How TextExpander Works With Java, X11, Parallels, VMware, Remote Desktop, And Virtual Systems

TextExpander places your Snippet expansion on the clipboard, then quickly generates a Command-V or Control-V keystroke to paste it in. When that doesn’t work, sometimes you are left with the “v” of the paste command.

Java seems to assume that the clipboard contents cannot be changed by an external force unless you switch to another application and come back, so TextExpander does not work with most Java-based applications.

Virtual Machines like Parallels and VMware do try to “transport” your pasteboard from the Mac environment to the virtualized system, but TextExpander’s changes seem to occur too quickly or otherwise not be recognized.

Remote Desktop and other applications that provide virtual access to another system have similar issues — the changes TextExpander makes to the pasteboard happen too fast to get transferred to the remote system.

In order for TextExpander to work with Remote Desktop, TextExpander should be installed and running on the remote computer. In addition, expansion should be disabled in the remote desktop application on the local computer (i.e. the computer you are physically in front of).

You can disable TextExpander expansion in the remote desktop application on your local computer by going to Preferences > Expansion and changing the value of ‘Expand Snippet groups in:’ to ‘All applications, except’ and then choosing the remote desktop application.