When I create images for MacStories, I either keep them at a single size between 600 and 650 pixels, or use two separate versions: the original larger size, and a smaller one that links to the full version. In either case, images are uploaded to our CDN with Cyberduck, which I have been using for years and that has never failed me. Until last month, the process of duplicating the larger image and saving it to a smaller size was entirely manual – something that, I later realized, was surprising considering I try to automate as many aspects of my daily workflow as possible. I decided to fix this before the Apple earnings call because I knew Excel was going to export our charts as large PNGs – but, mostly, because it really didn’t make sense to keep on manually clicking menus and selecting sizes after all these years of writing for MacStories. (more…)
Today Smile Software released TextExpander 4, the latest version of its typing shortcut app for OS X. The new version contains several new types of fill-in snippets, including support for multi-line text fields, pop-up menus, expanding snippets while filling in text fields, and more. In addition, the UI has been slightly updated to match the monochromatic style of Lion and Mountain Lion, and snippet groups for French and German autocorrection are now part of TextExpander’s predefined group options. And in news that is sure to please anyone who has tried and failed to get their friends and family to understand the benefits of typing shortcuts, TextExpander 4 now includes a tutorial called the Snippet Creation Assistant, which will launch upon a fresh install of the app and guide new users through the process of making their own snippets.
TextExpander 4 also marks Smile’s break from the Mac App Store due to the sandboxing rules that went into effect on June 1st, making it the first major casualty of the new restrictions. Fortunately for Mac App Store customers, Smile has gone the extra step to ensure a smooth upgrade from the MAS version to their direct sale version. Once TextExpander 4 has been downloaded and launched, it will recognize existing MAS versions of TextExpander 3 and offer users the same discounted upgrade price as direct customers. As of this writing, TextExpander 3 is still on the Mac App Store and has not been updated with information about TE4 or the upgrade process.
TextExpander has been one of my most valuable apps for years and I highly recommend anyone who has yet to try it to download the demo from Smile’s website. TextExpander 4 costs $34.95 for a single license and $15 to upgrade from a previous version, with additional options for family packs and businesses. Any customer who purchased Text Expander 3 after January 15, 2012 can upgrade to TE4 for free.
TextExpander 4 is available for purchase from Smile Software’s website here. The company’s official press release, which includes the full list of new features and changes, can be found here.
If you own an iPhone or iPad and you’re used to typing a lot using Apple’s virtual keyboard for iOS (which will soon receive some interesting updates with iOS 5 on the iPad), you might also be a TextExpander user. Developed by Smile and available both on the Mac and iOS, TextExpander is a fantastic utility that allows you to create “snippets” to type frequently-used text using short abbreviations. Personally, I use TextExpander on a daily basis on my Mac to type “http://” in Twitter for Mac (which for some reason doesn’t allow you to copy links), personal information in websites I visit every day, or sentences I often write down in email responses. Whilst TextExpander for Mac is tightly integrated into the operating system and works with every app, because of the different nature of iOS third-party developers have to manually integrate their apps with TextExpander once installed on a user’s device. Currently, more than 100 apps for the iPhone and iPad sport TextExpander integration.
With an update released today, Smile has added Dropbox support to TextExpander for iOS, allowing users to sync snippets created on the Mac through the popular online service. Dropbox integration in TextExpander for Mac has been around for months as an alternative to MobileMe and local sync to share snippets “over the air” on multiple Macs. The same functionality is now available in the new TextExpander for iOS, which will require you a couple of taps to authorize with your Dropbox account, and import snippets into the app. The Dropbox sync option is available in the Settings, and it works both on the iPhone and iPad. In the Settings, there’s also a new option to sort snippets — version 1.2 brings “other fixes and improvements” as well.