If you’ve landed on this page, we’re assuming
- You’re either tired of typing the same things over and over and searching for a way out, or
- You’ve tried a text expander already but it left you feeling meh. And you need an alternative.
Whatever the case, you’ve come to the right place.
We get it.
There’s no shortage of irritants in the world. People phubbing, incessant honking, and humblebragging etc. make it to our hall of fame.
But repeatedly typing the same things in an email, chat, report etc.? That just takes the cake.
Fortunately, unlike other things, this one’s in our control.
Typing things repetitively can go infinitely faster and be infinitely less mind-numbing with a text expander.
If you’ve never tried a text expander before, our blog will quickly show you how one works.
If you have, we’ll share our top picks of text expanders on the market in 2022.
What is a text expander?
A text expander is a productivity tool that lets you eliminate repetitive typing tasks. It saves you truckloads of time by allowing you to summon phrases, sentences, and long blocks of text you use often, using simple keyboard shortcuts or abbreviations.
These frequently-used pieces of text are often referred to as snippets. With snippets, you no longer have to type the whole text from scratch.
For example, you can just type o/intro (a shortcut) in your email editor and voila, it will automatically expand to
Snippets can typically contain a wide variety of information, including rich text, images, code, numbered & bulleted lists, paragraphs, variables or dynamic input fields, and many others.
Which brings us to the next question.
What can you do with a text expander?
Apart from ruling the world (of work), you mean?
Well, let’s see!
- Bring a little bit of magic to the mundane. After all, automatic typing is just like waving a wand and having whatever you wish for appear before you.
- Reduce manual effort and busywork. Why indulge in senseless repetition when you can rely on automation?
- Save time. All teams in the org can use a text expander to templatize routine tasks and shave off hours from their day. Think cold outreach and follow-ups for sales teams, canned responses for customer support execs, hiring and onboarding communication for the HR department, and so on.
There are a number of apps and browser extensions that can help you get all of this done.
The OG of text expander apps, TextExpander, used to be a favorite among generations of writers and coders, till it switched to a subscription pricing model in 2016 which most existing users found too expensive.
Luckily, today we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to text expanders.
7 TextExpander alternatives you must try in 2022
Here are 7 TextExpander alternatives to suit every need and use-case in 2022.
If you’re looking for the best text expander on the market, beware! OSlash isn’t it.
It is, however, the best productivity suite in the market. We may be biased but you can probably see why.
You can use OSlash text expander to auto-type text using shortcuts everywhere you work. But that’s not all.
None of the other apps on our list will offer you the powers of text expansion together with a link management solution that also doubles (or triples) up as a knowledge management platform for your company.
No wonder it can save you up to 30 hours every month!
- Create shortcuts to access and share your frequent web pages, apps, documents, and URLs, in less than a second
- Create and format snippets the way you want with a rich text editor
- Insert variables to craft highly dynamic, personalized messages
- Create snippets with access control: for yourself, your team, or your whole org
- Highlight anything on the web and convert it into a snippet
- Gain one-touch access to your shortcuts, tabs, and activity
Recommended reading: Embrace fast messaging and better user interactions with OSlash text expander
Pricing options (billed annually)
- Pro: $3 per user per month
- Expert: $6 per user per month; free 15-day trial available
- Enterprise: Custom
2. Text Blaze
Text Blaze lets you create, save, and insert text snippets and templates anywhere using keyboard shortcuts of your choice.
At the moment, Text Blaze is restricted to a Chrome Extension. So, it works only on Chrome/Chromium-based browsers.
This is a huge limitation when you want to use it natively across apps on your system.
- Create forms with input fields for inserting custom data into snippets
- Use dynamic formulas to calculate values instantly
- Simulate clicks or key presses to automate repeatable workflows
- Create shared snippets with colleagues that get updated automatically when edits are made, to maintain consistency
- Active community forum to discuss the most productive ways to use Text Blaze and profit from its key functions and features.
Chrome/Chromium, Edge (extensions)
Pricing options (billed annually)
- Basic: Free
- Pro: $2.99 per user per month
- Business: $6.99 per user per month
- Enterprise: Custom
Formerly known as Auto text Expander for Google, Magical is a free text expander that claims to “Make tasks disappear. Like magic.”
Its USP? The plug and play user experience. Magical does away with integrations and APIs to keep things extremely simple for everyone.
- Populate sheets, messages, and forms without switching between tabs and copy-pasting data
- Expand shortcuts into full-fledged texts across over 10,000 apps on the web
- Search shortcuts seamlessly with tags or type // to activate a dropdown for shortcut discovery
- Create and lookup your shortcuts anywhere on the web with the Magical Panel
- Get curated shortcut templates with magic packs
- Create unlimited shortcuts with unlimited character count per shortcut
Google Chrome (extension)
- Available for free for now
PhraseExpress is one of the pricier alternatives to TextExpander. And for good reason.
It automates your repetitive tasks using powerful macros. Its Macro Recorder “records your actions like a tape recorder for infinite playback.”
And it comes with a document generator that can create an entire document from scratch using a custom selection of your templates.
You also get to import your TextExpander snippets seamlessly.
- Store snippets locally and share them with others over the cloud or using network-shared folders between multiple Windows and Mac computers
- Organize snippets in a tree structure rather than flat groups
- Flexibility to assign the same shortcut for multiple snippets and choose the best fit from a smart dropdown menu
- Autocomplete snippets instead of memorizing cryptic abbreviations
- Snippets that adapt to the gender of the recipient
- Multi-language support lets you translate snippets into other languages. The same phrase library can be switched to another language instantly.
Windows, macOS, iOS
(All plans provide a lifetime license with one year of free updates & upgrades. Post that you have to pay for maintenance renewal.)
Free: For personal use
3 pricing plans for commercial use (prices without taxes as of Sep 2022):
- Standard: $81.31
- Professional: $120.96
- Enterprise: $203.34
Espanso is a free and open-source text expander tool that offers all the basic functionalities you expect from an autotext app.
The tool uses a code-based method to create shortcuts which might take some getting used to.
- Custom forms to include dynamic inputs such as dates
- Ability to run scripts from a snippet
- “Endless extensibility” via Packages: Packages are collections of snippets put together by the Espanso community for writing non-standard text including language accents, mathematical symbols, scientific notations, emojis, and more.
- Cross-platform support for Mac, Windows, and Linux: You only need one main config file to sync the same shortcuts everywhere.
Windows, macOS, Linux
The first ever text expander developed for Mac, TypeIt4Me has been around for over three decades now.
The upside? It works natively on all Mac apps that require typing.
The downside? It works only on Mac and iOS.
P.S. You need the TypeIt4Me Touch notepad app for using TypeIt4Me on your iPhone and iPad.
- Create a snippet from selected text
- Instantly fix spelling mistakes by adding commonly misspelled words to your abbreviations list
- Autocue placeholders, aka “fill-in fields” for inserting variable inputs into snippets
- Define hot keys for quick access to TypeIt4Me functions
- Restrict snippets and snippet sets to specific apps
- Ditch memorizing abbreviations and rely on point-and-click insertion of snippets from the menu bar
macOS and iOS
- Lifetime license available for $19.99 / 19,99€ / £19.99 (30-day trial available)
aText seeks to accelerate your typing, like other text expanders, by replacing frequently used phrases you define with abbreviations/shortcuts.
You can format your snippets to include images and multimedia in the rich-text editor.
There are also groups and subgroups to organize your shortcuts effectively.
- Import data from TextExpander, TypeIt4Me, SpellCatcherX, Automaton, CSV file etc.
- Embed clipboard content within snippet, embed snippet within another, send use editable fields in snippet
- Reposition the cursor in the expanded snippet
- Auto-Correction: Automatically capitalize new sentences, correct double capitals
- Basic: Free (Windows); $4.99 for a lifetime license (macOS) with a 21-day trial
- Premium: $29.99 for a lifetime license
What is the best TextExpander alternative?
OSlash of course — giving you all your money’s worth and then some.
But really, the best TextExpander alternative is one that suits your needs, fits your budget, and feels the most comfortable to use right now.
And we understand if OSlash isn’t there yet.
But if you do want an app you can try for free, that can be used on multiple devices (natively as well as on the browser), and one that can pack in a punch for your overall productivity, OSlash could be the right choice for you.
Ready to give it a try? Get started here!