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This new feature will be for you! I have lots of great ideas about how to blog and use social media more efficiently (and cheaper) and I hope you will chime in with your ideas too. Summer is a great time to do this kind of housekeeping job!
Today’s topic: SAVE TIME WITH TEXT EXPANDER.
As I was setting up my new site, one of the items on my to-do list was to set up new text expanders.
How does Text Expander help you?
Think of all those times when writing posts or commenting on posts or posting on Goodreads or Amazon that you type the same thing over and over and over.
Text Expander tells your computer to expand a short phrase into a longer one. All you do is type the command and that long phrase types itself by itself — like magic.
For example, when I comment on someone’s blog and then end my comment with my command phrase and hit return, text expander automatically converts that phrase into “Thanks for stopping by Jen Ryland Reviews” — with a live link to my website. Excellent!
I use a Mac and Safari, so here’s how I set it up.
If you use a PC, scroll down for a link to PC instructions.
If you use Chrome, this might not work, but you could try this TextExpander software for Mac instead.
- Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
- Select System Preferences.
- Select Keyboard on the second row.
- Select Text. Did you ever wonder why your computer changes a “c” with brackets around it into a copyright symbol? Because it’s set up that way right here!
- Select the + sign to add a new “replace” phrase. Type in your short command phrase in the “replace” box and then the full text or HTML you want inserted in the “with” box on the right.
Confused? I’ll break that last step down below.
Let’s say you participate in Top Ten Tuesday every week and want to set up a standard phrase and a link that you can insert at the end of your comment on someone else’s post, like “Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday Post. Come Take a Look!”
On the left hand under “replace” enter your short command phrase.
Pro Tip #1: Make sure your “replace” phrase is something you can remember, but make sure it is NOT a word that you normally type or text. For example, if you used Tues as your phrase, every time you typed “Tues” on your computer it would change it to your TTT link. Not good!
I like to use an abbreviation with punctuation to make sure it’s memorable yet not something I’d never use in any another circumstance. So for my example above, I might use .TTT as my command phrase. So you’d type .TTT in the left-hand field.
On the right hand box, under “with” enter the expanded text – the long phrase you want automatically typed.
Pro Tip #2: The full phrase on the right can also include HTML code! That’s awesome if, like me, you don’t speak code fluently and can’t remember where the brackets and equal signs actually go.
Here’s what you’d type on the right for my example above.
<a href=”https://www./jenryland.com/”>Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday Post. Come Take a Look!</a>
Just replace my blog address (in red) with the permalink of your Top Ten Tuesday Post. Don’t know what a permalink is or how to find it? Leave a comment and I will explain. No question is too basic here on Self-Promotion for Bookworms.
Be sure to hit return after typing the command. Then, one last step so that this nifty trick will actually work: make sure text replacement is turned on in Safari.
How do you do that? Easy:
- Open Safari.
- Right click (or control click) anywhere on an open Safari window you can type text. You can open Goodreads, for instance and use that search box.
- Click on Substitutions
- Make sure “Text Replacement” has a check beside it.
Use a PC? There are great instructions in this article from PCWorld.com
What do I use Text Expander for? To direct Goodreads readers to my site:
–To satisfy the FTC requirement on my Goodreads review. I type my code and text expander spits out the longer FTC disclaimer.
–To leave a link to my site when I leave a comment on someone’s blog
–To leave a link to my site and Instagram when I post Goodreads reviews
If you already use Text Expander, let me know in comments what you use it for!