Abbreviations are a fact of life. Simply put, an abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase. We use them all the time when writing. Why isn’t our Mac smart enough to know when an abbreviation is acceptable and use it for us automatically?
There’s an app for that (almost).
Free on the Mac App Store is a simple snippet saving app called DashExpander. It save snippets of text which you can drop into your writing or document with a simple selection or keystroke combo.
Setting up snippets is actually easy. Create the snippet, enter the text. As you type, DashExpander will suggest a snippet when you copy and paste the same item multiple times.
As you type a particular snippet, DashExpander expands the whole thing. The app resides in your Mac’s Menubar so it’s only a click away.
Even better, DashExpander works on multiple Macs and can use the same database of snippets (handy for desktop Mac users who hit the road with a Mac notebook). The entire snippet library can be saved in the free Dropbox to support multiple Macs at the same time.
This is one of those apps that you’d think would already be a part of Mac OS X because it’s so useful.
The only problem is getting started. While DashExpander will pay attention to your typing and prompt you to save a snippet of text you use frequently, it does take effort to build your own snippet library. It would be worthwhile to have a few hundred pre-built snippets to use.