Snippets Overview

The combination of the abbreviation you type, and the longer text which expands, is called a Snippet. Snippets can range in content from repetitive emails to online forms and fields. There are a few sections that make a Snippet and a few ways to make those Snippets great.

How to Create a Snippet

Snippet Groups

  1. Open the TextExpander App and select “New Group”.
  2. Add a name for your Snippet Group. Group names should be recognizable so you can easily find them when browsing through your Snippets.
  3. Add notes to your Snippet Group. Group notes should explain what the Snippets in that Group are used for. Be as detailed as possible. Remember, TextExpander will become an intrical part of your workflow and will help onboard new team members.
  4. Set Expand in preferences to choose what applications you want this Snippet Group to expand in.
    1. The first option is Default, which is what you’ve set in TextExpander Preferences.
    2. All Applications means the Snippets in the Group will expand everywhere you type them. 
    3. All Applications, Except allows you to choose which apps you don’t want TextExpander to expand in.
    4. Only These Applications allows you to cherry pick select apps for this Snippet Group.
  5. Set Expand when preferences to choose when TextExpander expands an abbreviation.
    1. Whitespace precedes abbreviation means your Snippets will expand only if there is a space before your abbreviation.
    2. All but letters & number precede abbreviation allows you to expand an abbreviation next to a character such as a parenthesis.
    3. Any character precedes abbreviation means your Snippets will expand when any letter, number, or character is present
  6. Choose the Group prefix. Prefixes are the set of letters or characters placed before your abbreviation to help reduce accidentally expanding your snippet. They’re also useful in organizing shared Snippets.


  1. Open the TextExpander App and select the Snippet Group you’d like your new Snippet in, then select “New Snippet”
  2. Underneath Content Type select the Content: menu.
    1. Choose Plain Text for Snippets with no additional formatting. It’ll adapt to the format in which it’s expanded.
    2. Choose Formatted Text, Pictures to customize Snippets and include more enriched features such as hyperlinks and pictures.
    3. Shell Script, AppleScript, and JavaScript executes in the context of the TextExpander application. The script can perform various actions such as controlling or requesting information from other applications, but the snippet will expand to whatever text is returned.
  3. Underneath the Content Type is the Editing bar. The Editing bar is where you choose from the different enriched features to customize your Snippet.
    1. See TextExpander’s Advanced Snippet Elements such as Date and Time, Keyboard Macros, and Fill-ins.
  4. The text that you want to expand goes in the Snippet Editor. Text added to the Snippet Editor can be anything from your email address to a follow-up email.
  5. Every good Snippet has a Label. The Label field is where you name and describe your Snippet. A good Label describes the “who, what, when, where, and how” of every Snippet and includes keywords to increase searchability. Example: “Email: Welcome email to send to a new customer”
  6. Abbreviations are what make your Snippets expand. They should be simple, easy to type, and easy to remember to increase adoption. Ex: “//sig” for a personal Snippet and “cs.welcome” for shared Organization Snippets. When creating Abbreviations, make sure you clear any conflicting Abbreviations before finishing your Snippet.
  7. You can also choose to expand case sensitive Snippets.