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TextExpander 3.2 offers backup, restore

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

TextExpander, which allows you to create text shortcuts and macros, has been updated to version 3.2. Along with some bug fixes, it also adds the ability to easily backup and restore your shortcuts, including automatic backup and keyboard shortcuts to expand top search results.

The backup/restore feature is a nice addition. You can tell TextExpander to backup hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly and keep 50, 100, 200 or an infinite number of backups (well, limited to available disk space). These backups are uncompressed, which probably isn't a big deal for most people (mine was about 2mb) but given that Apple has just released a new MacBook Air with a 64GB hard drive, we should remember that space is still a factor. It appears that TextExpander also makes a new backup even if nothing has changed since previous backup, so you could end up with 50 (or more) backups which are, for all intents and purposes, identical.

That's a relatively minor complaint, however, compared to not having automated backups at all. I had not planned to test this feature, but for reasons unrelated to this article I suddenly found that I needed to restore my TextExpander shortcuts and settings yesterday, and it worked easily and perfectly.

TextExpander is one of my most used applications. I've created my own list of shortcuts to add everything from my phone number to my address to the start of a shell script and more. I use it so much that I won't even consider a writing application for iOS which doesn't include TextExpander touch. The Mac application is $35 for new users, ($15 if you owned TextExpander 2.x or earlier). Of course 3.2 is a free upgrade for existing 3.x users. If you haven't used it, you get 90 days to try it before you have to buy it, plenty of time to decide if it's for you. I wouldn't think about using a Mac without it, and it keeps getting better.

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