Tag Archives: text expansion


Automating Writing with TextExpander Scripts


TextExpander is a slightly terrifying key logger a well-designed, intensely useful app for Mac & iOS that does exactly what it says on the tin: it takes little snippets of text and blows them up into arbitrarily longer ones. Ryan wrote about it 5 years (!?!) ago, and George followed up with a post about using it for grading.

The real power of TextExpander comes into focus when you start to reflect on just how many things are text. For example, scripts are just text.

Helmut Hauser, who teaches…


Create Calendar Templates On Your iOS Device with Calendar Paste


Any calendar app worth the name can probably handle at least two kinds of events pretty easily: one-off meetings, and regularly recurring meetings. But into any academic life, there’s at least one other kind of meeting that’s also recognizable: the appointment or meeting that happens with some frequency, but not on a set schedule.

For example, department meetings sometimes wander around the calendar in order to be available to as many faculty members as possible. Committee meetings are someti…


Ten Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

A nest-shaped bowl with buttons with Twitter logos, a hash and @ signIt’s no surprise that we here at ProfHacker like Twitter. We’ve covered how to start tweeting (and why you might want to) and practical advice for teaching with Twitter. I’ve found Twitter to be a tremendous boon to developing my professional networks and helping me stay on top of what’s happening in my fields of scholarship. But there’s one place where where Twitter perhaps ends up being more valuable for me than other place: at conferences.

Tweeting at conferences is a great way to share what …


Text Expansion, Macros, and More with AutoHotkey for Windows

Man playing AccordionText expansion generally refers to the way a few typed letters can expand into entire words, sentences, or even paragraphs. It’s a simple idea but an incredible time-saver.

We’ve talked about text expansion tools before on ProfHacker, but we’ve tended to focus on the Mac. What about text expansion for Windows? I’d like to recommend AutoHotkey, a powerful, open-source and free scripting tool that handles text expansion but also so much more. I’ve been using AutoHotkey for years, and it’s beco…


New (and Simple) Twists on Text Expansion

Neon sign for

One of the great things about writing for ProfHacker is that I get to learn about new tools from my fellow bloggers that end up saving me a lot of time. That’s been the case with text expansion software. In short, text expansion tools allow you to type small bits of text (a “snippet”) and have them automatically replaced automatically by pre-determined chunks of text. Instead of typing out an entire signature at the end of an email, in other words, I can just type “blc” and my standard signatur…


Using Text Expansion for Mobile E-mail

Blue postbox?!This week, I was at an event on faculty-student boundaries and expectations in the age of social media and smartphones. There were several interesting points of discussion–most people (students and faculty) seemed to agree that it’s a little weird for faculty to ‘friend’ students first; what variables go into “how quickly should someone respond to an e-mail,” etc. Inevitably, someone complained about writing. If students aren’t writing rude messages, they’re introducing all kinds of text-mess…


Using Text-Expansion Software to Respond to Student Writing

Picture of an essay with an editor's handwritten comments on it.I’ve recently started using text expansion software to improve the written feedback I provide to my students with regard to their writing, and it’s made a huge difference. Let me explain.

I teach students how to write. It’s a huge part of my job, and I love it…for the most part. I love talking with students about their writing. I love looking at their drafts and giving them feedback. I love reading what they write. One thing I don’t love, however, is writing up my comments about their writing, c…


Smarter Typing Through Text Expansion

text expanderIn last Friday’s post on developing an electronic communication policy, Ethan mentioned that he was considering adopting SmileOnMyMac’s TextExpander to respond quickly to student emails. This was a fortuitous (dare I say well-planned?) comment, as I was working on this post even as I read his article. TextExpander has become such an integral (and even subconscious) part of my routine that, quite honestly, I often forget it’s not a part of my computer’s operating system.

There are quite a few tex…