Friday, November 23, 2012

What I Like About My Mac #79: The App That Lets Me Type Faster Than I Type

TextExpanderHas your use of a computer changed through the years? My Mac has become a hub of tools that go well beyond spreadsheets and word processors.

Today’s Mac is the center of music storage, digital photos, movie clips, as well as graphic design. Apple builds in the basic applications we need and provides the tools to sync email, contacts, calendar, and browser bookmarks from Mac to Mac and from Mac to iPhone or iPad.

After all these advances, we’re still wedded to the keyboard. How we interact with the Mac of the future may change once Siri shows up on OS X 10.9 Lynx (I’m guessing), but there is an app that can help reduce your keyboard time, and help to minimize repetitive stress injuries.

It’s an oldie but a goodie and very useful. Install TextExpander on your Mac and let it help you type faster than you can really type.

TextExpander lets you create abbreviations and match them to specific strings of text, paragraphs, boiler plate content, signatures, snippets, code or anything else.


As you type, TypeExpander watches what you type and when you type in a special abbreviation or key combo, it types out the rest of the phrase or sentence automatically.

That increases your effective typing speed. Setting up TextExpander can be daunting, though. There are plenty of options, including form-filling, autocorrect, and much more.

TextExpander Options

The key to success with TextExpander is the keyboard and hotkeys. Control most of what TextExpander does right from the keyboard, but it can live in the Mac’s Menubar, too.

The autocorrect is to die for, because you control what it corrects (unlike autocorrect in OS X or iOS). That alone is worth the more professionally inclined price tag.