Espanso - Open Source Privacy Focused -TextExpander Replacement

I stopped using TextExpander a few years ago is the features provided for the price of the subscription were limited. I switched to Typinator and has been using it ever since.

Today, I discovered a privacy focused Open Source and cross-platform text expander called Espanso.

Playing with the app now and I am excited about the features.


I used it for quite a while, but ended up buying Typinator.

I’ve been using aText for several years, have always found it perfectly adequate for what I need. I’ve never used Text Expander, but would be interested to see a comparison if anyone’s used both — just the personal use features, not teams.

Reasons for Typinator over Espanso?

Just found it easier with the GUI to add / edit rules, because I’m lazy.
There were also some other things that didn’t quite work for me in espanso, but to be honest I can’t remember what it was.

The main reason I stick with TE: works and syncs on macOS and Windows. My work laptop is Windows, and I have the same snippets. Without that requirement, I’d probably skip TE.Or is there an alternative (no Dropbox sync)?

you can synch espanso using any cloud service

I’ve used Espanso for a few years now and am absolutely happy with it.
For the expansions where I need to have my iOS and ipadOS devices work as wel I use the Apple built in options, on all other machines (mac + linux) I use Espanso. I sync my configs over a Nextcloud configs folder and this works great.

so: Great pick!

I bet just about everyone on this forum owns Keyboard Maestro, any reason to use another text expansion app in addition to KM?


If you only have a small number of expansions KM is fine.

If you have many expansions or want more complex ones such as including drop-downs it is a lot easier to manage that within Textexpander.

Also Textexpander syncs to iOS (and even to Windows and web) which KM does not do.


Same here. I also use WIndows. Espanso can work, as pointed out, with cloud services. Company security poilcy forbids me from using file sharing services (Dropbox,…) on my work computer. TE was OK, since to file sharing possible.

So, no KM for me.

Texexoander hasn’t been updated beyond sync in years and the price/move to subscription isn’t justified. I switched to aText for $5 and never looked back. aText is cross platform for windows users as well.

This is great @slyfox

I would however say that if anyone is using Alfred, Raycast or keyboard maestro, having a separate text expander app might not be needed as these apps do a great job.

If you need superpowers for text expansion, which some people might, Typinator is the king. It’s one time purchase which is awesome for such a quality app.

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You can build much more complex snippets in KM than in TE. Using regular expression triggers I have created inline calculations like „calc1+1“ (expands to „2“) and currency conversions like „4.50USDEUR“ for example.


Been talking about this every chance I can get on this forum - great app, open source, cross-platform, everything stored in a plaintext YAML file, and it seems to be improving all the time. Would highly recommend.

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I switched to using Alfred for all of my simple text expansions. Currently experimenting with using Alfred for form based expansions where there is a need for user input.

The killer feature of TextExpander is that it works in macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Windows. This is why I keep subscribing. Until Espanso, Typinator, aText, etc. works on at least two of these, I can’t really take it seriously…

At least two? Espanso works on macOS and Windows.

You can sync Alfred with iOS text snippets. That way, it works on all platforms :slight_smile:

cross platform use (20char)