This is just a quick post to mention a couple of miscellaneous things about Text Expander. The next post will get into a real-life usage, so it will be a bit more exciting!
Naming Your Snippet Abbreviations
There is no right or wrong way to go about naming them, everyone seems to have their own preferences when it comes to it, but there are a few general guidelines you should follow. Just go with whatever format works best for you.
A couple of popular options are: 1) to add a symbol character in front of all your snippets, ;name, for example, or 2) to double up the first character, nname, for example. Anything that will prevent you from accidentally invoking the snippet when you aren’t intending to. You just need to obviously make sure it’s not something that you would type naturally, so you won’t be invoking your snippets when you don’t intend to!
One other thing to note, I have my snippets set to expand right after I finish typing them. If you want a bit more control, you can set it up so they don’t expand until after you type a delimiter character, such as the Tab key. I don’t use that option though, since I name my snippets so they aren’t common things that I would type.
Once you start having a lot of snippets, you sometimes forget to use them, either because you can’t remember the shortcut or you just simply forget that you even created one. Text Expander will notice this, and if it sees that you typed something in full instead of using the snippet you had previously created, it will show a popup notification letting you know.
You can see this in action below, if I type my name out in full, it shows a popup to remind me that I have a snippet created for it, and it shows what the shortcut is for it.
It will also notify you if it notices you type something repeatedly, and will suggest you make a snippet for it. This is great because often times you won’t even think to make a snippet out of something, this way it gives you an option to create one on the spot.
You can see this in action below, after it noticed I typed a phrase repeatedly. You can just click on the popup notification and it will bring up a snippet creation window with the phrase pre-filled in for you. You obviously don’t need to type something repeatedly below itself for it to kick in, as the example shows.
Of course you can always turn the notifications off if you don’t want to see them.
That’s It For Now
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I just wanted to get a couple of these admin type things out of the way.
So far I’ve only covered some basic uses for Text Expander. Starting in the next post, I’ll go into some more advanced topics, including the first use that is specifically for web development!