Smile has released TextExpander 4.0.1, a maintenance follow-up for the recently updated typing shortcut utility with a modicum of fixes and improvements. The release restores transparency to menu bar icon, makes the checkbox label clickable for optional section fill-ins, and updates its help section for Japanese and Italian localizations. Additionally, equality abbreviations in the Symbol group now end with two equal signs (such as “>==”). It’s rounded out by many other unnamed minor fixes and improvements. ($34.95 new with a 20-percent discount for TidBITS members, $15 upgrade (free for purchases after 15 January 2012), free update, 8.5 MB)
Shorten URLs in TextExpander
If your Twitter client doesn't automatically shorten URLs for you, you can use TextExpander to shrink those long links to tweetable lengths. First, add the Internet Productivity group by choosing File > Add Predefined Group > Internet Productivity Snippets. Then, to shorten a URL using a service like TinyURL, copy the destination URL to the clipboard, and type the abbreviation
/tinyurl to insert the shortened URL at the insertion point.
Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Here's where that dictionary comes from.