The Smile Blog, With News, Tips, Photos and Other Stuff That Makes Us Smile
Posted 10/23/2014 by Maia
Yosemite (OS X 10.10) and iOS 8 bring with them iCloud Drive. This means, in addition to the iCloud storage you are familiar with, the "switch it on and it just works" sync and storage, there is also a new iCloud Drive feature in the form of a folder structure similar to Dropbox or Google Drive. This is an exciting new update which we are working to implement and understand all the details of.
If you are running Yosemite or iOS 8, access iCloud Drive by opening Finder on your Mac or opening an import / export action in an iOS app. Keep in mind, you will only see iCloud Drive in an iOS app if support for it has been added by the app’s developer.
In iCloud Drive you will notice that all the Apple apps, Numbers, Pages, Preview, etc., all have folders giving you have access to all the files in them, files made by those apps. This makes sharing files between apps much easier.
Why aren't you seeing the rest of your apps in iCloud Drive?
All files in iCloud don't just appear in iCloud Drive. An app's files are not viewable in iCloud Drive until that app's developer adds that feature.
TextExpander 4.3.4 for Mac and TextExpander touch 3.2 do not support iCloud or iCloud Drive. We were unable to support iCloud previous to iCloud Drive, but are now working on a way to include support for iCloud Drive in the future.
PDFpen 6.3.2 for Mac, PDFpen 1.8.2 for iPhone and iPad, and PDFpen Scan+ 1.4 do not support iCloud Drive. iCloud still works, you can have iCloud switched on and your documents will still sync, but you will not see your PDFpen documents in iCloud Drive.
Support for iCloud Drive will be added soon to PDFpen for iPhone and iPad and PDFpen Scan+. We are working on adding iCloud Drive to PDFpen for Mac.
How do you access iCloud Drive documents on your Mac?
You’ve upgraded to Yosemite and iOS 8, you have turned on iCloud Drive, now you want to get at your PDFpen documents on your Mac, and maybe open a Preview PDF in PDFpen, or vice versa. Since we haven't implemented iCloud Drive, yet, you can't see your documents in the iCloud Drive folder, but you can still access them.
For our PDFpen/PDFpenPro for Mac users, there are two scenarios.
Keep in mind that if you update your devices to Yosemite or iOS 8, and you update to iCloud Drive when you do, those devices will no longer sync iCloud files with older operating systems. We explain this a bit more in our previous post iCloud, PDFpen and iOS 8 — Before you update.
Posted 10/21/2014 by Greg
After updating to Yosemite, some users are being prompted to grant access to TextExpander Helper in the Security & Privacy preferences of System Preferences, and they're finding TextExpander Helper isn't in the Accessibility list under the Privacy tab. This appears to be a bug in Yosemite's accessibility access preferences, and it affects other apps with helpers, such as Keyboard Maestro and Witch.
The workaround is to drag the TextExpander Helper app directly into the Accessibility list by following these instructions:
It's possible that TextExpander Helper will not appear in the list after you've dragged it in, but behind the scenes your action has granted the permission to TextExpander Helper that it needs. Hopefully, OS X will return to displaying helper apps in a future update.
If you are one of the few cases where this doesn't work, we recommended rebuilding your Launch Services database using a tool such as Cocktail and restarting your Mac.
If, after following these steps, you still encounter trouble, please get in touch with our support team.
Posted 10/17/2014 by Greg
Ⓛⓔⓣⓣⓔⓡⓢ ⓘⓝ Ⓒⓘⓡⓛⓔⓢ
Perhaps you’ve seen something like this on Twitter:
When I saw that, I thought: I can make a TextExpander group to make that really easy to do, and so…
To add the Letters in Circles group on a Mac:
1. Click the + button under the snippets list and choose “Add Group from URL…"
2. Enter this as the URL: http://smle.us/circles
3. Press OK
To add the Letters in Circles group an iPhone or iPad:
1. Turn off “Ignore Case” in the settings, or you’ll be limited to capital letters in your circles
2. Tap the + button under the Groups list and choose “Add via URL"
3. Enter this as the URL: http://smle.us/circles
4. Tap OK
To use the Letters in Circles group:
Type a lowercase o three times then the letter you want to be in the circle.
oooT gets you: Ⓣ
ooox gets you: ⓧ
ooo4 gets you: ④
(if ooox gets you Ⓧ on iOS, you probably have Ignore Case turned on in the settings)
I chose triple o as the abbreviation prefix so that it’s easy to type on both OS X and iOS, and so that it’s easy to remember.
I included numerals 0-9, but I did not include 10-20. Although 10-20 in circles are available, they won’t work with my abbreviation scheme and expand immediately, and I doubt they’re used very often.
Ⓘ ⓗⓞⓟⓔ ⓨⓞⓤ ⓗⓐⓥⓔ ⓢⓞⓜⓔ ⓕⓤⓝ ⓦⓘⓣⓗ ⓣⓗⓘⓢ!
Posted 10/03/2014 by Brian
For those of us who made the bulk of our snippets on the Mac, some of us use a system of prefixes to differentiate snippets from other words we type. For example,
slash / used to start web addresses
comma comma ,, used to start code snippets
semi-colon ; used to start snippets you share with the rest of your team
Whatever your prefix system, it is tricky to use these types of snippets on iOS, where punctuation keys take an extra tap to shift out of letter view into punctuation view.
In trying to solve this problem, we have considered adding a key to the letter view of the TextExpander keyboard which is programmable by the user. As in, you would have an extra key to setup as a semi-colon ; key on the letter view of the keyboard, while others could choose to make that a / slash key.
However, this is still on the “nice to have in the future” feature list. In the meantime, here’s a script-based work-around.
Download this Abbreviation Alias script to create a new group of snippet aliases which have your choice of iOS friendly abbreviation prefix. You will end up with a new snippet group and your current snippets are not effected.
How does this work?
This script uses the nested snippet feature of TextExpander. While a single snippet cannot have two abbreviations, you can have two snippets, both with unique abbreviations, where the second nests the first so that both expand to the same content. This script makes those second snippets for you so you can have your Mac abbreviations and your iOS abbreviations. For example:
Snippet 1: Mac style
Snippet 2: iOS style
Use the Script
1. Download the script and click on it to open it in the AppleScript Editor, an app that comes with your Mac. Yes, this means you are looking at actual script, but we have added directions for you to follow, all of the gray text on each line after a "--".
There are only two places you need to change things:
- Set the abbreviation prefix you use and want to change
- Set the new iOS friendly prefix you want to use
- Scan your snippets one group at a time instead of all at once by changing the word “true” to “false”
2. Once you have done this, in the menubar of the AppleScript Editor window click on “Run.” If you chose to run one group at a time a popup window will appear to let you choose one of your snippet groups.
3. A dialog will appear to let you save and name the new snippet group, which appears in the dialog as a TSV file. It will even show you how many new snippets you have. Click Save and you will find a new group of snippets in TextExpander with their punctuation prefixes replaced with iOS friendly “cc” or “zz” or whatever you chose.
It doesn’t matter where the TSV file saves, once you see the new group in the TextExpander window, you can delete the TSV file.
This new group is just aliases. When you need to edit a snippet, go to the original snippet to edit its contents.
Posted 09/30/2014 by Maia
If you have PDFpen running on your Mac and PDFpen on your iPad or iPhone, please be aware of what updating to iOS 8’s new iCloud Drive will mean for you — no more syncing with your Mac until Yosemite (OS X 10.10).
Macworld already has a good article on this topic, check it out for more details.
When you update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8, you are offered the option to update to the new iCloud Drive. If you do, all your iCloud documents are transferred from the old iCloud to the new iCloud Drive. However, this means files on your iOS 8 device can no longer use iCloud to sync with files on devices running iOS 7 or Mavericks, they can only sync with iOS 8 and Yosemite devices. Yosemite is not expected to release until later this year.
Essentially, the iCloud of iOS 7 and Mavericks (OS X 10.9) is a different “cloud” than the new iCloud Drive of iOS 8 and the upcoming Yosemite, and those two clouds don’t talk to each other.
If you have updated to iOS 8 and the new iCloud Drive, you can still sync your documents in PDFpen using Dropbox. In PDFpen for Mac, simply store your files in a Dropbox folder. In PDFpen for iPhone or iPad add that same Dropbox folder as a sync folder.
Adding a Synchronized Folder:
- Tap “Documents”, or the folder title or icon presently displayed in the navigation bar. A menu appears.
- Tap “Edit Sync Folders” and select Dropbox as your sync service and login.
- In the following navigation dialog select a folder for synchronizing then tap “+ Sync Folder”.
Set this folder to sync its contents automatically by choosing Tools > Settings > Dropbox and switching on “Automatically Sync.”
Navigate into and out of this new folder by tapping the folder title or icon displayed in the navigation bar.
More details are available in the “Synchronized Folders with Dropbox” section of the in-app Help.
Posted 09/22/2014 by Greg
(or, Q: Does TextExpander transmit all my keystrokes to Smile's servers? A: No.)
TextExpander touch 3's custom keyboard requires Full Access to function as you'd expect a keyboard to, and the warning iOS presents about this is quite ominous:
The TextExpander keyboard needs to share snippet data with the TextExpander app and to play sounds, such as key clicks and the expansion sound. These are only possible if Full Access is turned on. The TextExpander keyboard does not transmit your data on any network, Wi-Fi or cellular. The keyboard maintains a small buffer of recent key taps for the purpose of matching a snippet abbreviation. The buffer clears after a limited number of key taps, and is never saved to a file or transmitted anywhere. The contents of the buffer are neither stored nor shared with the TextExpander touch app.
Without Full Access, keyboards operate in their own container, which means they don't have access to data from other apps, including the TextExpander app itself. It also means they have more limited access to system services, for example, they can't play sounds. Once a keyboard is granted Full Access, it can share data with another app from the same developer. Once it can do that, the other app can do pretty much anything with that data, including transmitting it over the network. Simply because an app CAN do this doesn't mean that it DOES, nor that it's wise of the app's developer to even consider doing so.
Any standard app on iOS can store and transmit your keystrokes, and this has been true long before iOS 8. Apps in general don't do this because it would be a severe abuse of your trust. Any app caught doing this without your permission would at least be panned on the App Store, if not removed from sale by Apple.
What's new in iOS 8 is that extensions can be more severely limited than apps. This is a great way for new app developers to build trust with users. For established app developers, it can be too limiting, and that's certainly the case with TextExpander. We have done our best to earn your trust over the past 8 years of TextExpander for OS X and 5 years of TextExpander touch for iOS. We tell you what we do with Full Access, and we tell you what we don't do, then we match that with our keyboard's actions.
It's fair of Apple to warn users of the extent of what Full Access means. It’s up to keyboard developers to make the case for Full Access to their users. Perhaps, in a future iOS update, Apple will allow space for a timely message from developers about their keyboard's specific needs for Full Access. For now, we have Apple's accurate and all-encompassing warning to keep users installing keyboards with a healthy sense of caution.
Posted 09/12/2014 by Maia
Fall is the season for new Apple operating systems, and we've been busy prepping for OS X 10.10 Yosemite. If you're worried about how your favorite Smile app will do with the update you can check on its status here.
If you are running the Yosemite beta and notice any new issues, please drop us a line. If you can identify that it is new to Yosemite, and is not in Mavericks, we'll love to know even more.
- Version 6.3.2 (plus any later releases) is currently functioning in the Yosemite beta, and we anticipate full functionality upon the Yosemite release.
If you have both the Mac and iPhone or iPad versions of PDFpen, for the most seamless experience, we recommend not updating to the new iCloud Drive until you have updated all of your devices to both Yosemite and iOS 8.
- Version 4.3.3 (plus any later releases) is currently functioning in the Yosemite beta, and we anticipate full functionality upon the Yosemite release.
- Version 3 is not fully supported in the current OS X, 10.9 Mavericks. We recommend version 4 instead. For Yosemite, we strongly recommend version 4. If you purchased from the Mac App Store then you have version 3. See this article for free and paid upgrade details.
- Version 6.4.1 is currently functioning in the Yosemite beta, and we anticipate full functionality upon the Yosemite release.
Posted 08/25/2014 by Maia
We've been hard at work since Apple announced the new and exciting extensions and custom keyboards available in iOS 8.
TextExpander touch 3, coming on the heels of iOS 8 this fall, includes a TextExpander keyboard which can expand snippets in any app on the iPhone or iPad, including built-in apps such as Mail and Safari.
Here’s a sample of the TextExpander keyboard in action:
Prior to iOS 8, only apps which implemented the TextExpander touch SDK could expand snippets directly.
Under iOS 8, the TextExpander keyboard will work system-wide and reliably share snippets with the TextExpander app. The keyboard will also include full VoiceOver accessibility support.
Join Our Public Beta
This week, we will begin a public beta of TextExpander with the custom keyboard. If you are interested in helping us beta test, please follow our @SmileTEBeta twitter account. We may not be able to accommodate everyone who wants to beta test, and we may accept requests on a rolling basis. Either way you can look forward to TextExpander touch 3 shipping this fall.
For more about TextExpander touch, see the TextExpander touch home page.
Posted 08/07/2014 by Greg
One side effect of the Affordable Care Act is an increase in dependent eligibility audits for employer-sponsored health care. These audits often require you to produce the first page of your tax filing for review. The only thing an auditor may need to see is your filing status and dependent count, but there's an awful lot more on the first page of your tax return. This is where PDFpen's redaction capability can come to the rescue.
Redaction removes sensitive information from a PDF file and replaces it with a blank area or a black box.
Some folks try to achieve redaction by using the rectangle tool to draw a filled black box over sensitive text. When this is done, a reader of your PDF can remove the rectangle and see the text underneath. Also, when someone searches the PDF, the sensitive information will be available in the search.
There are two ways you can redact with PDFpen:
1. Redacting selected text:
- Choose Tools -> Select Text Tool from the menu
- Select the text you wish to redact: for example, your social security number
- Choose Format -> Redact Text – Block
2. Redacting a whole area of a document:
- Choose Tools -> Select Rectangle Tool from the menu
- Select the text you wish to redact: for example, all of the numbers and tax calculations beneath the exemptions section
- Choose Format -> Redact Text – Block
Here's what a sample redacted tax return looks like:
- PDFpen cannot remove line drawing elements, for example the lines that make up a table or border. If you use option #2 with Redact Text – Erase, you'll still see lines. Rest assured, any text and graphics have been removed.
- The File -> Revert To command, available only if you use version saving, can be used to get back to a non-redacted version of a PDF on your computer. If you have a shared computer and would like to prevent this, when you're done redacting: choose File -> Duplicate to save the redacted version, then delete the original. This is not a necessary step to protect yourself when emailing the PDF, as file versioning is entirely local and accessible only on your computer.