Wednesday, June 24, 2015


For many years I used the handy Mac app TextExpander. I was loyal, very. When OS X Mavericks made life with TextExpander (temporarily) difficult, I bought aText, and sad to say, I never went back to TextExpander.

A simple explanation of aText: “aText accelerates your typing by replacing abbreviations with frequently used phrases you define.” It can get much more complicated and much more wonderful than that. A fairly simple example: I’ve created an abbreviation to make a hyperlink, ,paste. (The abbreviation could be anything; I find that the less cryptic, the better.) The content that goes with this abbreviation:

<a href="[clipboard]">[|]</>
After copying a URL to the clipboard, I type ,paste. The result:
<a href="">|</a>
with the cursor (|) positioned for adding text. The app makes HTML so easy that I’ve never felt any great need for Markdown.

TextExpander now sells for $44.95. The price for aText: $4.95. Seeing the price for the latest update to TextExpander ($19.95) prompted me to write this post. I know which app I’d buy if I were starting out.

Both apps remind me of early adventures with MacroWorks, a Beagle Bros program that modified AppleWorks. MacroWorks gave me my first practice in getting a computer to do things my way.

A tenuously related post
Beagle Bros disk-care warnings

comments: 2

brownstudy said...

Thanks for recommending this. I was one of those caught up wondering how much TextExpander was worth to me. I like aText quite a lot so far -- feels much faster than TE. Even on a pretty fast Mac, there was always a bit of a lag before TE would fire.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m glad it’s working well for you, Mike. I too remember it as being more responsive than TE.