Meer schrijven zonder te typen

Meer schrijven zonder te typen

Er zijn van die computer-programma's die voor mij persoonlijk essentieel zijn, en die als eerste geïnstalleerd worden op een nieuwe Apple computer. Of zelfs op een computer die ik tijdelijk gebruik. TextExpander van SmileSoftware is één van die programma's.

Overigens, en dat is niet waar deze blog in eerste instantie over gaat: Het installeren van software wordt alsmaar zeldzamer. Steeds meer programma's gebruik ik via de internet browser; het programma dat al standaard geïnstalleerd is op een computer, smartphone en tablet. Denk aan programma's voor mail, relatiebeheersysteem [CRM], boekhouden, nieuwsbrieven sturen via marketing campagne software, en content management tool voor het onderhouden van de website. En ik zie me steeds meer Google Drive gebruiken voor het maken en delen van documenten, sheets en presentaties. Het grootste voordeel voor mij persoonlijk is dat de software overal te gebruiken is, ongeacht de locatie, apparaat of besturingssysteem.

Maar goed, "meer schrijven zonder te typen", daarover wilde ik het hebben.

Al vele jaren gebruik ik het programma TextExpander op mijn Mac, waarmee ik zelfgeschreven tekstfragmenten kan opvragen, door afkortingen in te typen. Denk hierbij aan veel gebruikte standaard teksten in mailberichten, brieven en offertes.

Niet alleen om consistentie te bevorderen, maar vooral ook om tijd te besparen.

Handig in die situaties als je verschillende mailhandtekeningen hebt en wilt gebruiken in een mailbericht of een tekstpassage waarin een standaard aanpak wordt beschreven of productbeschrijving. Maar ook hele eenvoudige kleine tekstfragmenten zoals de datum van vandaag, morgen of overmorgen. Of de huidige tijd. Zelfs mijn kenteken, bankrekeningnummer, Kamer van Koophandel of btwnummer kan ik elk moment opvragen zonder dat ik deze hoef te onthouden of op te zoeken. Ook voor software ontwikkelwerk (html, javascript, css) komt het goed van pas. Hoewel ontwikkelaars zullen zeggen dat hun ontwikkeltool dit al jaren ondersteund ('code completion').

TextExpander staat los van alle andere programma's, en dat maakt het juist zo krachtig. Er is geen afhankelijkheid. Behalve dan dat het alleen op een Apple computer gebruikt kan worden. Of ik nu tekstfragmenten wil opvragen in Mail, Safari, Chrome, TextWrangler, BBEDIT of Adobe Photoshop. Het kan in elk programma opgeroepen worden.

En sinds een aantal maanden is het mogelijk om 'dialogen' te definiëren, waarmee variabele teksten in de tekstfragmenten opgenomen kunnen worden. Een soort mailmerge (in MS Word), maar dan eenvoudig. Zo kun je ook een script maken waarin je weer andere scripts aanroept. Maar goed, nu draaf ik door...

Graag help ik bij het inrichten van Text Expander, vooral in die (onderhoudbare) situaties dat meerdere medewerkers moeten beschikken over dezelfde tekstfragmenten.

Hieronder een kort filmpje waarin het kort wordt toegelicht door Martijn Aslander.

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