a keystroke
TextExpander grows, too, and imports snippets of text from TypeIt4Me, Typinator, and you can make it learn as you work.
Set & Forget
Preference settings are straightforward. Set Hotkeys to invoke TextExpander with a few keystrokes. Set delimiters that match your requirements. Even have TextExpander play a sound when it completes fixing a typo or enters text.
TextExpander is one of my favorite set-it-and-forget-it Mac utilities. It’s not perfect, but it’s close. Available Snippets are not easy to edit, and it sometimes corrects what doesn’t need correcting.
It counts the number of keystrokes it saves you over a period of time so you can actually see how much of your life has been saved. One keystroke at a time.