That one app would be TextExpander, one of the most productive tools anyone who does a lot of typing can get. The idea behind it is incredibly simple, but it makes you so much more productive that once you've lived with it, it's hard to live without it.
What TextExpander does is allow you to create shortcuts for long or complicated text strings, scripts or formatted text with images. What you set up and how you set it up is completely your choice, and it's the easiest of processes to do.
You have a large box to enter what you want to shorten, what type of string it is, what you want to call it for organization purposes and what you want your shortcut to be. The most important thing you need to consider when you're setting up your shortcuts is that you don't use actual words because every time you type the key combination it'll do what its meant to do.
It'll expand into your snippet.
TextExpander runs in the background, and while there's obviously an app front to interact with and set it up, most of the time it's completely unseen, minimized to the task bar. You will also benefit from making sure it's one of the apps set to launch every time you boot your machine, otherwise you'll have to launch it for it to work. And if you ever need to turn it off, you can do this within the app rather than having to quit entirely.
What's good about TextExpander is that it's every bit as reliable on Windows as it always has been on Mac. It is also, right now, quite barebones. I'd like to see support for cloud backup and restore added in the future, as well as a way to export your snippet catalog to share with others.
My first experience with TextExpander on the Mac was by importing a whole bunch of snippets set up by some Mobile Nations colleagues, which was a huge help. Right now I'm having to set up from scratch again, rather than just open a backup from days gone.
But it's very much the tool I've been missing. I've tried to find a good alternative for Windows and there are some, but I've never been as happy as with TextExpander. It's still early days on Windows, and with a great developer behind it I'm fairly confident features will continue to come.
You can try it out for a week free of charge, otherwise it's about $4 a month if you pay monthly. But if you're a writer, give it a shot, it'll transform how you work.
Download TextExpander (free trial) (opens in new tab)
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Been using Text expander (on win 10) for quite a while and it is useful albeit not cheap. If only it worked on windows mobile it would be absolutely fantastic because that is where you really need the shortcuts.
iOS has a handy shortcut feature that does exact the same. I really hope MSFT copies this feature in time for RS3 Mobile!
Nah... try shape-writing and enjoy the humorous drivel it generates.
Lol, an overpriced joke making its way from macOS to Windows is still an overpriced joke. Been doing this and a whole lot more for free with Auto Hotkey...
Its a fancy clipboard?
4 USD per MONTH? They must be joking.
4 USD per MONTH? They must be joking. No kidding. Although it seems like a nice tool, it doesn't really do anything that I can see that I'm not already doing with ClipX and AutoHotKey already.
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