Help: Grouping Snippets and Importing Groups

TextExpander lets you organize your snippets into groups, as well as import snippet groups from files and the web. Preferences can be set by group, including application exclusion, expansion behavior and sounds. (See Group Settings below.)

When you first launch TextExpander, you are provided with one group of sample snippets.

Creating A New Group

To create a new group, click on New Group new group button or choose File > New Group from the menu.

You can add snippets to the group by clicking on New Snippet new snippet button in the toolbar or choose File > New Snippet from the menu. You can also drag snippets from one group to another. (See Creating Snippets for more details).

Add Group from File

You can add a group from an existing snippet group file in the Mac app, or, if you're on Windows, use the web interface. For details on adding a group from the web interface see the article TextExpander.com Adds Online Import/Export.

  1. Choose File > Add Group from File... from the menu.

  2. Find the snippet file that you want to import as a snippet group.

  3. Click Open.

The allowable snippet file formats are:

  • TextExpander

  • TypeIt4Me (v2 and v3)

  • Text files (comma- and tab-separated)

  • RTF files (comma- and tab-separated)

  • RTFD files (comma- and tab-separated)

Notes: When using comma or tab-separated text, TextExpander looks for the abbreviation first, then the snippet content, then the label, and examines only the first two "separated" items per line. For example, the file's content will look something like this:

    ttyl,Talk to you later!,greeting 1
    em1,lisanewton @ acmecompany.com,work email

    When using comma-separated text, you can enclose the snippet content in quotation marks (") across multiple lines. If the content contains quotation marks, double them up: (""). For example:

    snip1,"I can span
    multiple lines, and I can contain “quotation” marks.",label

Import Groups on TextExpander.com

You can also import groups on TextExpander.com, in either comma-separated value format (.csv), or a single TextExpander snippet group file (.textexpander). See the above section for more details on how to set up your .csv file format.

Sign in to your account on TextExpander.com and open the settings to the Import/Export tab. Learn more in our article How To Import / Export Groups on TextExpander.com.

Add Public Groups

TextExpander offers many ready-made snippet groups which you can find, and add to your library, on the Public Groups page. To add a group:

  1. Visit Public Groups, or from the app,

    • Choose File > Add Public Group from the menubar or
    • Open the TextExpander window, click on the “+” plus button in the lower left corner of the window, then choose Add Public Groups....

  2. Locate a group you'd like to add from the page, then click on Subscribe.

  3. The next screen will show the Subscribe screen for that group. click Subscribe to Group. If you aren't signed in to TextExpander.com, you will be asked to do so first.
    Now you're done, the group has been added to your library.

Anyone may choose to publish a group on this page, and any TextExpander user may use those groups. The groups provided by TextExpander include the following:

  • Accented Words
    Over 50 English words of non-English origin that are spelled using diacritical accent marks. For example, crème, brûlée, protégé.

  • Emoji
    Over 200 emoji, such as :thumbsup: 👍 :sunglasses: 😎 :cookie: 🍪.

  • HTML & CSS Snippets
    HTML tags and special character codes, CSS selectors and declarations.

  • Internet Productivity Snippets
    Shorten URLs automatically using services like bit.ly; validate URLs. To use one of these snippets, copy a URL, then type the abbreviation of one of the productivity snippets. A shortened URL will expand.

  • Symbol Snippets
    Insert common symbols, such as ®, ©, and €.

  • AutoCorrect Snippets
    Over 100 of the most commonly-misspelled words in English.

  • AutoCorrect Snippets (Deutsch)
    Over 100 of the most commonly-misspelled words in German.

  • AutoCorrect Snippets (Français)
    Over 100 of the most commonly-misspelled words in French.

  • TidBITS AutoCorrect Dictionary
    2400+ English-language misspellings based on the exhaustive AutoCorrect Dictionary created by TidBITS publisher Adam Engst and collaborator Micah Alpern. (For more details, go to http://db.tidbits.com/article/6103.)

Note: For best results when using AutoCorrect files, TextExpander should be set to expand "immediately when typed" instead of "at delimiter". (See Preferences: Expand Abbreviations).

Group Settings

To access a group's settings, select the group in the list on the left. The following preferences appear on the right:

  • Name
    Rename the group. If it is a shared group and you do not have edit permissions you will not be able to edit the group name.

  • Share / Sharing
    Use this button to open the share settings on the web so that you can share your group with other TextExpander users. If you do not have the permission level to edit he group, you can view the settings. If the button says Sharing then this is a shared group, and you can click this button to open TextExpander.com to make any edits.

  • Notes
    A description of the group and the intended use of its snippets. Useful for a shared group.

  • Expand in
    You can disable TextExpander to prevent it from working in specific applications. The default is set in TextExpander > Preferences > Expansion, but you can customize which applications work with specific TextExpander groups. The options are:
    • All Applications
      Enable the snippets in the group to expand in all apps on your computer. This overrides any exclusions set in the Preferences.
    • All Applications, Except...
      Select a few apps to exclude from expanding this group's snippets.
    • Only These Applications...
      Specify the only apps this group's snippets can expand in.
    • No Applications (Disable)
      This group's snippets are essentially turned off, and will not work in any application.
  • Sound
    Choose the sound that is played when a snippet is expanded, or choose "none".

  • Expand When
    Expansion options are set on a per-group basis. They determine whether an abbreviation will expand when it is typed directly after a blank space or another character. For example, you may not want a group of autocorrect snippets to expand if typed right next to another character, because it might expand in the middle of a word you deliberately typed. Set this group to Whitespace. Words you type right after a parenthesis will need to be able to expand next to punctuation, but not necessarily next to other letters. Set this group to All but letters and numbers.
    • Whitespace
      The abbreviations are expanded only when preceded by a space. This is the default option.
    • All but letters and numbers
      The abbreviations are expanded when preceded by any character, excluding letters and numbers.
    • All characters
      The abbreviations are expanded wherever they are typed, even in the middle of a word. Use this option cautiously.
    Another factor which determines if a snippet expands is the based on the character typed directly after the abbreviation. (To learn more about delimiters see Expand immediately vs. using delimiters).
  • Inline Search
    Uncheck this box if you do not want the snippets in this group to be included when using Inline Search.
    (See Using TextExpander: Inline Search).
  • Prefix (or Override for shared groups)
    Specify a character or a few characters to be typed as the first part of the abbreviation for every snippet in the group.
  • # of ## snippets
    In the lower right corner, view the number of snippets in the current group, and the total number of snippets you have.




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