Save Time & Keystrokes with Text Expanders

source: guz_007
source: guz_007

As I’m putting the finishing touches on my ebook, How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too — all about being a mother and pursuing your own passions — I’m reposting some of my favorite posts from the archives! If you want to be notified when the ebook is ready, just submit your email address here.

As a career transcriptionist, I’ve been using text expanders since before I knew what blogging really was. However, as a blogger, I’ve realized the incredible potential they offer for making blogging more efficient. They minimize the time I spend typing web addresses, writing HTML and inserting standard text so that I can maximize the time I spend actually writing quality content.

What is a Text Expander?

A text expander is a software program that allows you to type a short string of text that then expands into a longer word, phrase, sentence or paragraph. For example, I can type “asap” and my program expands into “as soon as possible”.

Although expanding words and phrases is the main way I use text expanders as a transcriptionist, the real potential I see for bloggers comes from the ability to quickly write HTML and type web addresses. Besides running Life Your Way, I’m also the project manager for Deal Seeking Mom and the ad director for Simple Living Media, and the minutia of managing so many different projects would drive me nuts if it wasn’t for text expanders!

Text Expanders for Blogging

For example:

To add the comment button at the end of each post:

<div align=”center”><a name=”comments”></a><a href=”URL/#comments”><img src=”http://lifeyourway.net/design/SITE.jpg”></a>
<p style=”padding-left: 250px;”><font size=”1″><a href=”http://lifeyourway.net/comment-policy” onclick=”window.open(‘http://lifeyourway.net/comment-policy’,’popup’,’width=500,height=270,scrollbars=yes,resizable=no,toolbar=no,

directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Read the Life Your Way comment policy.</a></font></p></div>

To write HTML quickly and easily:

  • photolink = <a href=”URL” target=”_blank” title=”TITLE”><img src= “PHOTO URL” alt=”POPUP TITLE” /></a>
  • textlink = <a href=”URL” target=”_blank”>TITLE</a>
  • photosource = <br/><font size=”1″><em>Photo by <a href=”URL”>NAME</a></em></font>

I also follow a standard protocol for each blog I maintain so that I’m saving time in corresponding, posting, etc. For example:

  • lyw = Life Your Way
  • lyw/ = Life Your Way: Personalized Solutions for Intentional Living
  • lyw// = http://life.yourway.net
  • lywwp = http://life.yourway.net/wp-admin
  • lywem = contact@yourway.net

These are just a few of the literally hundreds of text expanders I use on a daily basis.

Text Expander Software Programs

The program I use for my text expanders is ShortKeys by Insight Software, and it provides all of the functionality I need for the tasks I’ve described above. Although there are other programs available on the market, I’ve never had a need to try another program, so I can’t recommend for or against them.

What about you? Do you use text expanders? Have you ever considered text expanders as part of your kit of blogging tools? Why or why not?

  • http://twitter.com/DebBat Deborah H. Bateman

    That sounds like it would be really helpful to cut some time in the process. Thanks for sharing

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      It definitely is for me!

  • http://www.asianefficiency.com/ Thanh Pham

    Textexpanders are a must if you do a lot of typing. I use them for emails and when I have to do a bit of coding. The program I use is Typeit4me (Mac) and works great.

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      Thanks so much for the recommendation!