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Ultimate Guide to the Editing Bar: Power Up Your Snippets

Kerry Provenzano Blog snippets, the editing bar

In this guide, we’ll show you the power of TextExpander’s Editing Bar and how you can use it to spice up your expanded content.

Whether you want to personalize snippets, have TextExpander do the tabbing for you or use content from your clipboard in a snippet, the Editing Bar can help.

  1. Time and Date Snippets
  2. Paste from Clipboard
  3. Nested Snippets
  4. Key Press Macros
  5. Position Cursor
  6. Fill-ins
  7. Programmatic Tabbing

1. Time and Date Snippets

Expand the current date or time in a snippet, saving you from having to look it up on the calendar. You can also expand dates in the future or past – super handy if you include deadlines for projects in your messages.

TextExpander Tips: Text snippets for typing dates for today, the future, and yesterday

Using Dates in Snippets: Get the Advanced Dates Group

2. Personalize Snippets with Fill-ins:

Fill-ins allow you to add rich detail to your chunks of text. Create personalized emails and more with different greetings, send-offs and space for your own writing flair. Instead of expanding a snippet and hunting to find where a name belongs, a Fill-in puts it in the right place for you.

How To Personalize Your Snippets with Fill-ins

3. Control When and How Your Snippets Expand with Delimiters

Only expand snippets purposefully by using delimiters to control when your snippets ‘pop!’ into life. Delimiters, such as a space or return key, will trigger the expansion of your snippet. Useful if your snippet abbreviations could also be parts of other words.

The Editing Bar Series: Control When and How Your Snippets Expand with Delimiters

4. Nested Snippets

If you have information that may get updated, such as phone numbers, branding taglines or links, you can use nested snippets to insert them into longer snippets. Here’s how it works: you create a snippet for your website URL. Then, in all your email signatures you insert the snippet for that link. That way, if your link changes, all you need to do is update the link snippets with the new URL and all your other snippets will get updated.

The Editing Bar Series: Putting Snippets in Snippets in Snippets

5. Position the Cursor Where You Need It:

By default, when you expand a snippet, your cursor appears at the end. Using the Cursor Position macro you can have the cursor appear anywhere you like within the expanded snippet text. Great for developers because they don’t have to reposition their cursor when expanding code snippets.

The Editing Bar Series: Using Cursor Positioning to Improve Writing Flow

6. Key Press Macros:

TextExpander calls upon the Key Press macros to programatically replicate you physically pressing the Tab, Enter, Return and Escape keys. This means you can build snippets that do more of the work for you. A real time-saver if you frequently fill out web forms!

The Editing Bar Series: Fill Forms and Let TextExpander Do the Tabbing For You With Key Press Macros

7. Paste from the Clipboard

Sending an email to someone with a tricky name? Get it right every time by copying to the clipboard and having TextExpander insert it in your expanded snippet. Handy for sending serial numbers and licence keys too!

The Editing Bar Series: Reuse What You Copied With The Clipboard

8. Programmatic Tabbing

Programmatic tabbing is when TextExpander replicates a physical tab, so you can fill out multiple form fields at once, or tab from an email subject line to the body copy.

Speed Through Web Forms and Emails with Programmatic Tabbing in TextExpander

Put more Power in Your Snippets

We hope you use these tips to make even more of the mighty Editing Bar. For more tips and tricks, join our group on Facebook.

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