Our hands and fingers go through a lot of repetitive motion on the keyboard, what with reports, documents, letters, email, spreadsheets, and much more. Wouldn’t it be great if your Mac could take on half those finger-life-span-reducing manual chores and do some of the typing work for you? Here’s a way.
Save Your Fingers 101
Let’s face the music. Our fingers have only so many letters and words that can be typed during our Mac lifetimes. Yes, we have superb keyboards. We have a mouse or trackpad pointer that moves across the screen when our fingers slide over the top. That’s how we get things done.
But we have to face a few facts. All that motion and joint bending doesn’t make us younger. Maybe we need a Mac tool that kinda sorta knows what we want to type when we type it. After all, a Mac is a computer and a computer is a time saving device. Except for Windows PC users, of course, but that’s a different topic. Here’s a Mac utility I use and recommend to teachers, staff, and students and the private school where I work.
It’s called TypeIt4Me and is the Mac’s original text expander. Using TypeIt4Me actually is rather simple and straightforward, but there is more power and time savings than you might think. First, set some specific abbreviations for words you type often. TypeIt4Me types the words as you type the abbreviations.
TypeIt4Me is dead dog, drop dead simple. It stores abbreviations and their corresponding text. You type the abbreviation and presto change-o, TypeIt4Me expands the abbreviation to the full text. Alright, think about that for a moment. What if you could assign an abbreviation to a whole sentence, or a whole paragraph—you know; those phrases and sentences you use regularly. That’s what TypeIt4Me does.
But it’s not limited to text. Sentences? Yes. Phrases? Yes. Addresses? Yes. Paragraphs? Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. How about photos? Yes. How about programming code or spreadsheet code? Yes Again.
View the abbreviations in the screenshot above. If you get this, then you get TypeIt4Me, and it’s likely to be the true geeky friend you never had. You set the abbreviation, the assign it to a clipping which can be text, code, phrases, sentences, proper names, whatever you want. Then, simply type the abbreviation and TypeIt4Me types it out.
Anything that you type that is the same thing over and over and over again is perfect for TypeIt4Me. Hmmmm. Hold that thought. How about passwords and login IDs? Think about the possibilities with just those two commonly used items. Instead of trying to remember a complex password sequence, assign a simple letter combination to your password. Then, when you type out the abbreviation, the complex password appears.
Do you type some words that are easily misspelled? Spell checkers are good but they only highlight something that’s misspelled. TypeIt4Me can be set up to change the bad spelling to good, on-the-fly, while you type.
There’s a catch to all this efficiency. You have to remember all the abbreviations (although the Menubar drop down can assist). After about a dozen abbreviations my mind turns to mush and I can’t remember what I assigned to what phrase or sentence. TypeIt4Me isn’t for every Mac user, of course. It’s only for those who type often, want to save their fingers for more important use, and who need a way to speed up typing and accuracy at the same time. This one is a keeper.