Alfred Snippet Feature / Cancelled TextExpander

I like TE and I have used it for years. However, after listening to the MPU’s podcast "Spotlight, Alfred & LaunchBar "I was reintroduced to Alfred. I’d used it in the past but for some reason stopped using it.

After the podcast, I reinstalled the upgrade and added the PowerPack and recreated my TE snippets in Alfred. The snippet feature is powerful enough that I will no longer need to pay a subscription to TE. I cancelled the TE subscription one day before the renewal. That was timely! :slight_smile:

I’m down to five subscriptions (Apple Music, iCloud Drive storage, Ulysses, 1Password, and Day One).


I love using Alfred; it was like washing a dirty window after years of using the sometimes-overcomplicated, commands-change-based-on-context LaunchBar.

As far as subscriptions go, for Mac/iOS app-specific subs I’ve got the ones you do plus Day One, Hello Weather, AnyList, Pocket, Adobe Creative Cloud, Backblaze, and Todoist. (And the list goes [terrifyingly] on for related things like Internet access, VPN, streaming services, news access, etc.)

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I was’t listing everything that are “givens.” :slight_smile: Obviously I have monthly charges (subscriptions) for Internet access, Uverse, and Netflix. But, I will say, I have relatively few monthly recurring charges that could be considered a “subscription service.” And, I review what I do have every six months and decide if I will keep them or not. Within the last two weeks I’ve cancelled both Drafts and TE.

I’m fairly rigorous about this and try not to indulge too much. There are apps, however, that are currently well worth their current subscription cost–1Password and Ulysses being at the top of my list. :slight_smile:

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FYI. There’s a handy iOS app called Bobby that keeps track of your subscriptions. They say, “Get insights in your fixed costs. Manage your subscriptions and get notified when a bill is due.” Besides notifications of subscriptions due, one very handy thing it does is gives you a pro-rated cost of your subscriptions per month. That can be very enlightening.

NOTE: I have NO connections with Bobby. I just think it’s a handy app.



Hey @Bmosbacker, did you use any script or special tool to import your TE snipers into Alfred? I was looking for a way to perform the same migration as painless as possible.

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What is everyone doing for mobile? That is the one piece that keeps me using TE.

Thanks for the recommendation, it looks excellent. I’ll give it a try. I did check the privacy policy and like it:

“ Bobby - Legal information

Bobby App has been created to help you track repeating subscriptions and requires its users to enter data regarding subscription payments. Bobby App will never ask you to enter payment credentials or other personalized data. Bobby doesn’t require any personal user details to be entered anywhere in the app and therefor is not connected to a user’s subscriptions. Bobby App and it’s creators can not be held responsible for (un)successfully notifying users of upcoming and/or due subscription payments. Bobby App and it’s creators can not be held responsible for any incorrect user data entered in the app. Any user generated data that is entered in Bobby App is neither saved on a server nor distributed. User generated data is exclusively stored on a user’s iDevice, though it will be included in an iCloud backup.”

I have a two-fold approach on mobile. For short snippets, 1-3 lines max, I use the built in keyboard text replacement feature. It works fine on mobile. For longer snippets I have them in Apple Notes. When I need them I simply copy and paste when on mobile, which I think Alfred will make easy. My snippets tend to fall within two length ranges—short and long so this works well for me.

What I will miss is the drop-down and fill-in fields that TE provides. However, for the relatively few snippets setup this way (I have approx. 10), I duplicated the snippets in Apple Notes and left ( ) where I need to add customized information. This works well and does not take much more time than using the TE fields.

Using Alfred on Mac and keyboard text replacement or Apple Notes on mobile works well enough that the cost of a TE subscription no longer has a sufficient ROI for my use case.

I hope this helps.


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I’m not sure if you’ve looked into Keyboard Maestro at all for the template based/drop down text, but I have set up a couple in there and it works pretty well. Slightly more complex to set up on the front end but once it’s set up it’s good to go.

I have Hazel monitoring the Alfred snippets folder and automatically updating the TE library with new snippets via Applescript. I still have the last non-subscription version of TE running but set to not expand snippets, but in principle this could be done by directly changing the TE .plist files. TE settings sync via Dropbox to the last non-subscription version of TE mobile which also still works fine.

I also have Hazel run a script to add every new snippet to Copied, which also syncs to iOS.

Thanks Tyler for the suggestion. I have not yet purchased KM. I’m not sure I’d get enough use out of it. I use my iPad Pro 80% + of the time and I still haven’t found a consistent use for the Shortcuts app on iOS. Also, Alfred will probably meet my needs on MacOS. I haven’t taken the time to learn a lot of automation and given my workflows and work responsibilities I’m not sure I’d get enough ROI of time to warrant the time or effort. :slight_smile:

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Installed and loaded Bobby. I like it a lot–thanks for the recommendation!!

I should thank you for making me remember it! I didn’t realize that I had not updated it in a while and several subscriptions had changed.

I use Alfred snippet expansion for short strings (mails, phone and account numbers etc.) and especially emoji expansion!

And I switched from TextExpander to RocketTypist for longer templates that might include dynamic dates, dropdown selections or words that need to be filled into a blank before pasting the text. You can also reference other templates within one so that you only have to maintain one “true source” of a piece of information within the app.
It’s an amazing little tool, if you are looking for something more powerful than Alfred and want to avoid subscriptions. Also the developer is really friendly and responds to bugs quickly and thankfully. Worth every penny to support it! (It’s also available on setapp.)

@tonycr Wow! Thanks for mentioning Bobby. Juts bought it and it is amazing :slight_smile:

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Yes @Bmosbacker, like you I cancelled my TE subscription after realising that Alfred did most of what I needed. On iPad I am experimenting with Copied for longer pieces of text which I can then drag into documents.

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You might try Siri Shortcuts to provide fill in fields, it takes a little effort in the beginning but it’s worth it for template creation.

After a while, creating Siri Shortcuts for templating becomes second nature.

No, I just copied and pasted. I don’t code and have never tried to create a script. Fortunately, I only had 100 +/- snippets so it only took about 30 minutes or less. There may automation tools available that others more expert in that area can offer.

That sounds like a good suggestion. Unfortunately, given my lack of coding ability, virtually zero :slight_smile:, it would probably take me longer to create the short cut then to type the snippets! :rofl:

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That’s what I thought. Try out the MacSparky Siri Shortcuts video field guide. IT’s always intimidating when we don’t know what we’re getting into and we hear about MacSparky and Rosemary Orchard dazzle us with their Siri Shortcut prowess on the Automators podcast. But once you peek underneath the hood, it’s very easy to tip your toes into the water. I started off with one Siri Shortcut and left it at that. After a few months went by, I started finding situations where I could spend the initial investment time to automate a template.

It is a bit of a hassle to do a one-off snippet though. But for something that I will be doing on a weekly or monthly basis, using Siri shortcuts is well worth the initial investment. You don’t have to be a “programmer” to get the hang of Siri Shortcuts.

On my Mac, I have a Keyboard Maestro keyboard shortcut that opens the System Preferences app, goes to keyboard settings, and then goes to the Text Shortcuts. Then I can add a text snippet from there.

Now, I’ll be experimenting a little later this week. There might be a way for me to use Siri Shortcuts to open the Settings app on my iPhone and go to General > Keyboard > Text Replacements to allow me to add a text snippet quickly. :nerd_face: