Save time typing with Text Substitution

Use the Language & Text preference pane to set up shortcuts that expand into longer text string, like so:

cbem –> macman@christianboyce.com
cb# –> 424-354-3548
ommm –> oneminutemacman.com

(that’s 56 characters for the price of 11, with no typos)

Apple menu/System Preferences/Language & Text, then click “Text.” The window looks like this:

Language & Text preference paneUse the “+” at bottom left to create new shortcuts. Any word (or words) that you type frequently is a good candidate for a shortcut. Be sure “Use symbol and text substitution” is checked at top left or it won’t work.

The substitution is triggered when you type the shortcut, and then one more non-text character. For example, a space. Or punctuation. The shortcut alone doesn’t do it. This is so you can use “ta” as a shortcut for “Troy Aikman” without it triggering when you’re typing “talkative.” Experiment and see. The great part about this is you are setting it up for the whole Mac, not just one program. It will work in Mail and Safari, and most Apple apps. Microsoft apps notably don’t use these shortcuts but you can set them up a second time in Word’s preferences.

Want some more, longer how-tos?

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