Text expansion & clipboard management

If you don’t currently use a text expander or a clipboard manager then stop what your doing right now and go download both. The two I use currently are Flycut and aText but there are lots of great alternatives. I suggest trying a few but give them some time to learn. And then read on…

Clipboard Manager

A clipboard manager I think is mostly self explanatory once you’ve used one. In general I have difficulty working without one now.

Need to copy and paste 4 things in different applications? Compare: Copy, switch window, paste, switch window, … repeat 3 more times. vs Copy, copy, copy, copy, switch window, paste, paste, paste, paste.

More useful tricks:

  • Auto-trimming whitespace from clipboard items.
  • Search your clipboard history. Stop copying the same thing more then once! Even hours later.
  • Clip things for later that you think you might need.

Text Expansion

Getting started with a text expansion application takes more getting used to, it’s not useful until you’ve built up a library of expansions.

The main things I use it for currently.

  • Dates and times that I don’t want to write out.
  • Bookmarks. I’ve mostly replaced bookmarks with text expansion. I think it’s just cleaner and faster. Also frees up a bit of browser space.
  • Emojis. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ✅ ❌ 👍 ☕️ I keep all of the important ones close at hand. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ ⁉️
  • Occasional shell commands

I got addicted to using a text expander when I worked in a support role for a few years during college. I had hundreds of job specific commands that included everything from shell scripting to writing entire emails. It was an absolute necessity that I couldn’t work without.