Be faster and more productive - Text Expander

iOS devices rely heavily on touches and working with the on-screen keyboards are something we are used to but is not exactly very convenient. There are several users that can type like hundreds of words per minutes. However many of us cannot type very fast or well on these on-screen keyboards. In addition to this the hilarious or embarrassing text that Auto-correct replaces in our messages, is no laughing matter. What if we could have some control over what we do?

Text Expansion

We are reviewing the app Text Expander, it is a simple app that does one thing -> Text Expansion. So you might ask the question what is Text Expansion, it is a simple concept. You might be writing emails daily, the mail client adds an automatic signature, that contains your email, url, designation, etc. If you were to type this regularly, you could have errors, spelling mistakes, missing out some text, etc. Text Expansion replaces some text with a pre-determined text like "Be right back" when you type "brb" or "" when I type "myurl".

Why should Text Expansion be useful?

As mentioned above, it saves you additional and excessive keystrokes. So when you are writing your emails, or text you can quickly get productive and save time. In an attempt to save repeating myself about how text expansion is useful, lets look at it from the perspective of a developer. You might write the same code everytime you create an UITableView. After all you have to create a class of type UITableView and conform to the UITableViewDataSource and UITableViewDelegate and therefore also write the functions required to satisfy the delegates. What if you could boost your workflow with simply typing "cdeTableView" which would expand into all of the lines of code that you would have to type otherwise. Xcode has user code snippets that can be drag-dropped or replaced while typing some trigger text.

Relevance with iOS devices

You would not be typing code or working with Xcode (as yet) on the iOS devices but you would be using it for all of the other stuff like emails, word, PowerPoint, lists, notes, etc. In all of those applications you would require text expansion. In addition to simple text, you can also add replacement text like date, time, etc.

What can Text Expander do?

Firstly, each and every iOS device has the ability to text expand using the auto-correct feature, just like you could add your own auto-correct text in the Microsoft suite of products. The only issue with that is that is is a simple expansion, it looks at the text and simply replaces it with the fixed text. Where as with Text Expander, the text can be dynamic, i.e. have custom fields that can use variables, move cursor positions, etc. In addition to this, you can also have formatted text with colors, bold, italics, etc.

What more can it do?

There is a Desktop version of Text Expander, so that you can have text expansion options on the desktop too. Over a period of time, many users create large repositories of code snippets and then when you consider replacing your devices like the iPadPro for the Mac desktop, it is a task to move your snippets. Text Expander has a feature that allows you to sync your snippets across the local network between your devices, both the OSX and iOS.

In addition to this, Text Expander is also available as an SDK to integrate into your own applications. This allows your applications to take advantage of the text expansion from right within. One good example of this is Textastic, the text editor for iPads. This allows you to edit your code and even write your code, upload it to a WebDAV server or Dropbox and if you can have your workflow right, have it available the moment you save the file.


There are quite a few text expansion software available that do similar things as Text Expander. Some of the advantages that Text Expander has over the other applications are that it has both an OSX and an iOS applications. These synchronize with each other sharing the snippets created in either. It has a SDK that integrates with your own application (if you code it) to provide the functionality from within the app. Lastly, it has matured and proven itself as an application. It even adds a custom keyboard for use in other applications. It also allows you to set up data to autofill forms.

Software : Text Expander
Version : 3
Publisher : SmileOnMyMac
Website :
Twitter : @smilesoftware
Platform : iOS 8.0+
Price : $4.99
iTunes Store :