A few weeks back, I put up a preliminary post about TextExpander, the popular program for the Mac that many people have been telling me for years that I need to get. My verdict was that I enjoyed the program, and that I thought it was a cool tool for the mac, but I didn’t know if the luster would wear off by the time my free trial wore out. Shortly after I made that post, I was contacted by Smile On My Mac, the producers of TextExpander, who offered me a free license with the caveat that I give my honest review of the product once it’s done, no holds barred.
Well, here goes …
I do a lot of repetitive writing, so the first real use for me came with that. For example, I write this phrase a lot:
3/8-inch ratchet and socket
I know, riveting stuff, I’ll be getting a Pulitzer soon. But regardless, when you type that phrase at least 10 times a day, it can get a little boring and time consuming. Now, I type in the following phrase, just without the spaces:
3 8 r s
That’s it. Typing four letters every time is substantially faster, so of course, that saves me time. But that’s just the basic stuff.
I send out a lot of form letters, and most of them start the exact same way: 150 words describing me and my business, etc. Now, I type in four letters as a shortcut, and it’s done. I can move on to personalizing the letter and being more productive. Once again, this may only save me a minute or two of time, but it adds up.
But as I was using TextExpander more frequently, I started to notice things that I was consistently typing wrong, and realized that TextExpander could fix the problem for me. For example. I type the word “chevrolet” all the time, and it should be written as “Chevrolet,” capped. By entering the lowercase version into TE, with the corrected version in there as well, now I never have to worry about it. I also type pretty quickly, and sometimes I type “the” as “teh” or “hte.” Now I can autocorrect that as well.
The biggest thing for me though, is that on request, TE can be case sensitive. Meaning that typing “Teh” won’t correct to “The” unless I enter it that way.
Ultimately, TE is one of those rabbit-hole programs where the deeper you go, the more you learn about what it does, and how much you can use it. For me, this is now a valuable part of my Mac toolbox, and I anticipate using it on other computers in the future as well.
But that’s not everything. I also received a copy of TextExpander for the iPhone. I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but once I do I’ll give you an update.