Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Using Text Expanders to improve feedback and Save Time

As I start this session, I don't know what text expanders are, but I'm all about improving feedback and saving time, so this session seemed like a good choice. It is being presented by Jan Flegle of Kaplan University, a fully online institution.

She recommends a program called "Texter" which seems to be similar to using a macro. Texter can support coding which she describes as "slicker than snot" (yes, I am in the South). She notes that there are dozens of free text expanders out there, but that this is the one that works for her.

It works in all Windows programs.  It allows you to type a keyword or keyboard combination and, as long as Texter is running, it expands to your pre-written feedback. I'm seeing this as being really useful for email as well. I currently use signatures for this purpose, but this seems more flexible, since it works in all programs.

One person in the audience recommended that one be careful that the text expander keywords are something that you would not normally type. Since Texter runs in the background, it might put in language that you don't intend. The presenter noted that Texter can be set to make a sound when it inserts text and that she highly recommends that setting.

Here is a Lifehacker article explaining how it works, including handy videos and linking to the download.

This seems very handy. I'm all over it.


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