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What is a text expander? And why should I use one?

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Thomas Reichenberger


Time is limited. Every day has only 24 hours. In an ideal world, we sleep eight hours per day which leaves us with 16 hours for work and private life. In these 16 hours, we usually want to do chores and tasks as efficiently as possible so that we gain more free time. It’s all about increasing productivity nowadays.

What is a text expander?

A Text expander, like Typinator, is a powerful tool that replaces short abbreviations with longer phrases, sentences, images and much more.

Have you ever typed an abbreviation like “yw” or “thx” to save time but then the recipient didn’t understand the message? A text expander allows you to write words, sentences, or even entire paragraphs by typing just a few abbreviations. It then automatically expands your abbreviations to whichever text you defined. Coming back to our defined abbreviations, you type “yw” or “thx” and the tool writes “you’re welcome” or “thank you” for example. You could even define that every time you write “thx” the tool expands your shortcut to “Thank you very much. Have a nice day.” Easy as pie, right? And so useful! But this is not the only use case for a text expander tool.

How does a text expander tool help me boost productivity?

Most of us are required to write tedious texts repeatedly, day by day, or even many times per day. Just think about how many times you write your first name, last name, address, or email somewhere. These repetitive tasks take time—time we could easily save for more important (or fun!) things.

That’s where a text expander comes in handy: It helps you complete repetitive tasks in the blink of an eye, and automatically checks spelling mistakes too! Sounds too good to be true?

It’s not! Text expanders do exactly that—and so much more.

Every day, we write countless messages and emails, fill out forms, or write other documents, most of them with recurrent text blocks. These tasks are often boring and time-consuming, no matter if it's about offers, confirmations, thank-you messages, or explications. The same is true for long, complex names or URLs you repeatedly have to write, as many mistakes and typos can creep in. That’s where these tools will help you.

The only thing you need to do to increase your writing efficiency—and quality—is to write your own shortcuts for recurring tasks or text blocks, and use our prefilled sets and features like auto-correction to fix typos on the fly. As soon as you type your abbreviations, they are automatically expanded to the previously defined boilerplate text.

Imagine how much more pleasant and stress-free work could be! A small tool with big effects. By the way, even if it's called text expander, the tool can do much more than that: feel free to add images, use placeholders that allow you to select text bits from a list of options to complement parts of the text depending on the topic, or add personalized content like a first name, prices, or whatever you need. Need more examples? Have a look at our Typinator: Learn center.

Who benefits from a text expander?

The short answer is: everyone. Because you can also use it for so much more than business topics. But let’s dive a bit deeper here ...

Office workers (of any kind)

As soon as you’re using a laptop or computer to do your daily work, you’ll love a text expander tool. Defining shortcuts for repetitive paragraphs in emails not only minimizes the time needed to write them but also helps avoid any typos or misspellings. Furthermore, text expanders can carry out keyboard shortcuts—an incredibly helpful task that simplifies work on any digital device. Text expander tools also make quoting easier, especially when the same phrases have to be used again and again. Just define a snippet for these sentences and voilà, typing a short letter combination will be enough to insert the entire quote.

Students & programmers

Students benefit from text expander tools not only when writing emails (hello time saver, bye-bye typos!) but for any written assignment. Customize snippets which expand to typical email headings, greetings, or closings and use the auto-correction feature to make sure you deliver high-quality texts.

Programmers and anyone working with programming languages can resort to a text expander tool to define their own code snippets to speed up their programming in HTML, CSS, or any other programming language and avoid tiny typos that might make your applications crash all the time.

Customer relationship managers

Customer relationship managers know how tedious it is to write the exact same emails, messages, sentences and paragraphs over and over again. Say goodbye to typing “Please refer to our FAQ section” a hundred times per day. And don’t worry about going through old emails to copy-paste the answer you’re looking for or rereading all your messages to check for typos—all of these become things of the past when using a text expander. You can even add your own corrections to the auto-correction feature.

As a consequence, text expanders help you save time. You might need to invest a little time at the beginning to create the ideal shortcuts for your answers, phrases, and images. You could even add form elements to fill out while using the expansion in case there are some variables that may require slightly different answers. But once you’ve done that, your productivity and efficiency will increase times ten.

Working in a team? Share sets of custom abbreviations with your entire team to ensure everybody is writing in the same corporate language!

Text expanders in a nutshell

In short, text expanders help you save time, they take over your tiresome work, thereby allowing you to focus on the important things. These tools have multiple features that can considerably improve your everyday work life, which is why such programs are often used in offices around the world.

Want to join the club? Or need to see it with your own eyes to be convinced? Try out Typinator for free now!

Save time with Typinator

Enter words, sentences, or even entire paragraphs by typing just a few characters. Save time for the really important things in life.