Many people who use TextExpander regularly have a naming convention they use with all their snippets. My snippets, for example, always start with a semicolon. Brett Terpstra's always start with a pair of commas. The idea is to use a prefix that's both easy to type—so it takes little effort to use—and will never show up in the course of your normal writing or programming—so your snippets don't expand accidentally.
The TE-Snippets site will have a collection of snippet libraries that can be customized to fit whatever prefix you like. To do that, the libraries are stored on the site in a special form, called the
.tedist form. It's almost the same as the
.textexpander file that TextExpander creates when you "Save a Copy" of a group of snippets. The difference is that the
.tedist file has the special code
[[PREFIX]] at the front of all the abbreviations. When a user downloads the library, that
[[PREFIX]] is replaced with the user's prefix of choice.
The purpose of the tedist script is to read in a normal
.textexpander file and generate a new
.tedist file for upload to the TE-Snippets site. It takes two arguments:
- The name of the
.textexpanderfile to convert.
- The prefix used in the
For safety on the Unix command line, you should probably enclose the prefix in single quotes.
Thus, to prepare my Symbols snippet library for TE-Snippets, I'd run this,
tedist Symbols.textexpander ';'
and I'd get a new
Symbols.tedist in the same directory.
Teprefix is a script for directly changing the abbreviation prefix from one string to another. It's meant to be used on snippet libraries that haven't been standardized to the
.tedist form. To change from my form to Brett's, you'd run
teprefix -o ';' -n ',,' Symbols.textexpander
and you'd get a Symbols-new.textexpander file with double comma prefixes. Teprefix has a help message that explains the options and the defaults.
If you want to change more than just the prefix, run
reabbrev. It loops through all the snippets in the given file and allows you to change the abbreviation of each one. A session would look like this:
reabbrev Symbols.textexpander Label: ½ Abbreviation [;1/2]: Label: ¼ Abbreviation [;1/4]: 1//4 Label: ⅛ Abbreviation [;1/8]: 1//8 Label: ¾ Abbreviation [;3/4]: 3//4
and so on. The current abbreviation is given in square brackets. If you just hit the return key, the current abbreviation is retained; if you type anything else (and then hit the return key), that will be the new abbreviation. The new library will not overwrite the old one; it will be saved with the same name, but with a "-2" appended. In the example above, the new file will be "Symbols-2.textexpander."
Tetable is a script for printing out a tabular description of a TextExpander library. The table can take the form of
- A Markdown table (default)
- A tab-separated table
- An HTML table
The output will look something like this
| To insert | Type | |:-----:|:----:| | € | ;euro | | £ | ;pound | | ¢ | ;cent | | ′ | ;ft | | ″ | ;in |
for the default Markdown output. Because
tetable isn't particularly clever about linebreaks, it's best used on libraries that have short snippets.