Finally ridded myself of TextExpander for Alfred snippets

My one-time-payment TextExpander has had problems recently in that after my iMac was repaired last Spring TextExpander wants to verify my license, but fails. It looks like Smile Software doesn’t support the license verification for the old version. It would continue to run but was a nuisance as the notification would pop up every time I logged in.

Anyway I decided it was time to move everything to Alfred. Everything in TextExpander was simple substitutions except for some date substitutions which I had to enter into Alfred manually. However I did find that none of the automation scripts lying around the Web seemed to work. The following process did:

  1. Export (Save) the TextExpander groups into .textexpander files.
  2. Use the Applescript here to convert the .textexpander files to .CSV files.
  3. The CSV files have quote marks that will mess up the import into Alfred. Use a text editor (like BBEdit) to delete all ’ characters.
  4. Download “Snippet Transformer” from the Alfred Gallery. It’s a universal action workflow.
  5. Select the CSV files one at a time and run the Convert to Snippet Collection workflow.
  6. Clean up some snippets as necessary (mainly those requiring ’ characters)

It took me much longer to get a functioning workflow than to do the actual conversion. But now I can delete Textexpander.


Alfred snippets are great! I used them for a few years and found them to be super reliable and super simple to use/set up. I recently moved to Typinator only for regex-related expansions, sentence capitalization, and storing quick text. If Alfred offered them, I’d move back lol. Managing one app is much easier.

For, anyone who doesn’t need these, Alfred snippets are a great one-time payment option with a great support team behind it!


I may miss capitalization, but if I do I can always add new snippets for those words in a capitalized form. As I said my use has always been fairly basic so I never really needed the power of TextExpander.


Switched long time ago to Typinator and couldn’t be happier.


I feel like it’s just a matter of time before Apple introduces a better text expansion feature and all these subscription text expanders are done.

I mean seriously…subscription for text expansion? And then they say Apple is a monopoly etc etc.

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Haven’t found anything that syncs with iOS other than phrase express which is free. Works well especially with templated meeting notes and dates, etc. setting up on Mac is a little easier for dates (need to know syntax on iOS, Mac you just say today +3 days etc).

The built in text expander is decent enough, and you can in fact do multi-line expansions if using shift-enter at end of line (so easier to write on Mac and paste in) and syncs. There is no way I’m aware to do a todays date snippet or I would just use that and would be good enough so wouldn’t need to switch keyboard.

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In case someone uses Typinator, here is a workflow I created to convert Typinator snippets to iOS


The built-in one is probably sufficient for most users. If they were to make it really good they would be accused of Sherlocking all the companies making text expanders.


I use a combination of Alfred and the built-in text expansion. The built-in one will have common things I will do in both Mac and iOS. The one in Alfred are for those only in the Mac.

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I found Alfred snippets for text replacement unreliable, which led me to Text Expander in the first place. This was a couple of yrs back so I can’t remember exactly what the issue was now unfortunately. And of course it may have changed how it works since then.

A really big plus with TE is that it integrates with Drafts on iOS. Since most of my text inputting happens in Drafts, it means I get the benefits of a synced text expansion across my devices without using a different keyboard (I much prefer the Apple keyboard on iOS).

You are going to lose this some time in the future…

Congratulations on cutting the software subscription cord! I’ve been using a combination of Apple text expansions and Keyboard Maestro actions to quickly enter text . I don’t anything fancy , either so these app’s easily exceed my text replacement needs.

Obsidian templates have taken over the task of filling in text for notes from other apps. That’s a good feature for Obsidian users.

Now that you’ve cut on cord, the question to ask yourself is - are there any more that I can cut?

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If Alfred had an iOS and iPad OS app I would consider switching. Right now I use TypeIt4Me which has an app for all three and sync snippets across all devices. It is also not a subscription service, which I really appreciate.

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If you don’t use it on iOS, this is probably the right move. TextExpander is the untouchable subscription in my toolbox. $20/year is what those of us with the old license pay and that is an incredible value for Mac, iphone, and ipad. I don’t like typing on the phone so I have lots of snippets to make my phone typing painless.

The future has come and gone. Individual app integration is no longer needed. The new TE Keyboard 7.0 works across all apps in iOS so devs that never implemented TE in their apps are no longer a problem. In the past I was thankful for the devs of Drafts, Fantastical, and Omnifocus as they always had TE integration.

its not just “expansion”… templates that allow to one to construct fields that can be filled in with data after expansion (Fill-In Snippets) is something none of the pseudo TE apps have.

Makes sense. But I think Alfred and Typinator also offer that for a oneitime payment

not for iOS. there are lots of text replacement apps on the Mac but none close to the power of TE. It’s all in what you need.

Not sure you’re correct about this. I use Typinator all the time for fill-ins. Might matter how you define fill-in templates, but Typinator is great for writing bits of HTML I use for a Bootstrap button, or a modal pop-up, etc. All I need to know is what the text label is and the full URL (or equivalents for different things).

Maybe you use fancier fill-in snippets, I don’t know. But one of the main reasons I use Typinator is exactly for this feature set.

Whether called fill-ins or templates, … Typinator is great with this feature.

Below is a simple example, but more complicated templates can be created:

Yeah it looks like Typinator has added them since the last time I checked it out (and updated their website) My responses kind of got conflated because there were multiple. He asked why a sub was needed. The only way to get templates and fill ins on iOS is with a TE subscription now.

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