TextExpander 5

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Smile has officially released TextExpander 5 for Mac. I’ve been in on the beta test round and I’m excited about all of the new features. Smile is a long-time supporter of this blog, but my love of TextExpander requires no remuneration; this post is straight from my heart.

This latest version of TextExpander includes a suggestion feature that will tell you when you type a word or phrase often enough that it thinks you should consider making a snippet for it. It does this with OS X notifications, and clicking one will take you to the snippet editor where you can accept or reject the suggestion. If you decide to keep it, just add a shortcut and it’s part of your collection. You can ignore words, remove suggestions en masse, or — if the suggestions get annoying — just disable the feature.

I’ve found the suggestion feature most helpful when I start writing a piece about a specific product. It’s usually a product name with intercaps that I’ve never needed a snippet for before, and would normally forget to save the extra keystrokes. For example, it just suggested that I make a snippet for “TextExpander,” which is probably a really good idea.

It will also notify you when you type a word or phrase that you already have a snippet for. Just a friendly reminder that shows you the abbreviation you could have used to save some typing.

Version 5 also offers custom storage locations for snippets, allowing sync using any cloud service, including iCloud Drive.

You can search and expand snippets, abbreviations and suggestions inline while you type, and preview expanded snippets before committing to them.

Lastly, TextExpander now supports JavaScript actions. With full access to JS for Automation, this means that we can start making cool programmatic snippets that work on both OS X and TextExpander for iOS. Watch for an expansion to the TextExpander Tools soon!

Check out TextExpander 5. I can’t fathom that any Mac owner isn’t already using it, but I know there are some. Free demos of all Smile products are available at smilesoftware.com.