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TextExpander has been around for years. I knew about it but never really took the time to check it out. Recently I got the iOS App – TextExpander Touch. Like my love for 1Password, I started using TextExpander on my iPhone and then figured it would be great to also have it on my Mac. Recently TextExpander for Mac was on sale and I couldn’t pass up that deal.


What is TextExpander?

TextExpander allows you to create shortcuts that expand out to the full text that you type on a regular basis. For example, let’s take “MacGroup-Detroit, Inc.” I type that all the time in email, web forms, word processing apps and graphic design apps. With TextExpander I setup a shortcut called “mgd” and now whenever I type “mgd”, it expands to “MacGroup-Detroit, Inc.” It’s not just for simple one liners either. TextExpander can expand a typed shortcut to full paragraphs of formatted text as well. This is great for instant access to your price lists, directions to your ¬†location and just about anything else you can think of.

Besides being able to expand basic text, formatted text, text with images and current date/time, TextExpander also has a cool “Fill In” feature. This is where you can create a snippet of text that when it expands it will have fields for you to key in the relevant info for that particular text. I didn’t realize how much I would use this feature until I setup one. Now I’m using it all the time.


Syncs with Dropbox

Like I said, I started with TextExpander Touch and I had already started creating some snippets on my iPhone and iPad. Of course when I got the Mac version I wanted to use those same snippets. The good news here is that TextExpander for Mac and TextExpander Touch all sync with Dropbox. If you create or edit a snippet in one place you’ll have it on all your other devices too.


How does it work with iOS Devices?

While TextExpander is pretty universal with your Apps on your Mac, it’s limited to the Apps that support it on iOS. Here’s a complete list of supported iOS Apps that work with TextExpander Touch. While the built-in iOS Mail App and Message App don’t support TextExpander Touch, you can create new email messages and SMS messages directly within the TextExpander Touch App so that you can take advantage of your snippets

iOS 5 promisses to bring similar functionality to the OS itself. This will be handy as it will be supported in the built-in apps, but like most built-in features it won’t be as robust ast TextExpander Touch. It will be great to have both!

You can get TextExpander for Mac for $34.99 here from the iTunes

You can get TextExpander Touch for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for $4.99 here from the iTunes

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3 Responses to TextExpander is Awesome!

  1. Mark Stevens says:

    Great article! Text expansion itself is awesome and seems like something everyone should use. Apple builds something in but its kind of lame. The one I use which is in between Apples and TextExpander is yType:
    It simply does text exansion, does it well, much less expensive, fast and is just plain handy. I tried them all and yType really worked well.

  2. James Katt says:

    For Mac OS X, I far prefer Spell Catcher.

    Spell Catcher can do everything that TextExpander can on Mac OS X – AND MORE.

    Of course it has text expansion.

    But it also has spell checking, text conversion, background key press archiving (in case the power goes off or the Mac crashes and you don’t want to lose what you just wrote), etc. etc.

    It costs the same but does more than TextExpander.

    • James Katt says:

      Another thing about Spell Catcher:

      It has multiple dictionaries – tech, medical, Spanish and other foreign languages. It can check grammar. It can spell check on the fly.

      It is far better than TextExpander. And it was on the Mac years and years before TextExpander was developed.

      It is one of those hidden, word-of-mouth gems.