We’re proud of TextExpander’s ever-growing features and use cases. Because there are so many, we asked the team about the most commonly missed benefits they thought customers might not be aware of, and supplements that list with real recommendations from our TextExpander community.
Oftentimes, our customers will come up with TextExpander uses that we’ve not even considered yet; below we’ve also included a couple of these gems.
If you still want more after this article, don’t forget that the TextExpander Learning Center contains heaps more insights into what TextExpander can do for you and your team. There you’ll find how-to guides and the details on TextExpander’s new updates to get the most out of its potential.
For now, enjoy some of our favorite tips to get you started!
Get into Fill-ins
If there’s any feature we want you to be making more use of, it’s the fill-ins functionality. Many customers use snippets to populate emails they send all the time, but are you using fill-ins as the quickest way to personalize them?
We love fill-ins because you add in the customized details as you expand the snippet, not after. A pop-up window will appear so that you can quickly type into each of the fields you’d like to customize; for emails, that could be single-line items like names and dates, for example. There’s even an option for multi-line fill-ins should your emails frequently include addresses.
If there are a handful of details you use frequently and want to make a snippet to select one of them individually each time, maybe to email a customer with which team member will get back to them, you can select a “Pop-up Menu” fill-in. This will let you create some dropdown options, letting you select from a predetermined group of options each time you use the snippet.
There are heaps of ways to play with fill-ins, and you’ll find more on our fill-in guide here.
Put your clipboard to work
Want a snippet that automatically includes the text you just copied to clipboard? We’ve got you covered. We love how well this article on more of TextExpander’s benefits explains how the clipboard functionality can be used.
In their example, they demonstrate how you can build a snippet that will automatically include the customer ID number in an email where you need to copy and paste that number in a specific place. That’s just one of many ways you’ll find to make the most of TextExpander’s clipboard potential. You could use it to add any URL you use less frequently with a snippet like, “The link you need is _____”, to include customer names you don’t want to type incorrectly, and plenty more.
This feature was mentioned by not just our tech team, but in this brilliantly inspiring TextExpander article by Jimmy Rose. As Jimmy puts it, “Snippets aren’t very useful if you forget their abbreviation,” and Inline Search is for those snippets you need but use less commonly or are new to your library. Use the Inline Search hotkey to trigger a pop-up where you can search for the snippet you need without swiping away from where you’re typing; it comes with a hotkey as a default, but you can modify it to any hotkey you fancy.
Our tech team went one further for us though: “A lot of people do not realize the way it works is to use the word you’re in the middle of typing as the initial search term. That is, you can start typing something, realize ‘I have a snippet for that’, and then hit the Inline Search hotkey.”
Another one from our tech team, calculating dates just became way less of a headache. We loved their suggestion about sending dates in emails; you can set up a snippet that’ll address the pain of emails being read at different times by creating ones that will not only say tomorrow, but list the date thereafter, as in “Tomorrow, May 2nd.” Another favourite way to utilize date math is using snippets to account for differing time zones, especially helpful to asynchronous teams like ours, saving you the hassle of looking the time difference up afresh.
If you’re looking for the quickest way to search a whole website for a specific term, we’ve got your back. This is another one from our team, and it makes the most of the search operator function that most search engines support. When you enter a search term followed by “site.yoururl” into Google and its peers, it’ll pull up every page that search term features in on your chosen URL. You can use TextExpander to do this even quicker, by setting up a fill-in snippet to do most of the hard work for you, maximizing your limited work hours.
We’ve included tips on how to do this and more advanced versions of it in this article from our blog; let us know if you test it out!
- TextExpander’s Learning Center is the place for our best tips and tricks on all things text expansion.
- Use fill-ins to add customized snippets, perfect for emails and anything that needs to be personalized.
- TextExpander leverages the power of your clipboard: use “%clipboard” when building snippets to include has just been copied.
- Inline Search is a speedy way to find the snippets that you’ve made already but might not recall the abbreviation for. Use it to type in what you’re looking for in a helpful pop-up on top of your work.
- Put TextExpander’s date math to the test! Utilize and create snippets that insert the dates you need without breaking away from your tasks.
- Search websites quicker than ever by creating snippets that work with the search operator function of Google and similar search engines.
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