Quotidian Quest

Further thoughts on text expander

Category: tech
#text expander #response

Recently, I posted about my thoughts on Text Expander after they announced that they were going to be moving to a subscription. And I got some feedback regarding what I wrote. I've pasted it below because I honestly don't get any feed back regarding any of my writingMost likely because I do not have comments on the site.

  1. I completely agree that they have kind of boxed themselves out of the "casual user" market and are now more focused on "power users" or those that are using this tool on multiple devices (like me)
  2. I think your point is very well written, but would love to see more information about the alternative (AutoHotKey) that you have selected.
  3. Perhaps it would be helpful to mention a couple of things (If any) that could make textexpander that tool for you again.

Great job though. You can definitely tell that you care about the company.

It's just they don't fit in your system anymore (which happens)

I like feedback. At this point, good or bad I'm happy with the fact that someone else is reading and it gives me some motivation to make the writing better. In this case, I'd like to further expand on the last two points in the reverse order.

3. How to make the tool more helpful for me

This is actually a something that needs to happen on my endTo be fair, the application tries its best to help me be as productive as possible.. The people at smile give you a number of examples that you can use right away to save you time.

When I was making this post, I added one more. If anything knowing that I might have to give the application up has sparked new interest in using it. Plus all the the writing that I've been doing.

The application does help in one major way everyday (when I do use it). Most mornings, I do use it to create my grateful journal template1. Here is a brief example of the template that I use:

# Things I'm Grateful for #
+ 

# Things I'm Excited about #
+ 

# One Thing I'd like to focus on #

By default, the application will monitor what you type and suggest even more snippets that you can add to your collection.

I was kind of shocked by some of the things that I write multiple times and it has the possibility of helping me change some habits.

Maybe, I shouldn't have freaked out when I saw this feature pop up and you can always change the way it works in the preference because it could have been helpful. But it seemed creepy and annoying.

Part of me was getting annoyed with all the notifications on what I could use as a snippet.

If you're feeling adventurous you can even go to the website of one of my heroes Brett Terpstra and check out his page of text expander tools.

Despite all this, I still find that I wasn't using it to the fullestThis was my last usage stat. Take it with a *HUGE* grain of salt because I only have it on my laptop and I do frequent re-installs
This was my last usage stat. Take it with a HUGE grain of salt because I only have it on my laptop and I do frequent re-installs
. Ultimately, we all have to balance what we want versus what we need the money to go to.

2. AutoHotKey

On this topic, I don't have much to say because I no longer have a windows machine to use on a day to day basis. The great thing about this tool was that I was using it to now only fire off extensions but to launch applications and replicate user interactions for testing.

I would often use a keyboard short cut to launch the vnc client because the laptop that was given to employees to use might not be that powerful or we wanted to run a test on another machine that had a faster connection.

For user interactions, I created a script that would type in the keyboard shortcut that would make windows rotate the screen or do a series of mouse clicks to reproduce... something...

1. Updated...

While I was writing this, Smile reduced the price to $20 a year for the software. Which changes the deal significantly. Now I have to think about what the software is going to do for me going forward. Is this going to save me time in the future? Will I save more time than the time that I used writing about it here?

I don't know.


  1. It's an exercise that I do in the morning when I feel a little overwhelmed with life. I'm making it a habit and automating the prompt helps. Although, I do use Keyboard Meastro to do something similar. 

My thoughts on Text Expander

Category: tech
#text expander

TextExpander is a tool that I forget that I have. Actually, TextExpander is a tool that I forget to use. In the last couple of years, I've moved to a workflow that really isn't working for me day to day. I have a laptop, an imac, a couple ipads and all the work computers1 that have been supplied for me to use in the last couple of years.

Recently, the people at Smile software have switch the software to be a subscription model. On one hand, I understand that some companies need to do this to keep their businesses afloat; the monthly revenue is better to budget against versus someone purchasing the software every major release (maybe). On the other hand, this means that as a user I don't "own" the software; I'm leasingIt seems to be the trend nowadays that people pay a fee to use things from homes(rent), cars and music. I do not have a problem with it, but it seems like a lot of money is going to things that we will not be able to get some equity back from. it.

Honestly, I can see why they would do something like that. The company specializes in tools like this and pdfpen and I like the fact that they sponsor a lot of podcasts that I listen to. I wish them well.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be joining them on this experiment. I'm not a power user of the software. Because of the way that I've been living my technical life, I haven't seen myself repeating a lot of text. You can probably see the result of this in the fact that I don't post that often. The header for this posting is stored as a text expander snippet but I find myself having to look it up in order to use it.

I wish them luck and I'm happy to use my current version until it stops working.


  1. On windows, I've switched to using AutoHotKey because I can use text expansion as well as actions such as prepping an email to my wife so I can send her a message telling her that I love her.