How to Quickly Turn Anything Into a Snippet With TextExpander for Mac, Windows

David Chartier Blog Mac, Teams, tips, Windows

Key to becoming a TextExpander champion is having a healthy arsenal of quick-to-use snippets for all the things you repeatedly type or share with other people. We may not award trophies for such an achievement (yet?). But we can give you tips on how to turn your tedious typing workflows into TextExpander snippets you can trigger with just a couple keystrokes.

Where

TextExpander has several workflow-friendly tools for creating snippets, depending on your current device.

Mac – Menu bar item in the top right

TextExpander for Mac has a menu bar item in the upper right, next to your clock, Spotlight, and other icons. Click it once and you’ll see snippet creation options, which we’ll explore below.

Windows – System Tray in the lower right

TextExpander for Windows has a system tray icon in the lower right, next to your clock and other items. Click it and you’ll see snippet creation options which we’ll explore below.

How

Now that you know how to find these shortcuts, here are some tips for getting the most out of them.

Create New Snippet

This option is pretty straightforward. It opens TextExpander directly to a blank new snippet slate, ready for you to craft your next time-saving snippet.

Create New Snippet from Clipboard

This option can save you a little extra time. It opens TextExpander, creates a new snippet, then automatically pastes the contents of your clipboard.

Edit Last Expanded Snippet

This is a great, fast way to update existing snippets. You can expand a snippet, then use this shortcut to quickly open TextExpander directly to that snippet and update it. We recommend making this feature a habit, as it’s a good way to keep your content fresh and up-to-date.

Turbocharge your snippet creating workflow with keyboard shortcuts

Mousing and clicking icons is cool and all. Know what’s cooler? Using shortcuts to create new snippets so your fingers never have to leave the keyboard.

If you open TextExpander, then go to Preferences -> Hotkeys, you can set your own shortcuts for using the commands we just explored.

In practice, this means you can use standard OS shortcuts to select and copy a few lines of text, then use (for example) Command + Control + T to turn it into a fresh new TextExpander snippet. Like this:

  • Shift + Arrow Up/Down Keys to select entire lines of text
  • Command + C on Mac, Control + C on Windows to copy
  • Command + Control + T to create a new snippet with your clipboard (this is just an example shortcut for that command though; you can set whatever you want)

For keyboard shortcut fans, this is a powerful and fast way to streamline your typing and snippet workflows.

Snippet all the things

We hope these tips help you work smarter and faster, instead of harder. But we’d love to hear what you think on our TextExpander support page, on Twitter @TextExpander, and LinkedIn.

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