Windows and Mac power users around here must be familiar with text expansion apps. When you type in a shortcut (also referred to as a snippet), it automatically expands to a predetermined phrase. For example, “@@” can expand to your email address or “adrs” can expand to your home address. Basically, you can configure text expansion shortcuts for all sorts of long phrases that you use often: email templates, word addresses, signatures, anything. On Android, users haven’t really had such a stable and feature-rich text expansion app. Until now. Meet Texpand.
How Texpand Works
To me, the best surprise was that Texpand wasn’t a keyboard replacement app (because most text expansion apps are). Instead, you can continue to use your favorite keyboard. Texpand will show up as a floating bubble when it thinks you’ve entered a shortcut that you want to expand.
For instance, when I type in “adrs,” the Texpand floating menu shows up. I can tap it, view all the suggested expansions, tap the one I want, and it’s expanded.
It does this by using Android’s Accessibility Settings. So before you get started, you’ll need to give Texpand the required permissions.
You can also skip the entire selecting process by giving Texpand the power to always automatically expand snippets from the app.
How to Use Texpand
To start saving keystrokes, you’ll need to set up shortcuts first. The free version of the app lets you create up to ten snippets. A $2.99 upgrade removes all limits.
To add a new snippet, open the app and tap the green “+” floating action button.
Type in the shortcut in the “Shortcut” field – let’s say “adrs” – and the expanded phrase in the “Phrase” section – “15, Yemen Road, Yemen,” for example.
If you want to skip the whole floating bubble option and automatically expand the text, check the “Expands immediately” option.
Tap the “Checkmark” button to save the shortcut. Do this over and over again until you have all your shortcuts in.
Entering Dynamic Values Like Date and Time
A text expansion app is incomplete without dynamic values. Texpand has you covered here as well. When you’re setting up a new shortcut, tap the “Show dynamic values” option.
Dynamic values, if you’re not familiar, is a feature that lets you insert programmatic values, something that is live and changing like the current time down to the seconds or today’s date.
This is really useful if you have to log time units a lot. You can now just create a shortcut called “ttime” that will instantly expand to the current time in the “HH:MM:SS” format.
The Hidden Gem: Clipboard Management
One of the Dynamic values in Texpand is “Clipboard.” This means you can set up a shortcut (something like “pst”) that instantly expands to whatever is in your clipboard. This means there is no need to tap and hold on the screen and find the “Paste” icon.
What Are Your Most Used Snippets?
Are you a text expansion pro? What is your most used text expansion snippet? Share with us in the comments below.