TextExpander alternatives

I received my monthly email from TextExpander the other day and for the last month I have expanded 53 snippets, saving me 5 minutes. That doesn’t strike me as a lot for the £3.84 it costs me every month. That’s still significantly more snippets and time saved than the previous month.

It got me thinking about whether it’s worth the money. I know it’s less than £4/month but how many other subscriptions do I have that I am not making proper use out of? On the flip side of that, SaneBox saves me 6-8 hours across the course of a month for £9.80.

I have Alfred and Keyboard Maestro, which I believe both have some keyboard expansion functionality. Are they as good? I guess I will have to find out.

1 Like

I’ve found Keyboard Maestro more than adequate for my text replacement / expansion needs.


Alfred can actually do a lot more than TE if you’re used to building workflows with script filters.

Typinator is really great

1 Like

Even though the cost is there, I’ve found nothing beats textexpander. So I switched back to it a few months ago. And so far it is really worth it.

Only thing that keeps me with TE is the iOS functionality. I don’t even use the silly keyboard–but both Ulysses and Day One can leverage it behind the scenes, and that’s a real useful thing for me. That said, I’d love to stop giving them money. I don’t use it a lot–but I do like what it does when I do. Maddening there’s nothing that’ll do what it does on iOS. Yes, you can do text expansion natively, but you can’t enter the current date or other dynamic stuff.

aText is Mac only, but can import (most) TextExpander snippets, and it works very much the same way.

It’s only $5 and there’s a free 21-day demo.


I will second Typinator. I switched a few months ago and it imported most of my TE snips. I had used the trial for a few days sent a support request to see if Ergonis could help me with the date calculator that I think I got from MacSparky awhile back. They came up with a solution in a few hours. I figured that was worth the purchase price.

The only downside to getting away from TE, is iOS. Typinator has no iOS equivalent

1 Like

I use both Keyboard Maestro, and recently have added Alfred to the mix. My text expansion needs are modest, some words, dates with different formats, Greek characters, LaTeX expansions for characters, etc.


I actually started to prefer Keyboard Maestro for that. So I can also use their palette features, which is great.

For example:

I used to have the following expansions:

;ccn = Cheers, Chris
;ccw = Have a great weekend. Cheers, Chris

and about 10 more. You get the idea. Kept only using 1-2 since I kept forgetting all the others.

Here comes why I prefer Keyboard Maestro.

I created all 10 with the ;cc short cut. Then gave them all descriptive names - now whenever I type ;cc Keyboard Maestro Pops up a pallete with all of them and I just need an additional character and have the one I want. But I got the Pallete as a reminder which ones there are.



Welcome Chris!

That’s a great idea. I have several date shortcuts that are hard to remember (ddd date with dashes, ddt date with time, ddh human readable date), and the palette would definitely help.

I do use a palette for tags and keywords to be consistent in naming.

That’s really quite clever and I will have to look into more advanced uses of KM.

In the meantime, I have replicated the majority of my TextExpander snippets using Alfred 4, which has the added bonus of being significatly quicker too. I rarely used it on iOS so have already deleted it from my iPhone. I suspect the cancellation of my subscription will follow within the week and it will be uninstalled from my Mac too.

If your needs are light (and they apparently are), why not just use System Preferences --> Keyboard --> Text? It does simple substitutions, is built into macOS, so is free.


Unfortunately there is a long standing bug in Chrome on the Mac. If I remember correctly chrome ignores the built in Mac shortcuts but key loggers like TE, Alfred or KM work fine. Bug might have been fixed by now I haven’t checked.

I have a blend - my most frequent shortcuts like the double @ for email address are in the os and KM that way it works on iPad and chrome.

Really annoying (but understandable) that KM doesn’t work in 1Password.

I do it all in Alfred these days. Its expansion function seems to do everything I require of it including some coded expansion, date codes etc. I have now cancelled my TE subscription.

1 Like