TextExpander's folder-level options

November 01, 2012

Earlier today I asked the following on Twitter:

Is there a way to force TextExpander to ignore non-whitespace chars that prevent expansions? E.g., ” xyz” expands, but “(xyz” doesn’t.

This is the kind of thing that’s driven me nuts forever, and every time I’d go to solve it something would grab my attention and I’d forget about it…until it pissed me off again. Imagine then, my joy (and embarrassment) when my buddy Dr. Drang tweeted this:

@jblanton “Expand after: Any character” and “Expand after: All but letters & numbers” are folder-level options.

What?! *click* *click* *click* Yep, he was totally not lying to me. I’ve been using TextExpander for years, and at a very high, geeky level. In fact, I’ve been using it since before it was even called TextExpander (it used to go by the name “Textpander”). How did I not know about these folder-level options?

I’ve used folders from jump and I guess just never noticed that when you highlight a folder, various options show up on the right, just as a snippet’s content appears when you highlight it. Even after Dr. Drang’s tweet it took me a second to figure out where these preferences were. I started out by right-clicking on a folder and wondering why I didn’t see any folder-specific options.

My guess is that I (maybe) saw these options years ago when I first started playing around with the app, before I started to really push it, and just didn’t realize they might be useful. My usual habit is to create a few snippets and then realize that they’re related enough to be put into a shared folder, which I’d create, drag-and-drop, and then go on my merry way. The options were invisible to me.

All of that said, can someone give me a good reason as to why these Expand after options aren’t available at the highest level?

Anyway, this was an incredibly long-winded and boring way of saying that you should never 1) be too proud to ask for help; and 2) WRITE A BLOG POST ABOUT SOMETHING SO UNINTERESTING AS NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE AN OPTION STARING YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE. (It’s been a long month, folks.)

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