{ "author": { "url": "https://twitter.com/TextExpander", "avatar": "https://textexpander.com/static/images/feed-icon.png", "name": "TextExpander" }, "icon": "https://textexpander.com/static/images/feed-icon.png", "favicon": "https://textexpander.com/static/images/feed-favicon.png", "version": "https://jsonfeed.org/version/1", "user_comment": "This feed allows you to read the posts from this site in any feed reader that supports the JSON Feed format. To add this feed to your reader, copy the following URL -- https://textexpander.com/feed/json/ -- and add it your reader.", "home_page_url": "https://textexpander.com", "feed_url": "https://textexpander.com/feed/json/", "title": "TextExpander", "description": "Communicate Smarter", "items": [ { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-makes-it-into-tl-newswire-top-25-products-of-2017-awards/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-makes-it-into-tl-newswire-top-25-products-of-2017-awards/", "title": "TextExpander Makes It Into TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2017 Awards", "content_html": "

We’re honored to have placed in the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2017 Awards.

\n

Read all about it here.

\n

The apps are voted on by the 11,000+ subscribers of TL NewsWire and the TechnoLawyer community.

\n

If you like TextExpander, then you should check out the other tools voted best in areas including practice management, automation, and legal research.

\n

You can also hear all about the winners in Brett Burney’s interview with TL NewsWire in the Apps in Law podcast.

\n

Here’s a preview of the top 3 to whet your appetite:

\n
    \n
  1. Word LX Professional, the MS Word plug-in
  2. \n
  3. LEAP (Legal Content), the practice management system
  4. \n
  5. Abacus Payment Exchange (APX), for accepting credit card payments
  6. \n
\n

What are some of your most integral tools for the job? Let us know @TextExpander and on Facebook.

\n", "date_published": "2018-01-12T23:50:56+00:00", "date_modified": "2018-01-12T23:50:56+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maia Olson" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/giphy-peanute-snoopy-celebrate.gif" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-workflows-customer-support-email-forms-save-time/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-workflows-customer-support-email-forms-save-time/", "title": "Workflows: Customer Support Email Forms Save Time Up Front", "content_html": "

\"\"

\n

If you have read any of our “Apps We Love” series, you know there are lots of apps which enhance your TextExpander experience, and lots of apps which provide a productivity boost on their own. We use many of these apps ourselves, and combine them where we can to create workflows.

\n

We have many workflows in place, and today we are going to talk about the one we use to run our customer support forms via Wufoo, Zapier, and Desk.

\n

Why an email form?

\n

At first, we posted our email address in our apps and on our website so that customers could get in touch with us. Making it easy for customers to talk to you is a good thing, after all.

\n

The downside: the majority of exchanges would start with us not answering their question but asking for some basic information:
\n– what app are you using
\n– what version
\n– what device are you using
\n– what operating system version

\n

We create multiple apps, each on multiple platforms, so this is important information. After all, Windows 8.1 has different quirks than iOS 10.

\n

This information is automatically sent to us if a customer emails us from within one of our apps, but what about when they don’t email us from there?

\n

Self-service centers are a fast way to find answers and are growing in popularity. Many people email us from our website or after searching the web for the answer.

\n

Did You Know: we have a knowledge base here.

\n

So, we decided to have a web form which would prompt people to include this necessary information upfront. This saves us, and each customer, time spent on the initial back-and-forth.

\n

We did this by hooking up three apps together. Wufoo, which allows you to create web forms, Desk, our support center through which our multi-person team can reply to multiple emails, and Zapier, similar to If This Then That it hooks these apps together.

\n

Why use Wufoo over the Desk form

\n

Wufoo’s forms better fit what we needed. It allows a bit of macro magic in Rules and offers custom fields to appear in the form based on how a previous field is filled out.

\n

How It Works

\n

When a customer fills out the form, they are prompted to fill in just the information we need based on their selections in the form. That data is sent to Desk along with the email message through the magic of Zapier.

\n

Desk allows for multiple Rules. We set up several rules to take the information transmitted through Zapier and turn that into tags, aka Desk labels, in each email case, as well as pre-populate more information into the cases’ descriptions.

\n

The Desk label lets us know to assign the case to the TextExpander team. We do have other apps \ud83d\ude42 and they get their own labels.

\n

Once in a specific email case, we can immediately see in the case description that this customer is using, say, TextExpander v1.4 on a Windows PC running 7.1. This means when we ask a customer to, for example, go find a specific file, we’ll know not to send the macOS directions \ud83d\ude42

\n

This is just one of the workflows we have in place to help our support team run.

\n

What workflows and apps are you using to make yourself and your team more efficient? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

\n", "date_published": "2018-01-05T19:53:44+00:00", "date_modified": "2018-01-05T19:53:44+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maia Olson" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/connected-hands.jpg" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/using-dates-in-snippets-get-the-advanced-dates-group/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/using-dates-in-snippets-get-the-advanced-dates-group/", "title": "Using Dates in Snippets: Get the Advanced Dates Group", "content_html": "

\"\"

\n

TextExpander has many features anyone can use, from autocorrecting your brand’s names to full document outlines with fill-in-the-blank sections.

\n

But if you are interested in more advanced uses, TextExpander also supports scripting. If you know how to JavaScript, go for it. Our Tips page has links to our blog posts about scripting. If you’re interested but not a scripter yourself, examples are included to help you along.

\n

Sometimes we take some of these advanced snippets and create a group for our Public Groups so that anyone can use them. That’s the case in the latest group we’ve created, free for you to use:

\n

Past and Future Dates

\n

You can expand the current date or time in a snippet, saving you from having to look it up on the calendar. This is, in fact, a default snippet you get with TextExpander, just type ddate.

\n

But beyond that, you can also expand dates in the future or past. Read how in our post TextExpander Tips: Text snippets for typing dates for today, the future, and yesterday.

\n

While expanding the date for “5 days ago” may be perfect for you, maybe you want to expand the date for “Last day of the month” or “Next Monday.” That isn’t so easy with the standard date math options. You have to account for weekends, for which day it is today and how many days are in this month. Not so simple as “2 days from now.”

\n

But it is possible with JavaScript, and that’s how the Past and Future Dates group was created.

\n

Get this group, and you can expand a wide array of date types. And, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can learn how to customize them in our post Past and Future Dates with TextExpander, Revamped.

\n

This post will show you how to set new date formats to whatever you need, from December 22, 2017, to file naming friendly 2017_12_22. You can even select a different location in the world to be your timezone.

\n

Do you use dates in snippets? What kind of date options would you like? Let us know @TextExpander and on Facebook.

\n", "date_published": "2017-12-22T23:09:23+00:00", "date_modified": "2017-12-22T23:09:23+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maia Olson" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/TEblog-banner-dates-public-group.png" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-in-law-qa-session-part-2/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-in-law-qa-session-part-2/", "title": "TextExpander in Law: Q&A session Part 2", "content_html": "

\"Q&A\"

\n

This is the second part of this post. Find Part 1 here.

\n

Starting out with TextExpander as a blank slate can be daunting, especially if you’re also running a law practice. To help, we crafted a webinar “5 Ways Attorneys Reclaim Time With TextExpander\u2014A Beginner’s Guide.”

\n

Thanks to everyone who joined us. We got so many great questions, we didn’t want anyone to miss out. Here are the questions we collected and the answers provided by our experts.

\n

\"Maia


\n
\n

Q.

\n

What is the most efficient way to use TextExpander for drafting and/or answering interrogatories, requests for production, and others?

\n

A.

\n

An excellent method comes from the Albertson & Davidson law firm in California, who document what they do in this blog post.

\n

Instead of trying to compose an entire document in TextExpander, create snippets for the most common paragraphs in Discovery Responses and Objections.

\n

To keep things organized, each snippet for responding to an interrogatory starts with the prefix:

\n

ROG

\n

This is followed by a short description. As the blog example states, when the opposing counsel requests an expert opinion in special interrogatories, he will simply type:

\n

ROG ExpOp

\n

Which expands into the paragraph of his specific response.

\n

Pro Tip 1
\nNot mentioned in the post, but if you have a paragraph which requires adding a date, a name, or any other situation depended custom content, you can use a Fill-In inside the TextExpander snippet. Here’s a video all about fill-in-the-blank style snippets.

\n

\n

Pro Tip 2 You could potentially have a ton of paragraphs for each document and there\u2019s no way you can remember them all. That\u2019s when Inline Search comes in. In the example above, the attorney could start typing ROG then hit Command+/ (Mac) or Control+/ (Windows) to trigger TextExpander’s Inline Search window. A pop-up appears right where they\u2019re typing, where they could select the paragraph they need.

\n

\n

Here\u2019s a screenshot from the blog post since the post doesn\u2019t appear to have images any longer. Note this is a screenshot from an older version of TextExpander.

\n

\"California

\n

Q.

\n

I want to know more about Brett Burney’s course: TextExpander for Lawyers.

\n

A.

\n

We’ll let Brett speak for himself here \ud83d\ude42

\n

Every day I meet lawyers that don\u2019t realize how much TextExpander can easily save valuable minutes in their day. Every lawyer types, which means every lawyer will save time with TextExpander.

\n

That\u2019s why I created the TextExpander for Lawyers online course to help more lawyers learn exactly how they can take advantage of this simple and wonderful efficiency booster. The course walks you through:

\n
    \n
  1. How to create a TextExpander account and install the software.
  2. \n
  3. Creating your first simple snippet.
  4. \n
  5. Tips and tricks of all kinds, guaranteed to save you time every day.
  6. \n
\n

You can find more details about the soon-to-be-released course at TextexpanderForLawyers.com.

\n

\"Pre-order

\n

Q.

\n

I think my snippets disappeared, what happened?

\n

A.

\n

Check to see if you have a \u201cConflicting group” of snippets, that may contain your \u201clost\u201d snippets.

\n

If not, make sure you are online before you quit the TextExpander app. If you have TextExpander 6.2.3 or later you should get a notice if you are trying to quit while offline with unsaved changes.

\n

You can always reach out to TextExpander support for more help.

\n

Q.

\n

How do I create a snippet with fill-in-the-blanks where I can fill the same info into multiple fields at once?

\n

A.

\n

Every fill in has a field name. This allows you to name a field something helpful, such as \u201cfirstname\u201d at the top of a form letter, and also alerts TextExpander that the fields for, say, “firstname” and “date” are to be treated differently.

\n

\"Fill-in

\n

To have TextExpander treat 2 or more fields the same, give them all the same name. Note that they also need to be the same type of field.

\n

For example, you have a form letter with snippet content as follows, if you enter a name into the \u201cfirstname\u201d field, all the \u201cfirstname\u201d fields will fill in at the same time, with the same information.

\n

For example:

\n

Hi %filltext:name=firstname%,

\n

Thanks for your order! It will be shipped to: %filltext:name=firstname%

\n

Learn more about fill-ins in the help: Fill in macros.

\n

Q.

\n

How do you make snippets work within snippets?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander allows you to place references to other snippets inside a single snippet so that you can expand all at once. Say you have crafted several different snippets each for a different email message. You can have a single email signature snippet with is nested, or referenced, in each email snippet. This way when you need to update information in your email signature, you edit one signature snippet instead of all 10 email snippets.

\n

Here’s an article on nested snippets.

\n

Q.

\n

How can I use TextExpander on an iPhone? Which apps can I use it in?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander for iPhone & iPad lets you expand snippets in three ways:

\n
    \n
  1. \n

    Expand snippets in any app using the TextExpander keyboard. There are also one-tap expansions for your most popular snippets using snippet keys. The limit of the keyboard is that you can’t expand snippets which include fill-ins.
    \nFill-ins are areas of a snippet you can customize as you expand the snippet, for example, in an email snippet you could have a blank area for the first name so you can customize it when you use it.

    \n
  2. \n
  3. \n

    A large group of apps have built-in TextExpander support, allowing you to expand snippets, even fill-in snippets.
    \nYou can find a list of all supported apps on our site.
    \nSince these apps support snippets without the use of the TextExpander keyboard, you can expand snippets using a third-party or hardware keyboard. If you’re an iPad user, you’ll appreciate using your hardware keyboard to expand snippets. You cannot use third-party keyboards, such as the TextExpander keyboard, with hardware keyboards, so these supported apps get around that limitation.

    \n
  4. \n
  5. \n

    The TextExpander app lets you copy/paste snippets over to other apps. It also has a Notes section where you can compose a message using your snippets and then copy/paste into other apps. Learn how to set up the TextExpander keyboard and snippet keys.

    \n
  6. \n
\n

Q.

\n

Can I use TextExpander on an Android Phone?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander does not currently have an app for Android. If you want TextExpander for Android, let us know. We crave feedback \ud83d\ude42

\n

Q.

\n

Can TextExpander change a date from “01/01/01” to “January 1, 2001,” without having to create a snippet for every variation of this formula?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander does not transform date forms, you will have to create the formats you want as separate snippets.

\n

We have a ready-made snippet group for various types of future and past dates in our Public Groups. Get the group, it’s free to use, and you get dates such as “Last week,” “Next Monday” and other dates more advanced than what’s easily available from date math.

\n

Get the Dates group

\n

Q.

\n

How can I re-enable TextExpander when it has been blocked by another app, such as one presenting a sign-in screen?

\n

A.

\n

Secure input is a message you may have seen TextExpander for Mac give you when it appeared to stop working, but is really blocked from working.

\n

What Secure Input Does:

\n

Secure input is for your protection. When an app turns on Secure Input it is throwing an invisibility cloak \u2728 over your password field so no other apps can spy on what you’re typing. Apps which control secure input are apps with protected password fields, such as Chrome, 1Password and other apps you log in to or use to login.

\n

Once you leave the password field, the app which turned secure input on is the only one with the power to turn it off, removing the invisibility cloak \u2728 so that apps such as TextExpander can see what you type. And TextExpander needs to see when you type an abbreviation so that it can turn it into the full snippet. It is up to each app to be a good neighbor, and turn secure input off at the appropriate time.

\n

When Secure Input Hurts:

\n

When secure input stays on forever, TextExpander is blocked. It can never see what you type. Only the apps which turn secure input on can turn it off, but they don’t always. There’s no way for TextExpander to effect that.

\n

The Work-around:

\n

You, the user, can quit the app which turned secure input on. This will turn secure input off. TextExpander tries to help by sending you a message about which app it thinks turned secure input on. We’ve tried to clarify our messaging on topic, to make it a bit less frustrating for you and us.

\n

Secure input details

\n

Q.

\n

How does TextExpander differ from Keyboard Maestro?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander is focused on speeding your typing and accuracy. Keyboard Maestro is more like a hotkey, or Automator for Mac. It is a more general automation tool which can perform actions, such as “Move all Images From Desktop Into This Folder” or anything along the lines of \u201cperform this action when this thing happens.\u201d

\n

TextExpander takes typed characters and turns them into other characters, usually more of them \ud83d\ude42

\n

TextExpander does support JavaScript, AppleScript, and shell scripts. These can all perform actions with the typing of a few characters, but do require you to write that script yourself.

\n

If you are interested in learning about TextExpander and scripting, check out the Script section of our Tips page.

\n

Q.

\n

Can you dictate from Nuance Dragon Dictate into TextExpander?

\n

A.

\n

No, TextExpander does not directly work with Dragon Dictate.

\n

Q.

\n

Sometimes I type the abbreviation but it doesn\u2019t go away when the snippet expands. What do I do about that?

\n

A.

\n

This is rare, but happens in specific cases. The trick is finding out why it\u2019s happening in your specific circumstances.

\n

An initial solution is to restart your device, or at least restart your app. Then contact support and tell them which app this is happening in, as this can be app-specific.

\n
\n

Hope that was enough information for you \ud83d\ude42

\n

If there’s something you’d like to learn from us in a webinar let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

\n", "date_published": "2017-12-15T22:19:36+00:00", "date_modified": "2017-12-15T22:21:11+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maia Olson" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/TEblog-banner-legal-qa.png" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-in-law-qa-session/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-in-law-qa-session/", "title": "TextExpander in Law: Q&A session", "content_html": "

\"Q&A\"

\n

This is part one of this two part post. Find Part 2 here.

\n

Starting out with TextExpander as a blank slate can be daunting, especially if you’re also running a law practice. To help, we crafted a webinar “5 Ways Attorneys Reclaim Time With TextExpander\u2014A Beginner’s Guide.”

\n

Thanks to everyone who joined us. Based on the interest, we’ve already got an advanced webinar in the works, tailored for solos and firms. Stay tuned for more on that.

\n

We got so many great questions, we wanted to share them in this two part blog post. Here are the questions we collected and the answers provided by our experts from the webinar, Brett Burney from MacsInLaw.com, and Maia Olson from TextExpander.

\n

Q.

\n

How do I implement TextExpander quickly and efficiently?

\n

A.

\n

Quick Resources

\n

Our blog is a great spot for ideas and guidance. A good getting started post is TextExpander 101.

\n

If you prefer a shorter format, we have a Quick Start Guide

\n

If you prefer a more detailed format, try Brett Burney’s course: TextExpander for Lawyers.

\n

Details:

\n

A quick rundown:
\n1. Visit TextExpander.com and sign up for a free account.
\n2. Download the app for Mac and/or Windows and log in with your account.

\n

From here, your goal is to create one snippet. You have to start somewhere :).

\n

Brett suggests starting with one simple snippet such as your office phone number or your email address, whichever one you type more often throughout your day.

\n

For your office phone number, use a snippet such as

\n

ophone

\n

and have it expand into the full phone number. For your business email address, use a snippet such as

\n

biz@

\n

and have it expand into your full email address. Use whatever abbreviation makes sense to you \u2013 just keep it short!

\n

Starting off with these simple snippets to help you throughout your day, you\u2019ll understand the power of TextExpander and find all kinds of areas where it will help you save time!

\n

Followup with more snippets you notice yourself typing. Try:
\n– Paragraphs of text you reuse, such as common paragraphs from Objections
\n– Document outlines and templates, so you can create a new, clean document quickly.

\n

Q.

\n

What are your favorite productivity apps?

\n

A.

\n

We polled the group, here are the favorites:

\n\n

Q.

\n

When naming files on Windows, can a file name be too long?

\n

A.

\n

Short answer:

\n

Best practice is to keep filenames as succinct as possible. Begin a filename with the date in this format:

\n

YYYY-MM-DD

\n

Using TextExpander of course \ud83d\ude42

\n

Then add whatever other information needed so you can identify the file in the future.

\n

Details:

\n

The exact length allowed depends on the specific version of Windows you\u2019re running. In the early days of Windows, filenames could only have 8 characters, plus a 3-character file extension, the 8.3 filename. Modern-day versions of Windows, while still working on the 8.3 foundation, can have filenames of 260 characters. If you can tweet, you can file name :).

\n

If you find your filenames getting too long, try using additional folders to better organize the files. In other words, if you store files in a \u201cClient\u201d folder with \u201cMatter\u201d sub-folders, then you don\u2019t need to include the client and matter names in the filename.

\n

Q.

\n

Can you put a graphic or picture in a snippet?

\n

A.

\n

Yes, snippets support images. To add an image to a snippet:

\n
    \n
  1. Set the “Content:” menu to “Formatted Text, Pictures.”
  2. \n
  3. Click the Add Image button in the editing bar. Select your image from the dialog.
  4. \n
\n

Watch this in action in our video “Working With Snippets“.

\n

Q.

\n

How do I put an active URL link, or hyperlink, in a snippet?

\n

A.

\n

Create a \u201cFormatted Text\u201d snippet, then use the Make Link button in the editing bar. This is very handy for putting social links in your email signatures.

\n

Full Directions.

\n

Q.

\n

Some of my abbreviations conflict, what do I do?

\n

A.

\n

Only unique abbreviations expand. TextExpander tracks your abbreviation in the order you type it. If you have two abbreviations with the same characters, TextExpander won\u2019t know which to expand. It will also show a conflict in the snippet editor indicated by an orange outline.

\n

For example, if you type the abbreviation “cat” That would conflict with the abbreviation or word “catalog”

\n

Notice, as you type the final character of the first abbreviation it completely matches another snippet.

\n

Instead, you need to have unique beginnings on your snippets. This is why we recommend prefixes on different snippet groups. Such as:

\n

\u201caart\u201d

\n

And

\n

\u201c;art\u201d

\n

Both are different at the start of the abbreviation and will not conflict with each other.

\n

Here is an article with several tips on choosing snippet abbreviations.

\n

Q.

\n

Can hotkeys directly insert snippets?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander is specifically related to typing, and will transform a series of characters into more characters. For example, TextExpander can turn “;;email” into “name@acmecorporation.com”.

\n

If you would like to perform actions with TextExpander, you can create JavaScript snippets.

\n

Hotkeys are a combination of keys which you can set in macOS or Windows to perform some action on your computer. For hotkeys you expect Command, Alt, Control, Shift, and other such keys to be pressed. In order to perform some action you can use Keyboard Maestro on Mac and system hotkeys on Windows.

\n

Q.

\n

Can TextExpander insert text into ALL Windows applications, including time and billing software?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander can see when you type an abbreviation and expand it into your full snippet in all the apps on PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad with very few exceptions.

\n

This makes it easy to create a system of responses in TextExpander which are CRM independent, or code snippets which are editor independent.

\n

One instance where you may run into trouble is if you are using one computer to remotely control another. In this case, make sure to turn TextExpander off on your local computer by disabling expansion, and keep it running on the remote computer.

\n

Q.

\n

Does TextExpander maintain a clipboard history?

\n

A.

\n

TextExpander doesn’t maintain a clipboard history, that’s something for Alfred on Mac or Clipmate on Windows. These types of apps are very handy, but don’t work directly with TextExpander.

\n

What’s a clipboard history?

\n

Every time you copy something, it is stored on the computer’s clipboard. You can then paste the last thing you copied but don’t have access to other thing’s you’ve previously copied. You can get an app which remembers all of the things which you have copied and gives you access to them.

\n

Q.

\n

How can I create custom forms with fill-in-the-blank snippets?

\n

A.

\n

Fill-in-the-blanks allow you to customize a snippet as you expand it. For example, in an email snippet you could have a blank area for the first name so you can customize it when you use it.
\nWatch how fill-ins work in our video.

\n
\n

This is part one of this two part post. Find Part 2 here.

\n

If there’s something you’d like to learn from us in a webinar let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

\n", "date_published": "2017-12-06T20:28:09+00:00", "date_modified": "2018-01-05T19:37:24+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maia Olson" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/TEblog-banner-legal-qa.png" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/three-simple-steps-to-get-up-and-running-with-textexpander/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/three-simple-steps-to-get-up-and-running-with-textexpander/", "title": "Three Simple Steps to Get Up and Running With TextExpander", "content_html": "
\"\"

Photo courtesy of Women of Color in Tech Chat

\n

How should a busy professional get started with TextExpander?

\n

You\u2019ve downloaded the free test drive version of TextExpander to your Mac or PC and are wondering how to set up your first few snippets.

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Building a solid snippet system is pretty straightforward once you\u2019ve answered three simple questions.

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Question 1: What type of text should I create snippets for?

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Start by identifying the text you type most frequently. Potential possibilities include:

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Question 2: How should I label my snippet?

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Your label is a descriptor of what the snippet is about. Labels can be as detailed as you like and can be easily renamed or edited as needed.

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Here are a few examples: \"\"

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Question 3: How should I abbreviate each snippet?

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While your label descriptor can be as detailed as you like, it\u2019s best to take a more minimalistic approach to abbreviations.

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The key to choosing abbreviations is to SUM it up – keep them short, unique and memorable.

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Think of each abbreviation as having two parts: the prefix, or signal, and the shortcut.

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The signal, which is the indicator that your abbreviation is underway, should typically be a key or combination of keys you rarely type.

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Sample Signals

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\"\"

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For example, some users begin all of their TextExpander snippets with a semicolon (;). The semicolon serves as a signal to launch the snippet.

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If you\u2019re using TextExpander for iPhone & iPad, you may want to begin all abbreviations with slash (/) since the semicolon is not visible on the main keyboard.

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What follows next is the text shortcut. The shortcut is a condensed description of the snippet.

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For instance,

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Here is a simple formula:

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Signal + Shortcut = Abbreviation \"\"

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Since TextExpander snippets can be case sensitive, you can mix upper and lower case or use all caps.

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Tip: You can make abbreviations case sensitive in the pop-up right next to the abbreviation field in the snippet editor.

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You can also share abbreviations with a team of people.

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Up and Running

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Once you decide on a signal and shortcut combo, you\u2019re set to start implementing your snippets into your daily workflow.

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The more you use a snippet, the easier it will be to recall the abbreviation. If ever you forget an abbreviation, you can always use the built-in search function to find your snippets by label, abbreviation, or content.

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Continue to add new snippets, structure snippets into groups, and track how much time you\u2019re saving each month.

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The only question left to answer is what will you do with your newfound free time?

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For more ideas, check out 12 great ways to chose TextExpander abbreviations.

\n", "date_published": "2017-11-21T17:04:25+00:00", "date_modified": "2017-11-21T20:37:05+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maisha Cannon" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/girl.jpg" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/tips-from-supconf-2017-how-to-make-remote-work-work-for-you/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/tips-from-supconf-2017-how-to-make-remote-work-work-for-you/", "title": "Tips from SupConf 2017: How to Make Remote-Work Work For You", "content_html": "

This month TextExpander helped to sponsor the support community-driven event, SupConf. This conference comes out of the Support Driven community, a place for workers in customer service and support to gather and trade tips, find mentors, and share support stories with peers. We\u2019re new to Support Driven, but it has been a great place for support team tips. Nothing like a room full of people who help others for a living for getting some advice.

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We want to thank Scott Tran for running Support Driven, and for throwing a great conference, it was our pleasure to be a part of it.

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SupConf was held in Atlanta this year, and covered: various support topics, remote work, even stealthy ways to get your way in a corporate setting.

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Some of the topics which really spoke to us were tips on remote work, such as those in Katharine McCarthy\u2019s talk. We\u2019re a completely remote team here at Smile, and many of the attendees and speakers are in the same boat (about 80%) and having the same issues. Plus, nothing is more productivity hack-y than learning from others\u2019 best practices.

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Here are some remote work tips, none of which include flying everyone out to meet each other:

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We definitely respect the power of video conferencing here. Zoom.us, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Skype, and Google Hangouts are some of the group video services we\u2019ve tried out, with Slack video as the simple one-on-one for quick chats. We all love and hate different services, so the search goes on.

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As for people dealing with the transition from office work to remote work, there are a couple of scenarios:

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Even within Smile, we have differing opinions on how remote work effects us.

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I started my own company so that I don\u2019t have to go to an office.
\n – Greg, Co-Founder

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What I\u2019ve learned from 10 years of working from home, I miss people.
\n – Philip, Co-Founder

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At first working from home drove me crazy, so I rented a co-working space. I liked it, but after a while I found myself working from home more often than not, and just going out to meet friends.
\n – Mike, Sales and Business Development

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I enjoy sinking into my comfortable, quiet shell. But, I work to find more things to do out of the house, so I don\u2019t forget how to interact with people. It is a skill, which only gets better with practice.
\n – Maia, Marketing

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SupConf also addressed the introvert/extrovert divide by having a quiet room for work or decompression, and two-sided wristbands. Flip the wristband to the yellow side to encourage people to speak with you, flip it to the black side to let people know you need some time to yourself. A convenient signal for a crowded event space.

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If you\u2019re interested in learning more about SupConf, read their Mega post.

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If you\u2019re in the support profession, you should definitely check out Support Driven.

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Thanks to everyone we met for being so welcoming. It was great meeting the TextExpander fans in the audience; we love you too!

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If you want to get in touch, just tweet us @TextExpander. If you want to talk with the TextExpander rep you met at SupConf, Maia is @maia in Support Driven Slack.

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And now, the pictures.

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\"Scott

Thanks to Scott Tran for a great conference, and for the Support Driven community!

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\"Maia,

Forgot to make a funny face, sorry Matt. \ud83d\ude2d

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\"pocket\"

TextExpander screen cloth as fashion accessory

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\"chimp\"

MailChimp Offices tour! Thank you Freddie \ud83d\ude4f

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\"magnets\"

Where’s the Slack version of magnet poetry?

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\"group

After hours fun with new friends: Snack, Gerald, Dave

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\n", "date_published": "2017-11-17T20:03:21+00:00", "date_modified": "2017-11-17T20:33:06+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maia Olson" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/TEblog-banner-supconf17-remote-work.png" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-crossover-simple-powerful-mobile-note-taking-with-drafts/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-crossover-simple-powerful-mobile-note-taking-with-drafts/", "title": "TextExpander Crossover: Simple, Powerful, Mobile Note-Taking With Drafts", "content_html": "

\"Drafts

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Since we deal with text all day, we welcome apps that help us deal with it faster, especially when they\u2019re mobile. For this TextExpander Crossover, we want to celebrate Drafts for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, from the fine folks at Agile Tortoise.

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Drafts is an unassuming app for taking action on your text. Each time you open it, you get a blank new note\u2014just start typing. That\u2019s handy, but the real magic of Drafts happens in what you can do with your text.

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Put your text to work

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Drafts ships with built-in actions to send your text to other apps, including your Mail app. Format and reformat your note, add it to existing notes, and more.

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More covers the ability to build your own actions, or download actions other Drafts users shared in the Action Directory. You can send a list to your favorite task manager, post to social media, grab shopping links from Amazon or the App Store… yeah, it gets pretty serious.

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TextExpander integration and a snippet example

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To really turn things up to 11, Drafts is one of the TextExpander-Enhanced Apps which supports our iPhone and iPad app. Use your snippets in Drafts just as you would on Mac or Windows, including using your fill-in-the-blank snippets. There\u2019s even a downloadable action which allows you to create new TextExpander snippets from a Drafts note.

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For example, many people use Drafts as a quick way to create things like new email, journal entries, business logs, shopping and travel lists, social media posts, and more. To that end, there are plenty of templates to get you started, such as those from Day One, a great journaling app.

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Another good example is using Drafts + TextExpander to create a reusable travel to-do list. Let\u2019s start with a simple template you can add to TextExpander as a snippet. Edit as needed:

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abbreviation: ttravel

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snippet content: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, makeup, tampons, shaving tools, other toiletries, passport, travel lock and keys, iPhone/iPad charger, luggage tag, underwear, socks, shirts, pants

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Next, in a new Drafts note, type your ttravel abbreviation to insert your travel to-do list text. Finally, tap the Action button in the upper right, then choose \u201cList in Reminders.\u201d

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Drafts will create a new task in Apple\u2019s Reminders app, one for each comma-separated item in your TextExpander travel snippet. This is a killer way to create reusable task lists, and it can be adapted for many other task managers Drafts supports. If you stick with Reminders, you can pick a specific list to use from Drafts\u2019 settings.

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Customization

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A quick, final word about customization in Drafts\u2014it has a lot. You can adjust: the shortcuts available in the custom keyboard bar; organize actions into separate lists; manage what (if anything) Drafts does automatically with a note after you use an action.

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Like TextExpander, Drafts is one of those apps where it helps to learn your way around, then start bending it to your whim and workflow.

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Go forth and Drafts

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Whether you work with text across many apps or would like to bring more templates into your daily mobile work, Drafts + TextExpander is a powerful combination.

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What apps are you using to get work done? Let us know @TextExpander.

\n", "date_published": "2017-11-16T16:04:03+00:00", "date_modified": "2018-01-05T19:37:41+00:00", "author": { "name": "David Chartier" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/TEBlog-Banner-social-xo-drafts.png" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-story-how-maisha-l-cannon-uses-textexpander-to-be-a-better-recruiter/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/textexpander-story-how-maisha-l-cannon-uses-textexpander-to-be-a-better-recruiter/", "title": "TextExpander Story: How Maisha L. Cannon Uses TextExpander to Be a Better Recruiter", "content_html": "

\"\"

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Welcome to another installment of TextExpander Stories. This is an ongoing series where we talk to interesting folks who want to share how they use TextExpander in their particular field, how it\u2019s impacted their work, and maybe even some unique tips on how they do what they do.

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To start, please introduce yourself and what you do for a living.

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I\u2019m Maisha and I am a professional recruiter with a passion for training. My specialty is sourcing – identifying, engaging and assessing talented people.

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I also enjoy sharing lessons learned from my career with the Recruiting/Sourcing community by speaking at conferences, conducting webinars and creating custom training for teams.

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And how about what you do for fun?

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I enjoy listening to music (from Mozart to Les Nubians) and learning about technology and design (from Python to cinemagraphs). I also write about a variety of topics, from non-linear career paths to tips for job seekers.

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What are some of the challenges in your line of work that TextExpander has helped you address? Where has it been most impactful for you?

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TextExpander has been the most impactful in my day-to-day correspondence with internal hiring managers and external candidates.

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Recruiters and sourcers can benefit greatly from TextExpander since many of the most time-consuming administrative pieces of our day – process documentation, note-taking, and written communication – can be automated.

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If you can remember, think back to your work B.T.E. – Before TextExpander. What were those dark times like?

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Tedious. Time-consuming. Inefficient.

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Do you remember how you discovered TextExpander?

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I was actually introduced to TextExpander during my onboarding as a Technical Sourcer at Google. I recall hearing the team trainer say, \u201cDownload this tool.\u201d I also recall ignoring that sage advice.

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A few weeks later, I had my light-bulb moment as I found myself typing the same outreach message to 20-30 candidates each day. I quickly downloaded the app. That was four years ago and TextExpander has played an integral role in my daily workflow ever since.

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If you could pick one thing, what would you most like to see improved or added to TextExpander?

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It\u2019s quite functional as is, but I would love to see the default text a bit larger and the UI a bit more slick and intuitive.

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Could you share a couple snippets that are specific to your industry?

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I like to send a follow-up email to candidates after the first discovery call (phone screening). Usually, this message contains links that address questions we weren\u2019t able to cover during the brief introductory call.

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Here\u2019s one from my days at LinkedIn:

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saving time and keystrokes with a common follow-up message.

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It\u2019s also nice to send an introduction to candidates who were referred by current employees.

\"Snippet:

Snippet: Note to an Employee Referral

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And this is a simple reply to a frequently asked question about remote work.

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\"Screen

Frequently used response to candidate inquiring about available locations.

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Can you share a couple of your TextExpander stats? Namely: number of snippets, and overall time saved?

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I saved four hours in August using almost 400 snippets. I\u2019m sure I spent that extra time napping!

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\"screen

Hours saved using TextExpander in August 2017.

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Wrap-up

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Thanks to Maisha for that peek into the wide world of recruiting and how TextExpander helps her be a better recruiter.

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You can find Maisha on Twitter @TalentGenie, on YouTube and find more of her thoughts on her blog at MaishaCannon.com.

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If you have a story to tell, let us know. Keep up with our tips, and stories, on Twitter @TextExpander or on Facebook.

\n", "date_published": "2017-11-07T17:48:32+00:00", "date_modified": "2017-11-21T16:50:02+00:00", "author": { "name": "Maisha Cannon" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/new1.png" }, { "id": "https://textexpander.com/entry/how-to-create-an-email-reply-system-with-textexpander/", "url": "https://textexpander.com/entry/how-to-create-an-email-reply-system-with-textexpander/", "title": "How To Create an Email Reply System with TextExpander", "content_html": "

\"\"

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Answering email can turn into a time sink, especially when you send the same responses over and over. Whether you\u2019re in customer support, work with multiple clients, or run a popular site, creating an email system which allows you to reuse replies is a huge time saver. Here\u2019s how to get started.

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Step 1: Find your first repeat message

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The first thing to do is sift through the past few days of your sent messages. Look for instances where you\u2019ve repeated yourself\u2014a common customer support reply, a pitch you send to clients, maybe even your email signature.

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Keep that message handy, because we\u2019ll use it to create your first reusable text snippet.

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Step 2: Install TextExpander

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TextExpander enables you to instantly insert text snippets anywhere you can type on your Mac, PC, iPhone and iPad. Type a couple characters and poof, a simple URL, your email signature, or entire pages of text will appear. It\u2019s a huge timesaver for everything from replying to customers and clients, filling out forms, creating newsletters, browsing the web, managing social media, and more.

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You can sign up for a free TextExpander test drive account, then download our apps. When it comes to setup and getting started, this guide is a good resource.

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Step 3: Create your new snippets

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Once TextExpander is set up, it\u2019s time to create your time-saving snippets:

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  1. On your Mac or PC, copy the message you found in Step 1
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  3. Open TextExpander, create a new snippet from the toolbar – Paste your response into the main body of the snippet
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  5. (Optional) At the bottom of the window, add an Abbreviation, a few characters you can type to automatically trigger your snippet
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As a quick aside, an abbreviation is a keyword you can assign to instantly trigger a snippet. For example, you could create a snippet for your email signature, then assign it an abbreviation of emailsig. Now, your email signature will appear wherever you type that abbreviation. To learn more, we have a post with five tips for creating and organizing snippets.

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Fortunately, you don\u2019t need to use abbreviations. As you\u2019ll learn in the next step, there is another way to easily use your snippets.

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Step 4: Try it out

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Now that you\u2019ve snippet-ized your response, let\u2019s give it a shot. Open a new message in your email app or CRM, and trigger your snippet in one of two ways:

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  1. If you assigned an abbreviation to your snippet in Step 3, simply type it in your message and watch the TextExpander magic happen
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  3. If you didn\u2019t give your text snippet an abbreviation trigger, you can quickly search your snippets by pressing Command + / on Mac or Control + / on Windows. This will display TextExpander\u2019s quick-search panel. Type a couple characters of a word in your snippet. Use your arrow keys to select it, then press Return for that sweet, sweet TextExpander magic.
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Step 5: Rinse, repeat

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Now that you\u2019ve created and expanded your first snippet, it\u2019s time to grow your snippet ranks. Search through your sent messages again for more repeat responses that you can turn into text snippets, then follow steps 3 and 4 with each response.

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As you build a library of text snippets, the time you save will grow exponentially. We have a few tips below on how to get even more out of TextExpander, including: tracking the amount of time saved by yourself and your entire team, how to create a memorable and actionable snippet abbreviation system, and how to turn everything into a text snippet.

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Your email doesn\u2019t stand a chance.

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Tips to go further

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In addition to assigning an abbreviation to trigger your snippets, labels become a powerful tool for finding snippets quickly. In the label field add a descriptive title for your snippet, great for longer snippets such as form letters. Or, fill the label with search keywords so that as your snippet library grows, you’ll be able to search and find the snippet you want with speed.

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5 Tips for Creating and Organizing TextExpander Snippets – Once you are familiar with the basics of TextExpander, it\u2019s a good idea to develop a strong organization habit for your text snippets and abbreviations.

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How to Get Started with TextExpander for Teams – TextExpander for Teams shares text snippets and saves a ton of time across entire organizations, or just family and friends. Here\u2019s how to get started.

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TextExpander Tip: How Much Time Have You Really Saved? – How much time are your text snippets actually saving you? If you work in an organization, how about time saved across everyone on your team? Fortunately, you can check your statistics, complete with a pretty graph!

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How to Quickly Turn Anything Into a Snippet with TextExpander for Mac, Windows – There are tools and shortcuts that expedite your snippet creation process.

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How to Keep Your Team On-Mesage With TextExpander Snippets – Learn how TextExpander can help everyone in your organization put your best foot forward with customer support, lead generation, and social media.

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TextExpander Tips: Text Snippets for Typing Dates for Today, the Future, and Yesterday – Typing dates is a pain whether it\u2019s today, yesterday, or some time in the future. TextExpander can automate it all and save you the annoyance.

\n", "date_published": "2017-10-31T13:34:43+00:00", "date_modified": "2017-11-04T02:01:20+00:00", "author": { "name": "David Chartier" }, "image": "https://textexpander.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/C48971E2-68D1-4650-97E2-4E6E09E7DFA5.jpeg" } ] }