Expand Your Text and Free Your Mind


Other contributors to this blog have covered different tools that are available to help manage the social media workload: monitoring apps, scheduling apps, grammar-checking apps and on and on. No doubt, there wouldn’t be nearly as much content being generated and shared if all the work had to be done manually.

Well, here’s another addition to the tip jar . . . text expansion.

Text expansion tools are plug-ins and built-in utilities that save you the time and hassle of typing the same letters over and over. In my case, I probably use my district’s name, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, at least a dozen times a day. But, I rarely enter that phrase by keying it in completely.

When I’m creating a document in Word, the software automatically kicks in after four letters (F-r-a-n) and prompts me to “Press ENTER to Insert” the complete phrase. That’s because I use AutoComplete to help out with that repetitive task. There’s a good tutorial on how to set up AutoComplete for Word on the eHow site.

That’s great if you spend all of your day in Word. What’s even better, though, is having the ability to use text expansion across all of your work. An example is the built-in text expansion possibilities offered by Apple for OS X and iOS devices. You can set up the Keyboard Shortcuts utility to be synced across iCloud such that all of your text expansion shortcuts are available to you whether you’re working at your desk, on your iPad or on your iPhone. Then, whether you’re creating a document, texting or filling out a form, text expansion is at your beck and call.

If you’re in the Windows world, there are many options available (both free and paid). Here are just a few that you can look into:

  • PhraseExpress
  • Texter
  • Breevy

If you have other text expansion tips, be sure to comment on those and share your experiences.

photo credit: monique’s typewriter via photopin (license)

One Reply to “Expand Your Text and Free Your Mind”

  1. TextExpander is a great Mac option with iOS counterpart. It’s feature set expands (sorry) to include filling form fields and even executing scripts (shell, AppleScript, javascript, etc.) if you’re techie that way.

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