TextExpander revisited

Since my previous post about TextExpander, they’ve revised their plans a bit. They’re going to keep the current (non-subscription) version around for a while, and they’ve changed the upgrade pricing so that, if you switch to a subscription, you get a lifetime 50% discount instead of just a one-year discount. So that’s pretty cool, but, at this point, I’ve set up all of my snippets in LaunchBar, and they’re working out OK, so I’ll probably drop TextExpander anyway.

There is an interesting blog post about TextExpander, and subscription software in general, at MacDrifter, from before the announced change. It’s got a lot of good info and links in it.

One of the reasons why I was thinking about moving away from TextExpander anyway is the way it handles “secure input” fields. Basically, whenever you’re in a secure input field, TextExpander can’t see what you’re typing, so it can’t expand anything. Which makes sense, and isn’t their fault. But they insist on popping up a notification telling you that, every time you’re in a secure input field. So that’s a bit distracting, and sometimes gets in the way of something that’s behind the notification. And there’s no option to turn off these notifications.

With LaunchBar, you’re not really doing general-purpose text expansion; you need to hit the special key combo to bring up LaunchBar any time you want to expand a snippet. So that’s a bit of a limitation, but it’s also an advantage, since that key combo works wherever you are, so there’s no issue with secure input fields. So I’m probably going to stick with LaunchBar for snippet expansion and give up on TextExpander.

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