TextExpander 2

TextExpander 2 ($29.95) from SmileOnMyMac is an application that hopefully you already know all about.

TextExpander saves you countless keystrokes with customized abbreviations for your frequently-used text strings and images.

If you do then this review is really just a reminder to check out the new features in version 2, in which case you can skip down past the next bits, and check out the New TextExpander 2 features.

Personally I absolutely adore TextExpander as it helps me so much with both those tasks that I repeat all the time, and those that I use infrequently but can never remember! To make this even better they have a group of free Snippet Files that provide a great set of start up snippets for HTML code, AutoCorrect and TidBITS


For those of you that haven’t enjoyed the benefits of the excellent TextExpander, then you can read this review, or save yourself a lot of time, both now and in the future and just head over to their site and download a copy to try. You wont regret it as it is one of the most useful applications around to save you time in a whole variety of ways:

Use different email signatures?

Easily insert a customized signature with a few keystrokes. You can even include a photo or logo!

Need easy access to boilerplate paragraphs?

Add them to your snippet library and insert them into your emails and contracts by typing a short abbreviation!

Filling out forms?

Make it easy on yourself by adding your address, email, phone and fax numbers to your snippet library!

Keep making the same typos?

Add common typos as triggers – TextExpander automatically replaces them with the correct spelling!
Free! TextExpander AutoCorrect Snippet File with over 100 common misspellings!

Want to insert HTML code quickly?

Create abbreviations for commonly-used HTML tags!

Need to insert the current date or time?

TextExpander comes with date and time snippets that you can format the way you want


I have used TextExpander for ever (or so it seems) and I have been pleasantly surprised with how much extra TextExpander 2 has packed in. I find it particularly useful for blogging where there are a whole range of repetitive tasks, and for all those review request and confirmation emails, so both the HTML and boilerplate paragraphs get a heavy use from me.

And as I move around from one Mac to another the new .mac synchronization is really useful, and the AppleScrip snippets are starting to prove very useful indeed.

New TextExpander 2 features

  • Snippet groups
  • Add snippet groups from external files
  • Add snippet groups from URLs (including password-protected URLs with Keychain support)
  • Synchronize snippet groups using .Mac synchronization
  • Print snippets
  • Hotkeys to enable / disable and to create snippets from selection or clipboard
  • Enable or disable groups on a per-application basis
  • Sort snippets by date last used to identify unused snippets for possible deletion
  • AppleScript snippets, which expand to the result of the script
  • More options for sounds
  • Sound settings on a per-group basis
  • Update snippet groups from URLs and external files at regular intervals
  • Improved performance with large numbers of snippets
  • User interface improvements
  • Additional improvements too numerous to mention

As you can see from these screenshots is has an effective, functional and easy to use interface.



Check out the full press release for more features and licensing options

TextExpander isn’t the only option around, but it is arguably the most comprehensive:


Interview with Developer Greg Scown

Where did the original idea come from

The idea for autotype probably predates the Mac. The first typing expansion application on the Mac was Riccardo Ettore’s TypeIt4Me. Peter Maurer wrote the original Textpander. We acquired it in May 2006, renamed it TextExpander, and began actively developing it.

How do you find developing in the Mac community

Love it. It’s a friendly community and a great market.

With Leopard here how do you see that effecting your future development activities

I suspect we’ll support Tiger and Leopard together for a while. We’ll add Leopard-specific features as they make sense to our products.

Elevator pitch time, what three words would you use to persuade someone to buy TextExpander 2.

Type less today!


8 thoughts on “TextExpander 2

  1. Dunks

    Initially when I heard about this I only thought in terms of quick snippets of writing for say a letter or email etc. However, it could have real uses for css or xhtml particularly setting up ‘boiler plate’ sections of code for say a horizontal or vertical navigation etc and dropping in this straight in when prototyping. Might have to take a look at this.

  2. Danny

    Thats exactly what I use it for Dunks, and for things such as the Crimson Sky email etc. its super handy.

  3. Dunks

    @Danny: Cool, glad I’m not way off track! The email idea could also be super-handy. I get so much email from staff at my school and they all seem to expect replies – if I could set up some standard responses which is often all that is required and use textexpander to fire them off it would help in my drive to keep the inbox empty!

  4. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Dunks – you are spot on. TextExpander will help you out with all that, you should download the trial and give it a go, and let me know how you get on!

  5. Pingback: hgecom » TextExpander 2

  6. Wayne LeFevre

    I personally use Typinator by Ergonis, which has served me well. I imagine that for the average person, either of these programs would serve equally. Of course, I can’t ever remember the shortcut keys, so have to bring up the program more often than not.

    One thing I do like TextExpander for is the ability to hide in your menu bar. Typinator has to sit in your dock looking terribly ugly. Ah well. Such is life. 🙂

  7. Dunks

    @Chris – will do, I’m away for a few days and possibly without net access so ideal chance to sift through some code and load up Textexpander. Will report back!

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