Hands on With Textexpander 3

May 14, 2010 | 3 Comments

I was first introduced to TextExpander three years ago in an episode of MacBreak. At the time, I thought it was nifty, but couldn’t imagine spending $35 on a little utility. I was foolish.

Last summer, I blogged about how TextExpander was now at the center of my workflow. From the feedback I received, I think I got several readers hooked as well. If you aren’t familiar with TextExpander, it is an app that automatically expands short snippets of text into longer text that you define. For example, when I type ddate in any app, TextExpander shows up and automatically replace it with today’s date.

And now, we have TextExpander 3, which SmileOnMyMac released earlier this year. There are a few key changes that make this a great upgrade:

Dropbox Sync
TextExpander snippets can now sync via Dropbox, which has been much more reliable than MobileMe. There was a hack to make TextExpander 2 sync with DropBox, but now it’s built in. (You are using Dropbox, aren’t you?)

Hot Keys
Hot keys are huge! The one thing that kept me from really making the most of TextExpander was the time it took to make snippets. It’s not that it took time, but there was a little bit of effort involved, and it often became a “I’ll get to it later” kind of task. Now, you can create snippets on the fly with hot-keys. If I have text in selected, or in my clipboard, that I want to make a snippet out of, I hit the appropriate hot-key combination and a window pops up to turn it into a snippet. I’m in and out in a few seconds.

One other change is that TextExpander now runs as a stand alone app, rather than as a pref in the System Preferences. This is promoted as a good thing, though I admit I don’t know why it is. It behaves the same for me, though I notice that, on occasion, I actually have a bit of lag with expansion now that I didn’t have in TextExpander 2.

As always, SmileOnMyMac has been great when I’ve had support requests or other questions. So, when I asked them if they could offer a coupon code again, they said, “Of course!” So…

Hey…how about a coupon code?
If you are new to TextExpander, you can use the coupon code CREATE0510 for 20% of between now and June 15. This is good for a single license or a family pack. If you are upgrading, the coupon code won’t work…but it’s $15 well spent in my opinion!

  • Greg

    Thanks for the tip! I used the coupon and am now a TextEpander user. I appreciated the coupon!

  • I’ve used TE for a long time, but I’ve recently discovered Keyboard Maestro which covers the same needs and more. TE may be more elegant, but I’m trying to cut down on utilities (I’m already using Launchbar and have been convinced to use Hazel in the last Mac Power User podcast).

  • I’ve used all three of Textpander (the original Peter Mauer utility) for which I donated, TextExpander and Typinator. The most reliable is Typinator. Feature sets are pretty similar. If you have any trouble with TextExpander not being able to keep up or corrupting expanded text, I recommend giving Typinator a try.

    I started with TextPander and TextExpander so I had to spend additional money to get a replacement identical utility. And still prefer it.

    But l agree: a good text expanding utility is a real productivity save. All my boilerplate in a single place instantly accessible across all applications.