Keyboard Maestro > TextExpander

Trying to consolidate 3rd party apps to maintain performance and battery life as much as possible recently.

David’s last post about KBM means I can replace Moom.

Could I also replace TextExpander?

I know technically it can but curious how the UX is vs TE and if there is any major issues or max snippets. I use TextExpander to correct a lot of spelling and have quite a bit of snippets.


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I’m a pretty light user of TextExpander, so my conclusions may be under-informed, but when I considered making that same move to Keyboard Maestro to replace it, my impression was that the real value of TextExpander is in how it makes it so easy to create and manage snippets. Replacing text is among KM’s virtually unlimited number of uses, but TE is devoted solely to snippet management.

I had lots of problems with text expansion in Safari when I used KM (it would only output garbage on a lot of sites), and this is where I use expansion a lot. TE had no such issues.

As described elsewhere here I’ve recently used Alfred to replace TE with no problems & a lot of unexpected additional capabilities. The only bottleneck is iOS sync, which for the moment I’ve solved by keeping TE running but not set to expand anything, just called by Hazel to add any snippets added to Alfred. I’m sure KBM could do the same, but you’d hit the same iOS sync issue.

You might find it useful to look at the relevant topic on Keyboard Maestro’s own discourse page and Peter Lewis’ own views. He doesn’t recommend replacing TE, especially if you have a lot of snippets. One reason is the amount of space you can take up in memory I believe. If the Developer of KM doesn’t think it a good idea I am inclined to take it seriously?!

search for Text Expander I think.

I did atone time try just using KM. I won’t outline all my reasoning for doing that. I found entering dates and so on far easier in TE, I found KM far more time consuming in various ways: I am not even sure I could analyse exactly why and went back to using both. I have snippets on TE, KBM and Launchbar. Some just because I have finger memory for them.


It depends on how complex your use is of TE. My uses are limited, and I found TE to be overkill for my needs.

I evaluated both KBM and Alfred and ended up using Alfred, mainly because I found setting up and managing snippets on Alfred to be a much simpler and streamlined.

I have many, many TextExpander snippets but nearly all of them are simple expansions. Don’t use the advanced features of TE much.

Overall, I’m happy with TE and see no reason to switch. IIRC the fee is $5/year; for the amount of use I get from it that’s well worth it.

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No contest from me that TE is a great piece of software :slight_smile: Had I stumbled on to it before adopting Alfred, I probably would have been a subscriber.

But for now, my needs are sufficiently satisfied by Alfred, and in context of this thread; I feel it is superior to KMB for performing non complex text replacements.

By the way, I think you meant to say $50/year. I think if it were $5 per year a lot of us would have signed up without blinking an eye.

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No reason to switch if you’re happy with what you have.

TextExpander is $3.33/mo. for an individual license. Well worth it for me.

I use KM for all my text expansion needs and it is marvelous. The only downside is that there is no sync to iOS, but that’s fine for me since I rarely do the kind of work on iOS where I’d need complex expansions.

One of the comments above stated that KM output garbage in Safari. I have never had any problems with it for the 3+ years I’ve used it. Worth noting, though, is that when using “Insert text by pasting/typing” in KM, there are three options for how KM should process the text:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Process tokens only
  3. Process everything

With option 3, text like \n, \t etc. are changed to new line, tab, etc., which may cause “garbage” to be output, so be aware of that.

I personally use both KM and TE, each for their strong suit:

  • TextExpander, naturally for text expansion
  • Keyboard Maestro for triggering a series of actions either from a single keyboard shortcut or an event on my Mac.

I didn’t notice any performance penalty using both at the same time on my late-2014 iMac with 24 GB of RAM.

Even though KM is capable of doing text expansion, I much prefer the UI and UX of TE for this specific task and I’m still using the older version that does not require a monthly subscription, while providing cloud sync via Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud Drive.

I know the analogy is not 100% correct but it’s like trying to put a nail in the wall using a screwdriver, it’s feasible but ultimately it will be faster and easier using a hammer instead.

For text expansion, I am of the opinion that TE is a hammer and KM a screwdriver.


I have been using keyboard maestro for text expansion for many years. Once you have set it up it is perfect for me. You can also trigger passwords securely through invoking keychain which I don’t think you can do in TE

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