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Mac Gems: TextExpander 4 extends its fill-in functionality

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:30 AM

Post your comments for Mac Gems: TextExpander 4 extends its fill-in functionality here
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#2 User is offline   leicaman 

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  Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

This has to be the biggest time saver (and wrist saver) I have ever used. Money well spent multiple times over! It's so much more capable than most people even realize. Renaming pdfs as you export them out of files in the print dialog. is one of my favorites.

For example, I have a shortcut that I use after paying a bill online. When I get the confirmation page, I use the print command, then tell it to save as a PDF. In the dialog, I type my shortcut ".cp" for credit card payment, and it pastes in "2013-01-25_[Dialog box to type in what Credit Card it is]_payment.pdf" and so I type in the credit card name and hit Return. (Also use Default Folder to jump to my Web Receipts folder.) That way every single bill I paid is clear as to who is the recipient, and it's sorted in the order paid for the year.

I highly recommend the Take Control of TextExpander ebook. It will open your eyes to many things you never imagined you could do with this awesome application.

Get it if you like to be productive. It will do it in spades. Just the time it saves me in avoiding typos in photo credits for about 50 different photographers whose work I use alone would justify the price. And it does way more!

This post has been edited by leicaman: 25 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

Eric

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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#3 User is offline   OnPoint331 

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  Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

One of the champs. I use this religiously and I'm still finding features I never knew existed. A true timesaver for repetitive text entries.
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#4 User is offline   dougeddy 

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  Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

I could not work without it! I prepare hundreds of pages off texts and materials each week and use it to insert items saving me all kids of hours of labor. Love it. Not so thrilled with the iOs version - still a product in the making but that is probably more a problem with the OS not the program. One thing I found though is that I use DropBox to synch between computers. The iPad/iPhone versions are nowhere near as robust so they have far fewer snippets. I made the mistake of approving an across the board synch and lost ALL my previous snippets for my computers - they all became the ones on the iOS system. Thank heaven for the auto backup feature! I removed the synch and reloaded the computer ones. Tragedy averted.

They also are an excellent developer for support. I've never had an question or issue that has not received prompt and complete responses. Good folk!
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#5 User is offline   MickM 

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  Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:54 AM

So I own ALL the text expansion programs and consider myself a power user of the tool. I have over 14,000 abbreviations in my library and the only program that I've found that reliably expands my abbreviations is SpellCatcherX. My understanding is that that program uses OSX's input methods to intercept keystrokes and hence doesn't need the "Enable access for assistive devices" to be set in the Accessibility system preferences. All the others use copy/paste buffer manipulation. Using TextExpander (and others) with that sized library, I was constantly frustrated by mangled expansions. Maybe iCal would do a sync or Mail do a fetch or some other background event occurred but I would get expansions occurring in the middle of the next word, or some other bizarre stuff - I just couldn't take it anymore. All the time I saved with the text expansion was more than nullified by the detailed proof reading required to catch all the mangled text.

That was a couple years ago now. Sadly, the developer of SCX passed away recently - Mountain Lion compatibility is starting to fray around the edges and I can see the day I have to jump ship. I'm wondering if there are any other heavy users out there using TextExpander that can report if these issues either still exist or have been remedied.
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#6 User is offline   Arygaetu 

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  Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:01 AM

Am I missing something? How does that differ from my Mac's System Preferences > Language & Text > Text using the FREE, built-in, very easy to use, always on everywhere, "Use symbol and text substitution" function"?

For example, I've been using it to have my Mac type my email address for a very long time. I can type "a@r" and once I type a space or return, it replaces it with the whole address. It, also, works great with my common spelling errors that happen to be another valid but very obscure word (thus, never being caught by the spell-checker) such as when I type "fro" rather than "for". And if I need it, such as in this comment, I just uncheck that particular replacement, and it is instant. No need to save, restart my Mac or re-open anything. When done, I just check it and move on. Easy-peasy! Did I mention it's FREE and on your Mac now?
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#7 User is offline   Dan Frakes 

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

View PostArygaetu, on 28 January 2013 - 04:01 AM, said:

Am I missing something? How does that differ from my Mac's System Preferences > Language & Text > Text using the FREE, built-in, very easy to use, always on everywhere, "Use symbol and text substitution" function"?

For example, I've been using it to have my Mac type my email address for a very long time. I can type "a@r" and once I type a space or return, it replaces it with the whole address. It, also, works great with my common spelling errors that happen to be another valid but very obscure word (thus, never being caught by the spell-checker) such as when I type "fro" rather than "for". And if I need it, such as in this comment, I just uncheck that particular replacement, and it is instant. No need to save, restart my Mac or re-open anything. When done, I just check it and move on. Easy-peasy! Did I mention it's FREE and on your Mac now?


TextExpander is *much* more powerful. For example, you can automatically insert the contents of the clipboard into an expanded snippet; you can have multi-line snippets with the cursor automatically positioned at a specific location after the snippet is pasted; you can insert scripts into snippets; and TE can automatically advance between fields in a form, pasting the correct values in fields as it goes. In addition to being much more powerful, TE can sync all your snippets between Macs and between your Macs and iOS devices.

EDIT: Here's a great collection of tips for TextExpander; they show some of the ways in which it's much more powerful than OS X's built-in feature:

http://mac.tutsplus....ul-tips-tricks/
Dan Frakes / Senior Editor, Macworld

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