February 2022 Software of the Month — Typinator

I first used the text expansion in OS X then tried out and switched to TextExpander years ago basically because David Sparks was recommending it. It’s really more than I need and I still use the version prior to it going subscription. I’ve also tried out the text expansion in Alfred and when my copy of TextExpander no longer works I’ll just move all the expansions to Alfred, which really has all the power I need.

Since I don’t like app proliferation, that move will reduce the number of apps I have by one. Going to some new one won’t accomplish that.

Your post’s timing was perfect. I have been unhappy with Text Expander, crashes, lack of ongoing feature development, and subscription model for awhile but wanted a full feature alternative. Reading your post and the Ergonis site it sure seems like that will do the trick. I’m going to give it a try…

1 Like

I’m using Rocket Typist, but this tool has not been updated for over a year, so maybe I should check out Typinator some day…

I already have purchased Alfred, Dash, Keyboard Maestro and some other tools that offer snippets “on the side” (purchased them for their core functionality) so I’ll first need to figure out whether Typinator adds value for me. This topic will be rather helpful for that!

@anon41602260 Thanks for posting this app. Not meaning to hijack/digress this post, but how do we decide the app of the month?

Having a play with Typinator, as my daily text expansion software is Keyboard Maestro.

First impressions have been good - creating the text expansions is quick and easy. Typing speed has been great - I’ve seen some issues with KM when trying to put a large amount of text in to Outlook for the web, but Typinator appeared to have no issues at all.

As above, I was impressed with how quickly it was to set up some particular items - for example, I have a standard tempalte email for people enquiring about joining our local youth club - one for those over the age of joining and one for those below the age. It took me ages to set this up in KM - in part because I couldn’t figure out what initial item I needed before the IF statement (Prompt with list it turns out). But this same version was created in minutes on Typinator once I found the input fields.

My one query is the activation - is it all pharse based? It appears to be?

I ask, because I currently make use of the conflict palatte in KM to select the email templates - for example, Hyper+T gives me a list of work or youth group templates and pressing a key takes me to the next list, where I can then select the correct email template I want to use.

Nominations and votes were here:

Nominations for March are here:

At the end of the month, the :heart: s are counted and the software with the highest number will be the topic of the for the next month.


There is a keyboard shortcut setting in Typinator’s preferences for “Quick Search”, which opens a small dialog box at the top of the window:

You can search and activate expansions from that window. This is helpful if you have a number of similarly-named expansions. Or, you can take advantage of this by intentionally making abbreviations fit a pattern. For example, if all time-related expansions begin with ..t then searching for ..t will list them all.


That’s really helpful @anon41602260

I mostly like TextExpander because my expansion sync between Mac and iOS. But there seem to be some advanced features only on Typinator - that is worth exploring.


In case you’re searching…

The user guide is under Action | Help | User’s Guide.

Took quite a while to find that…


Started using TextExpander before the Smile Software days, then moved over to Typinator due to the subscription. I like the app a lot, it seems fast and responsive. Like others have said, the UI is a bit meh, but that’s okay. Support even helped rewrite a PHP script to work in Typinator from TE. They take care of customers (not saying Smile doesn’t).

On Monterey, it seems something, 1Password or some other service locks text expansion and doesn’t release it. It is super frustrating. My work laptop, a 16” MBP on Catalina, doesn’t have this issue, if ever. It has made Typinator about 75% efficient for me :angry:

Here’s a set of Mac key symbols (⇧⌘⌃⌥, etc.) that might be useful to some of you. Just use Action | Sets | Import… to load it up.
This was much easier that doing the same in Keyboard Maestro or espanso, and as I recall, easier than aText.

Off to do some Ελληνικά letters now…

Edit: removed my prefix so people can set their own. (Right-click the set, Set Info…)


Good point. There are a number of sets that users can optionally install. For instance – the massive Emoji 3.0 set with 1,178 expansions. Just try to memorize all those :smiley_cat:

1 Like

Hey John,

Thanks very much for this set. I already have a similar one that I use with Alfred. Having two is never too many.

1 Like

@fuzzygel in the thread for March 2022 nomination suggested side-by-side comparisons. Taking that clue, I found these side-by-siders for Typinator and others. The first one from The Sweet Bits is very recent, the other one from Emailmate is perhaps dated, but I’ll mention it here anyway.

1 Like

Typinator can run scripts and execute command line commands. In Monterey, Shortcuts can be run from the command line. So, combining this, here is a Typinator expansion that runs a Shortcut I have that grabs today’s calendar events and puts them on the clipboard. I use this in one section of the daily note that Typinator builds for me:

{{ShortcutCalEvents={/AppleScript do shell script "shortcuts run 'CalEvents'"}}}
# Todays Calendar Events


This can be done with any shortcut that returns a value, or even one that doesn’t.


Here’s a simple way I’ve been using Typinator that I find really helpful. I set my favorite color hex values to a snippet and then I can type them any time I need that value. It comes in handy a surprising amount of the time.

  • ;red = #BF616A
  • ;blue = #88C0D0
  • ;orange = #D08770
  • ;yellow = #EBCB8B
  • ;green = #A3BE8C
  • ;purple = #B48EAD

Nice example! I’m adopting your trick and it will be very useful for me also.

Hi there

Would you mind sharing your expansion equation for this please?


I think I just changed the default date snippets that come with Typinator, but it looks like this:

In the regex abbreviation field:


In the expansion field:

{{refDate=$1}}{{dayDelta=-{{?Number of Days}}}}{YYYY} {MM} {DD}

In the Notes field of the Info panel:

DATE=^([0-9]{4} [0-9]{2} [0-9]{2});

Well, this is very chrome.
You can use modifier keys (shift, command, etc.) in abbreviations, just like other keys.
I just created one to try it out, ⌘⌘c that expands to ‘command command c, see?’
That’s pretty cool!