Impulse: Leaving TextExpander?

I first started using TextExpander in 2016. And at the time, I was a required download for automation nerds. Tying a short phrase that would expand into a bigger body of text or easy-to-fat-finger text, was all it took to warrant the price.

As things typically go in tech, the number of tools offering such a service continues to grow. And that means the old-timers have to innovate to keep feature parity and stay at the top of the “Best Apps” lists.

In the case of TextExpander, that happened for a while. But in 2016, Smile Software made TextExpander a subscription service instead of a one-time purchase. They were one of the first productivity apps to do so and it created some pretty substantial waves. Many left. But many of us stayed.

Those who stayed were given access to a “Life Hacker Plan” that was discounted. And in my case, I was also given some free credits since I have an affiliate account with them.

Those credits expire in two months and I’ll be charged for another year.

Since that time is fast approaching, I need to decide if TextExpander is going to stay in my toolkit or if these newcomers have truly usurped the historic champion of this category.

There are many that I’m considering: Keyboard Maestro, Typinator, TypeIt4Me, PhraseExpress, Alfred, aText, and others.

So today, I’m going to examine each of these and pick one or two to experiment with over the next couple of months. If TextExpander is still the best, I’ll keep it.

At the same time, I’m concerned about the future of TextExpander. Yes, it still receives updates, but it’s been over a year since one of those updates applied to personal use instead of pointed at team or enterprise users. That’s a red flag these days.

If you’re curious about these things, join me today after the Apple event.

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Now shortcuts is coming to the Mac, that might herald some changes for text expansion, … ???