Shortcuts as a replacement for TextExpander on iPad

Just a quick tip from my morning blog post. In episode 176 of the iPad Pros podcast Chance Miller mentioned that when he’s using the iPad he misses TextExpander where he stores long text templates. While it’s possible to save text snippet shortcuts on the iPad they don’t retain line breaks. So any lengthy template of text will just result in a large block of text.

But there’s an easy work around: Shortcuts. Just set up a simple Shortcut for each text template you regularly use. While it can’t be formatted with rich text it will keep line breaks. And if you use Markdown you can, of course, add all of that for the formatting.

It’s just a two step Shortcut: Text > Copy Text to Clipboard. Give it a name you’ll remember, then use Siri to run it. With Siri’s new one word activation it’s quite fast to get your needed text then just paste. Or Command+Space and run from Spotlight then paste.

Not as easy as TextExpander but still pretty easy/fast.

Jul 21, 2023 ∞


Pretty neat idea. Although I would hope for some competition to text expander in the mobile space.

You can use line breaks on iOS. You just need to add the shortcut on Mac with shift+enter and it will maintain line breaks.

There is a way to natively add from iOS and maintain line breaks but I can’t find that link.

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Why does he miss something that still exists? Textexpander on iOS and iPadOS does everything that can be done on macOS. It just runs as a keyboard now instead of the “textexpander app”. Nobody complained more than me about Smile and their horrible iOS/iPadOS support but they are definitely doing it right now. I use a page-long textexpander template for my DayOne summaries on my iPad with fill-ins and drop down menus.

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I’ve never used TextExpander myself but thanks for the clarification. :nerd_face: