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Stupid Simple Mac Tips #53 – The (Not Quite) Built in Replacement for TextExpander

Stupid Simple Mac Tips #53 – The (Not Quite) Built in Replacement for TextExpander

By Tom Lambotte | October 27, 2020

I am a huge fan of TextExpander (TE). This post is for those who use it and those who don’t.

For the few lawyers unfamiliar with it, TE is a productivity app that uses keyboard shortcuts to automatically insert longer blocks of frequently used text called snippets.

But this SSMT is NOT about that app. I use it extensively and have given many presentations on that tool (Smith.ai/TextExpander Webinar).

This tip is to highlight the automatic text replacement feature built into your Mac. Why would you use it?

If you don’t use TextExpander yet, it’s a no brainer.

If you do use TextExpander, there’s still a good use for it.

I like it because it syncs with your Apple ID, so you can access these shortcuts on all your devices, without needing to activate the TextExpander custom keyboard. In my opinion, it is very clunky and not intuitive to use at all.

I have a few custom text replacements set up on my Mac. For example, I type in:

  • [email protected] > expands: [email protected]
  • gmc > expands:  GlobalMac IT
  • omw > On my way home my love, see you soon! (I use that one to text, my wife, when I hit the road and am heading home)

In short, this feature will in no way replace TextExpander, but it is extremely helpful for the things you might often type out on your iOS devices.

Let’s make this a working exercise.

Reading this SSMT takes 80% of the task, you might as well open it up and set up a couple.

What do you type all the time on the iOS device that you find really annoying? Choose two and let’s create them now. It just takes a few steps to set up custom text replacements:

  1. On your Mac, click on the “apple” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and choose System Preferences
  1. Go to > Keyboard
  1. Click the “Text” tab
  1. Click the “+” in the lower-left corner.
  2. In the left-hand column, type the abbreviation you want to use
  3. In the right field, type the text you want to expand.

Did you DO IT? Or just read it and think you’ll do it later.

Trust me, you won’t. See how many emails you have in your inbox? Unless it looks like my inbox right now, just take an extra 30 seconds and set one up. Thank me later 🙂

How do you use the custom replacement feature?  Send me an email with your favorite and I’ll share it with others on our Facebook Page.

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Always short, sweet and simple.

  • October 27, 2020

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is a legal technology expert, author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT. He helps Mac-using lawyers with super simple technology, security and efficiency strategies that work. He’s on a mission to help attorneys using Apple computers reduce their security risk and get more out of their technology. Get his free 33 Stupid Simple Mac Tips and score some quick wins to boost your productivity.