⌘ The power of Text Expansion

Text expansion is so useful and beneficial, it’s part of both macOS and iOS. You can save time and increase accuracy by typing a keyword and having it expand to something longer.

Once you get in the flow of the process, the built-in tools might not be powerful enough. They only handle a single line of text and for what I do, I insert blocks of text.

For the last 5 years, my text expansion tool has been TypeIt4Me. Gadzooks, where has the time gone?

Again, Alfred has this functionality built-in, but I got TypeIt4Me, before I knew what Alfred was. At some point I may switch everything over to Alfred, but I have several dozen expansions across multiple Sets, so I’m content to stay where I am for now.

Text expansion is very easy to set up and execute.

For example, when working on web automation, I have keywords programmed for loops, decision trees, and frequently used commands that are multiple lines long.

I type in log@ and it gets convert to log.logWarning('

This happens with for@. That converts to:

for (loop = 1; loop <=3; loop++) {
  println(loop)
} 

This may not seem like much, but, it’s much easier to type the word, import@ than:

import internal.GlobalVariable as GlobalVariable
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver as WebDriver
import com.kms.katalon.core.webui.driver.DriverFactory as DriverFactory
import org.openqa.selenium.By as By
import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement as WebElement
import com.kms.katalon.core.annotation.Keyword
import com.kms.katalon.core.util.KeywordUtil
import com.kms.katalon.core.logging.KeywordLogger as KeywordLogger
import org.openqa.selenium.Keys as Keys

KeywordLogger log = new KeywordLogger()

It’s also km@, tp@, and ts@ for Keyboard Maestro, TaskPaper, TextSoap.

I have dozens of these set up for coding, SQL statements, product names, import statements, as well as simple things like my home and work address.

I’ve made the comment that I have automation for writing my automation.

You’ll notice I use the @ as my trigger key. This allows me to type standard words as triggers without interfering with normal writing. I can type "for" and "while" without issue. But, if I type for@ or while@ I get the command I want. This makes it much easier to remember and more natural to trigger keywords.

Like Clipboard Managers, there are quite a few choices for text expansion, so you should have no problem finding the right product for the right price.

If you’ve come as an elf, see it through as an elf.

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