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Harvard Referencing.textexpander


Harvard Referencing Snippets (Open University) for Smile Software’s TextExpander


These are snippets for users of Smile Software’s TextExpander productivity software. TextExpander is a powerful productivity tool that allows users to type a shortened code, or series of characters, which are then turned into longer phrases or sentences that the user uses frequently, thus saving on keystrokes and repetition 👏.

For example: Typing the snippet: ~ttfn Would expand to the phrase ‘Ta ta for now!’

For a better explanation on what TextExpander can do, you would be better served by visiting its website and viewing their videos.

These snippets are for students using the Open University’s Guide to Citing References, to make reference citation easier to format.

Please note: I have not included every single citation listed in the Harvard Referencing Guide, but instead focussed on the top ones that I have used with regularity for the OU and other universities 🎓. If you would like others, please put it into feature requests!


To install these snippets into your own system, please follow the instructions on Smile Software’s webpage.


The following is a list of included snippets:

  • ~ouabstract - Abstract
  • ~ouact - Act of Parliament
  • ~ouauthbook - Authored book (print)
  • ~ouchaped - Chapters in edited books
  • ~ouebook - Electronic book
  • ~ouedbook - Edited book
  • ~ouinternet - Internet page
  • ~ouojourn - Online journal
  • ~ouonline - Online sources
  • ~oupjourn - Print Journal
  • ~ouprint - Print sources

Typing any one of these snippets will bring up a form field for fill-ins, that you only need to populate with the proper citation information. The snippet will take care of the proper formatting for you.


  • You will need to expand these in a document that supports rich text, in order for formatting such as underline and italics to work. If you are using software like Word, Pages, TextEdit, WordPad etc, then you shouldn’t have to worry.
  • 📱 iOS users, keep in mind that if you purchase TextExpander for your iPhone or iPad, text expansion will not work with a hardware keyboard unless you are editing within the TextExpander app itself.
  • Computer users, TextExpander is generally system-wide, so you should not be constrained by the sandbox limitations imposed upon iOS users.
  • You may consider using other apps that can utilise TextExpander snippets, such as the fantastic Drafts by Agile Tortoise.
  • ! Usage of these snippets requires that you have TextExpander installed on your computer or device.


Usage of these snippets does not guarantee that the formatting is 100% correct, nor does the author assume any academic responsibility on your behalf. Always double and triple check your work, and if in doubt about referencing, please double check with your tutor or with library services. These snippets are neither affiliated with nor supported by The Open University.


While there are other text expansion programs available, TextExpander has been the one that I know and trust across my Windows, Mac and iOS devices. Please fee free to fork this repo for other flavours of Harvard Referencing, as well for other software variations.

If you have questions or the snippets are misbehaving or missing critical features write me at jchristian@greenapplesea.com.

Jim Christian