How I Use TypeIt4Me

One of the quickest ways to gain efficiency and productivity is to use a text expansion tool. For the Mac, there are plenty to choose from: TypeIt4Me, Rocket Typist, aText, Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, and one of the originals, Text Expander. You can even use macOS built in feature. It's basically autocomplete for the entire system.

The marketing usually focuses on text expansion for people in customer service or people who send the same emails or responses day after day. That is totally true, but the fact is, everyone can benefit from text expansion no matter what field they work in.

At the core, you type in a keyword and the text is replaced with a larger block. This works across the OS, so it's available in every app. Keywords are available in Scrivener, Mail, Slack, iMessage, TaskPaper and DevonThink Office Pro. It works on web forms too.

The main reason to use a tool ike TypeIt4Me, is organization. Text snippets can be organized into folders. I have groups for Products, Java, SQL, Postman, and general text like email and street address.

All of my keywords end in @ so I can use regular words and trigger the expansion when it's needed. For example, when I'm testing, I type in 1313@ which will expand to:

1313 Mockingbird Lane, a test street address I always use. Or work@ which expands to my work address including city, state and zip code.

I have dozens of code expansions as well. As an example, if I type while@, the following code is entered:

while (elementVisible!=true && counter<=30){

The same is true for SQL. If I type in join@, I get the following:
select * from table1 AS aliasname
join table2 AS aliasname
on table1.column=table2.column
–cast(p.createdOn_date as date) like '2020-10-28%'

I'm getting SQL bearings, so I need all the help I can get. But, after doing this a few dozens times, the code will be committed to memory. Seeing it appear the same way every time reinforces learning and makes the code consistent and accurate.

You can also see, I type in 4 or 5 characters and it expands to multiple lines. That is a massive time savings in typing, not to mention there is no need to find the text in a snippet tool, copy it, switch back to the main app, then paste. It's one fluid motion without having to take my hands off the keyboard or losing my train of thought. No context switching, no getting derailed.

TypeIt4Me can also be used to fill in forms. It supports characters like TAB, date, and time, so I type the trigger word in the first text field and the rest of the form is filled in without me entering anything else.

For Products, I have the following examples: ks@ is Katalon Studio. ts@ is TextSoap. dt@ is DevonThink Office Pro. p@ is my email address. That alone has been expanded several hundred times. Since adding that last one, I've never had my email address entered incorrectly on any form. The first time I did this in front of a dev was quite amusing. It was form with 20 text boxes that was filled within 2 seconds. In the time it would normally take to type my name, the form was done.

I also use TypeIt4Me to correct spelling mistakes. I;ve and I;m will be changed to I've and I'm. I have that set up for multiple contractions since I have a tendency to hit the semicolon on accident. No need to backspace, it will automatically be corrected.

The main benefit of a text expander comes when you track the text you repeatedly type. Email address is a great start. Address is another. It could be code fragments. It could be product names. Once you get a few listed, you'll see you text is repeated on a regular basis. I've gotten to the point where if I have to type something twice, there is TypeIt4Me entry for it.

I've had TypeIt4Me for a couple years now and I would be lost without it. I don't have to worry about product names. My code blocks are consistent and I always have an example for reference. Filling in a form takes about 2 seconds.

As noted before, TypeIt4Me has saved me hours worth of typing. The more I use it, the more I save. Even if I'm repeating something for a day, it's gets added. No need to waste time typing when a shortcut will do.

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