Want to use a text expansion utility to save typing cumbersome phrases but dislike switching programs to create snippets? The new TextExpander 3.0 from SmileOnMyMac adds a hotkey combination that opens a quick entry window for snippet creation, and another hotkey lets you edit the last-expanded snippet, making it easier to update one that's no longer quite right. Other new features in TextExpander include "fill-in" snippets that can prompt you for additional text to be entered manually, new options for finding snippets in your collection, and snippet syncing via both MobileMe and Dropbox. Minor changes include the capability to insert Tab and Return characters in snippets, correction of accidental double-capitalizations at the start of sentences, automatic updates via Sparkle, and more. Finally, TextExpander 3 is now a full-fledged application rather than a preference pane. ($34.95 new, $15 upgrades, free for those who purchased after 1 November 2009, 4.5 MB)
Avoid Simple Typos
If, like me, you find yourself typing 2911 in place of 2011 entirely too often, you can have Mac OS X (either Lion or Snow Leopard) fix such typos for you automatically. Just open the Language & Text pane of System Preferences, click the Text button at the top, and then add a text substitution by clicking the + button underneath the list. It won't work everywhere (for that you'll want a utility like Smile's TextExpander), but it should work in applications like Pages and TextEdit, and in Save dialog boxes.
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