Thanks to TextExpander for sponsoring again this week! They sponsor me every month, and they’re one of my favorite sponsors1, but they’re behind on getting me copy this week. It’s totally ok, I have stuff I want to tell you anyway.

I recently added a MacBook Pro back to my computing lineup. I kind of hate starting with a blank machine. I go to hit shortcuts and trigger scripts and snippets and nothing happens. So begins the days-long process of setting up my favorite utilities and system hacks. There are two things that come before everything else: 1Password, and TextExpander. I need my passwords and license codes, obviously, but I need my snippets just as much. There are so many things that I type with TextExpander that I wouldn’t have a clue how to type manually. The front matter for this post, for example, is a TextExpander snippet where I just fill in the title and tags and it generates a perfect block of YAML for me.

My email signatures are all snippets. When I finish an email, I type one of my sign-off shortcuts (which vary based on my relationship with the recipient) followed by ⇧⌘D to send the email. When I forget that TextExpander isn’t loaded, I shoot off emails with bizarre character combinations instead of any kind of signature. It’s not a terrible thing to do, but it makes me realize how ingrained in my habits my snippets are.

Productivity is great, but there’s room for fun, too. I recently updated and published my Cursed snippet group. It lets you generate shortcuts using swear words as triggers, outputting random “censored” versions, e.g. “Holy s#@%.” It’s not terribly useful, but it’s a great example of the power of shell scripting in TextExpander snippets.

I’ll be publishing more of my favorite snippet groups as I have time, so keep an eye out. If you’re not already a TextExpander user, this is a great time to give it a try. In less than a day you’ll be wondering how you survived without it. readers get 20% off their first year by visiting this link. I swear you’ll thank me.

  1. Ok, favorite sponsor, but I didn’t want to hurt any other sponsor’s feelings.