I suggest this thread would focus on Typinator as the “February 2022 Software of the Month” topic, but because the are lots of other options in the “text-expansion” category, then please add your thoughts about TextExpander, Espanso, aText, Keyboard Maestro, and the expansion features Apple provides in macOS / iOS / iPadOS.
I think putting these products into a single category, text-expansion, might have been accurate a number of years ago but that description in most cases is too limiting. I’ve used all the products listed above, apart from Espanso, and other than the Apple text-expansion features the modern versions provide a bundle of services. Typinator, TextExpander, KM and aText share a core feature set, and then each have features that do not overlap with the others. It’s an interesting space.
Here are Typinator’s features (from the product link, above):
- Easy to configure - simply define your abbreviations, expansions, and boilerplates in a list.
- Simple to use - just type your abbreviation and Typinator will expand it.
- Interactive forms with various types of input fields
- Publish & Subscribe
- Regular expressions
- Usage statistics
- Magic Keys
- Graphical menu bar
- Expansion zoom
- Integration with PopChar lets you easily find and insert arbitrary Unicode characters.
- Powerful predefined sets: Autocorrection for English, German, and French, DOuble CApitals correction, Auto-Capitalize Sentences, Inline Calculation, Clipboard conversion, Subscripts, Superscript, HTML snippets with over 100 abbreviations for elements of the HTML standard, and more.
- Easy import of TextExpander snippets
- Nested expansions
- HTML expansions
- Set the cursor position within the expanded text
- Insert the current date and time
- Date and time calculations
- Time zones support
- Insert arbitrary keystrokes in expansions
- Insert the current clipboard
- Insert pictures
- Quickly create new snippets
- Quickly search for snippets
- Whole word and case sensitive expansion
- Pocket calculator
- Embedded calculations
- Includable text and picture files
- Include script results in expansions
- Synchronization support for Dropbox
This is my personal opinion. I prefer Typinator for these reasons:
- It’s not subscription
- It’s Mac-only — seems like an odd reason to prefer, but I’ve see the developer, Ergonis, state that macOS is their only platform and will not develop for iOS. Never say never, but I like that sure focus on the platform I use the most.
- The Typinator control window is compact but full of robust features. It’s a lot less fussy than Keyboard Maestro. (Not disparaging KM — on the whole it is vastly more feature rich than Typinator — I’m just focusing here on the case where Typinator and KM have overlapping function.)
- It is highly reliable. In 10 years I have never experienced a Typinator crash.
- For “expansion” macros that incorporate either input dialogs or code snippets (Applescript or other), or both, it is really easy to create these in Typinator. I can explain more in a later post.