TextExpander

If you don’t use text expansion yet and want to give it a try, I strongly discourage you to go with TextExpander. 40$/year for a small utility like TextExpander is insane, especially knowing that their so-called “sync” engine is far from perfect – a.k.a. buggy. And don’t by the standalone apps, they basically don’t updated them anymore, only bug fixes and removal of key features like Dropbox sync…

The only advantage of TextExpander is to exist on Mac, iOS and Windows – and as my work machine is currently a PC… You see why I stick with them. I also have a lifetime 50% discount on the yearly pricing – but even at 20$/year, I still find Expander overly priced, especially considering how rare new features are added since they switched to subscriptions.

You should also be aware that they run their own sync engine. I don’t trust small companies that build a “cloud” as a side feature, especially for security reasons1). For instance Day One, that made some really bad design choices that lead to data breaches or frequent outages (compare with Dropbox). TextExpander took almost a year to encrypt the synced data stored on their servers, and to be honest, I don’t wonder if a data breach will occur on TextExpander sync, but when.

If you only have a Mac, I recommend to go with aText (one-time 5\$ fee!) or TypeIt4Me (one time 20€ fee, an iOS app is available too). I don’t know for Windows.

How to output nicely formatted dates in TextExpander? Use JavaScript.

Date in US format:

var event = new Date();
var options = { year: 'numeric', month: 'long', day: 'numeric' };
event.toLocaleDateString('en-US', options);

Date in French format:

var event = new Date();
var options = { year: 'numeric', month: 'long', day: 'numeric' };
event.toLocaleDateString('fr-FR', options);

TextExpander accepts JavaScript scripts.

To generate a random number between 1 and 1.000.000.000, use this code:

Math.floor((Math.random() * 1000000000) + 1);

1)
This is why I am so reluctant to go with the 1Password subscription.
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  • Last modified: 11 months ago
  • by Olivier Simard-Casanova