Recently, Smile software updated its TextExpander beta for Windows. This is a big update, making TextExpander on Windows look and feel like its Mac counterpart.

In normal use the beta is definitely more reliable and makes editing snippets easier. Having all your snippets available on all platforms is an added plus. TextExpander is one of those programs that you appreciate more each day and feel lost when the computer or device you are using doesn’t have it.

TextExpander does what its name implies: it takes a short text string and turns it into an expanded text string. The most common example is typing the letters “btw” and the program types “by the way.” TextExpander offers so much more than just text expansion, though, which makes it an essential part of your productivity toolbox.

Currently, my most used snippet is my work email address. I type “xwem” (x work email) and the program types out my full work email address. I use this multiple times every day. I use other phrases for the address and phone numbers as well.

I’ve written about ideas here and here.

There are countless ways to spend less time typing repetitive text and redeem that time for other purposes. This new update will give Autohotkey a competitor for those using iDevices and Windows. Each program has its pros and cons, so check them out for yourself and see what better fits your workflow.

I’m a big fan of entering data once and reusing it over and over. TextExpander allows me to do that on all my devices now, almost without thinking. If I find myself typing the same phrases over and over, I will turn that phrase into an expandable text snippet. With a little practice, typing the phrase becomes second nature. Less time on the keyboard is always a good thing.


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