During the average workday, and even in our spare time, we often find ourselves typing the same things over and over again. Whether its personal details for a form, your email address to sign into an account or even the same work email over and over again, we spend multiple hours each week effectively writing the same things over and over again. It’s a classic example of the ‘busy work’ we do without even realizing it- wasting our time doing something tedious and repetitive because there seems to be no alternative. Which brings us to the question – why not let a computer or mobile device do the typing for us instead?
- One of my favorite applications for this very purpose is textexpander. It’s one of the best text expansion software’s out there. It works by expanding prefixed abbreviations into email addresses, phone numbers, personal details and even entire emails. All it needs is a few minutes of setting your preferences and you’re good to go. It’s available as a paid app with a long free trial period on Apple platforms.
- The first step after launching textexpander is to assign the abbreviations, also known as snippets that you want it to use to expand on. When you first run the application, it offers you certain snippets as default options. These can be changed to suit your preference.
- The next step is to set you launch preferences, which basically means assign the applications you want textexpander to apply to. You can choose between selecting specific applications and applying it to all, as well as what sound effect you want to assign to each different snippet expansion.
- The final step before your textexpander is ready to go is to assign your expansion preferences. Just click on the preferences icon in the top right corner and you can decide at what point your text expansions will kick in whether immediately after you key in the last character of the abbreviation or after you hit a particular key to execute it (called delimiter in the software). If you wish to assign a delimiter key, there are over 30 options to choose from pretty much most of the keyboard! You can even customize preferences to toggle on off in this window.
- Once this last step is completed, your textexpand application is ready to begin doing your work for you. All you need to do now is type in the appropriate snippet/ abbreviation and sit back as the software does your typing for you! For instance, instead of writing yet another email acknowledging something, now just type: re (or whatever abbreviation you prefer) and what you get is: The question now is – will you put that extra time to good use? Up next, let’s look at an application that helps us do exactly that.