TextExpander for Windows brings some valuable flexibility to teams that want to communicate smarter and faster across departments, platforms, and devices. Today, we want to share a few tips to help our Windows customers expand text snippets like pros.
The System Tray is your friend
TextExpander isn’t just another icon taking up space in the Windows system tray. Right-click it to get quick access to some key features, including Edit Last Expanded Snippet, which does what it sounds like it does, and New Snippet from Clipboard which lets you copy something and turn that text into a snippet immediately.
Either of these options will open the main TextExpander app to a snippet editing window. There, you can work your magic to add details, change formatting, and set an abbreviation.
Expand beyond text
Sure, it’s called TextExpander, but it can expand formatted text and even photos. This is useful for everything from adding some bold or colored styling or a handwritten signature to your emails, to quickly sharing your favorite photo meme in chat apps.
To add anything beyond plain text to a snippet, be sure to click the menu just above the text box and select Formatted Text, Pictures.
Keyboard shortcuts are also your friend
TextExpander can go even further by turning many common actions into keyboard shortcuts.
Right-click that aforementioned System Tray icon and choose Preferences. Next, click the Hotkeys tab and explore your options to do things such as create new snippets or search all your snippets with a quick keystroke.
Speaking of important shortcuts and hotkeys, quickly search thru your snippets using the inline search hotkey Control+/. It’s just another way to get at your snippets faster, but in this case, you don’t have to remember the abbreviation to do it.
More preferences of interest
While you’re in the Preferences window, click back over to the Expansion tab. There, you can customize some of TextExpander’s behavior, such as playing a sound when expanding a snippet, the default format for new snippets, and whether TextExpander waits for a special character before it expands something.
Get the team involved
One of TextExpander’s greatest strengths appears when using it in a team environment. You, or another team member, can create snippet groups and share them with others, adjust editing permissions and instantly update snippets for the whole team.
We have a separate post that goes more in-depth on getting started with TextExpander for Teams. It’s powerful stuff.
Import your snippets
Sure, creating new snippets one-by-one is cool. Know what’s cooler? Importing a whole bunch of snippets at once.
We have a separate post that covers how to import snippets into TextExpander, but in short: if you have a group of snippets in CSV format you can import them using your account on Textexpander.com. Once there, click your avatar in the upper right, then My Account, then Import/Export.
Looking to switch from another text expansion app into TextExpander? Import is how you can transfer your snippets over.
Try a Public Group of snippets
Check out the snippets our community shares online in Public Groups.
There you can find pre-built groups of snippets for everything from common spelling fixes, to an emoji cheat sheet, to quotes from the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Hemmingway. As long as you have TextExpander installed, you can one-click subscribe to anything there to instantly level-up your snippet powers.
Go forth and expand
We hope this is a helpful list for both TextExpander newbies and veterans alike. Let us know if we missed your favorite TextExpander trick or would like to hear something else on our TextExpander support page, on Twitter @TextExpander, and LinkedIn.