TextExpander: Abbreviation Strategies

Philip Blog, TextExpander, TextExpander Tips

I just got a short tip from Austin in Carlow, Ireland:

I have all my abbreviations ending with “z” so that there is little chance of them getting confused with a word I don’t want substituted. It makes them easier to remember, and not many words (quiz is the only one that springs to mind) end in z.

This is the first tip where someone has suggested using the last character in an abbreviation to differentiate it from actual words. When we first started posting TextExpander tips, we got a fairly extensive one from TJ on organizing abbreviations by context.

That tip inspired me to use the forward slash (/) as the first character in all my abbreviations for URLs, i.e. /somm = http://www.smileonmymac.com, /gm = http://maps.google.com. I’ve started using “x” as a leading character for a lot of miscellaneous snippets, on the theory that not many words begin with “x”. I’d have to rewire my brain to think like Austin, using the last character as the differentiator.

What about you? Share your TextExpander abbreviation strategies in the comments.

You might wonder how I can type my abbreviations without expanding them. The trick is to move the cursor using the arrow keys backward and forward once before you get to the end of the abbreviation. I learned this in a tip from Greg.