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textexpander for ipadIf you regularly type text on your iPad or even the iPhone, you definitely should take advantage of the built-in keyboard shortcuts 10 iOS 5 Tips For iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch Users 10 iOS 5 Tips For iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch Users So many new features get added to iOS updates that we often don't take advantage of them all. The most recent iOS 5.0 and 5.1 updates for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch users make the... Read More  and voice to text Stop Typing: Better Learn To Dictate Text with Dragon Dictate for Mobile Devices [iOS] Stop Typing: Better Learn To Dictate Text with Dragon Dictate for Mobile Devices [iOS] Nuance's iPhone apps, Dragon and Dragon Search have been available for free download for over a year now. Since then, the company has added a few other similar voice to text apps to its line... Read More  functions. These features can save you lots of typing time and help avoid frequent spelling mistakes. If you happen to use your iOS device, particularly your iPad, for extended pieces of writing you might want to consider the iOS version of TextExpander ($4.99).

We’ve already covered the Mac and iOS versions of TextExpander in the past and have even shared several tips Speed Up Your Typing: Check out These Text Expansion Tips [Mac] Speed Up Your Typing: Check out These Text Expansion Tips [Mac] In a recent article, I reviewed a free text expansion program called DashExpanders that automatically types designated words, phrases, sentences, or entire paragraphs, based on an assigned abbreviation. So for example, if I type "bkc",... Read More for getting the most out of text expansion applications. Smile Software has now updated the iOS versions of TextExpander to include more of the advanced features found in its Mac counterpart. TextExpander for iOS (formerly called TextExpander Touch) now includes built-in snippets, support for formatted snippets, Copy and Send Email actions support, and displays alerts for conflicting snippet abbreviations and duplicates.

TextExpander touch is also supported by over 150 other iOS apps, a few of which I will highlight in this review.

Basic Overview

TextExpander can be used to type your most regularly used special words, phrases, boilerplate letters, email addresses, and other snippets of text. As an example, when I want to type my name, I simply type “bk” and TextExpander immediately replaces that abbreviation with my first name, “Bakari.”

textexpander for ipad

Apple’s universal iOS keyboard shortcut feature works similarly to TextExpander, but it requires an additional tap to insert a text snippet, and your shortcuts are not synced between devices. However, because you can also sync your TextExpander snippets between your Mac and iOS devices using Dropbox, you don’t have to repeatedly retype and set-up shortcuts on each device. Any changes you make to your shortcuts also get automatically updated across your devices.


iOS Apps Support

Unfortunately TextExpander doesn’t work in default iOS applications like Mail and Notes (mainly because of Apple’s sandbox restrictions), but it does work in over 150 third-party apps. I recommend the following apps, especially if you use your iPad as a laptop replacement How To Make Your iPad a Laptop Replacement How To Make Your iPad a Laptop Replacement In an interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he no plans for developing an iPad that transforms into a laptop. But that certainly doesn't keep many iPad users from using the device as a notebook... Read More :

As of now, TextExpander is not supported by iOS mail clients and other web browsers, an area where it could be most useful.

2.0 Updates

Version 2.0 of TextExpander includes support for fill-in snippets, which means you can create boilerplate letters that include text fields and popup menu items for filling in custom text.

textexpander for iphone

To create a fill-in snippet in the iOS version of TextExpander, press and hold the part of the snippet where you want to add a fill-in. Tap Insert… in the popup menu.

textexpander for iphone

From there, you can select the Fill-in Field, or one of the other appropriate macros, including date and time, an existing snippet, or the cursor position.

textexpander for iphone

The Smile Software website includes several useful video tutorials for creating advanced snippets like this. The update also includes support for formatted text snippets, which are useful for special email signatures.

textexpander ipad

TextExpander Notebook

When you want to use TextExpander to write boilerplate letters or other extended pieces of text, you can use one of the supported apps listed above, or you can use TextExpander’s built-in notebook.

textexpander ipad

Though it would be better if we could use TextExpander directly in iOS Mail, the built-in notebook does include menu items for copying and pasting text into an email, text messaging or sending text to your designated Twitter client (see screenshot above).

Unlike the Mac version of TextExpander, you can’t create new snippets from within any application on iOS, but an advantage of using TextExpander’s notebook is that you can conveniently create new snippets as you type text into the app.

textexpander ipad

Preferences and Other Features

As with any application you frequently use, you should check out the preferences options in TextExpander’s Settings. For example, you can disable the sound TextExpander makes after it performs an expansion. You might also want to enable Auto-Capitalization, which capitalizes the first word of a new sentence as you type.

textexpander for ipad

There are also settings options for selecting the Twitter client you regularly use on your iOS device, as well as how you want your list of snippets sorted.

If you don’t do much writing in your iOS device, the iOS built-in keyboard shortcut feature should suffice. Otherwise let us know if you find TextExpander useful on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Download: TextExpander for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad ($4.99)

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