TextExpander Naming Conventions

I was requested by another forum member to share my naming conventions for TextExpander. Rather than go off-topic where the request was made, I've started this new topic.

Sure, be glad to share. I think the key is to be consistent, and to use abbreviations that are meaningful to you, that you would naturally think of.
My naming convention may or may not work for you. The main point is to give you some ideas. For yours to work for you, it needs to be logical to you, so that when you need to type a TE code, it comes easily to you.

I start all of my TE codes with a semicolon (;), because it is very unlikely that I would ever begin a word with ";". Also, I have set the TE preferences to not expand until I press a RETURN or SPACE.

So basically:


So, this TE code is used with AppleScript ("as")
concerning Keyboard Maestro ("km")
using the AS tell command ("tell")

One important tip I want to mention here, is that the TE search makes snippet selection very easy when you can't remember the full code.
So, for example, if I type ;as and press CTRL+S, TE will show a selection list of all snippets that start with that code, in this case all of my AppleScript snippets.

Here's the TE snippet:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
	make new variable with properties {name:"KMVar1", value:"Some Text in KM"}
	set strASVar1 to value of variable "KMVar1"
	set value of variable "KMVar1" to strASVar1
end tell -- "Keyboard Maestro Engine"

Back to the TE naming convention of:


< AppCode > -- 2-4 characters denoting the primary application or use for the snippet. Some examples:

as -- AppleScript
km -- Keyboard Maestro
en -- Evernote
em -- EMail
dt -- DevonThink
logo -- Logo's (actual images)

< PrimarySet > -- short word (≤ 6 chars) denoting the primary group or set. Think of it like a major sub-division or category. Sometimes the TE code stops here.
Some examples:

en.mac -- concerns the EN Mac app
en.win -- concerns the EN Win app
en.search -- concerns the Search feature

< SecondarySet > -- Optional. Used only if there is a further subdivision of the < PrimarySet > or sometimes as a word separator
Some Examples:

en.mac.backup -- about Backup of the EN Mac data
en.mac.restore -- about Restore of the EN Mac data
en.mac.ver -- Version of EN and Mac OS I'm using

Here's a screenshot of some of my TE snippets:

Please feel free to follow-up with any questions or comments you might have.


I’d disagree with that, as it doesn’t look like aText has an iPhone or iPad app (this alone disqualifies aText as a viable alternative for me), nor snippet suggestions, JavaScript snippets, the ability to search for snippets (it works like Apple’s Spotlight Search) as well as other items.

I was able to take a Javascript that changes capitalization (lower/UPPER/Title/Sentence) and put it into TextExpander. It automatically synced those to my iPhone and iPad and the Javascript works very well in every app that supports it. Can I do that in aText? Looking at the feature list, it doesn’t look like aText does exactly what TextExpander does, much less more.

I use TextExpander countless times on all of my devices each and every day, so the upgrade fee for TextExpander doesn’t seem to be huge for me (and frankly, I probably am less solvent then most reading this forum). Paying the upgrade fee for Keyboard Maestro 7 will take three meals off of my plate. I will be a little more hungry this week. I’ll live with that. Some things are worth paying for. TextExpander is one of those for me.

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Looks like a TE knockoff to me. The UI is virtually identical.
After a quick review, I didn’t see anything that aText does that is missing from TE.

And, as the other poster mentioned, TE has apps for smartphones that sync with the Mac app.

Thank you, JMichaelTX. I had seen using “;” at the beginning of the TE code, but had not thought to use “;..” as a naming convention. I will try this out with my TE codes.

Thanks, this is enlightening.

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I have a lot of short abbreviations, such as KM for Keyboard Maestro. I usually don’t have trouble remembering them because they are the first characters of the words or the first syllable of a single word. I don’t need TextExpander search for these. My abbreviations just end in . I used to use abbreviations that auto-expand, but there were too many surprises, so mostly I don’t do that anymore.

That’s why I use “;” as the prefix. I don’t get any surprises.
So, for me ;km is my abbreviation for Keyboard Maestro.

I didn’t notice that at the end of my posts’s sentence beginning “My abbreviations”, that the abbreviation terminator didn’t appear – I use backslash.

Backslash \ would not work for me because it is very often used as an “escape” character, like in this forum. In order to enter a backslash here, you have to type two backslashes: \\

How’s that? I don’t seem to have that feature. How did you set that up?

You set this up in TE preferences:
I've since changed my hotkey to X