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If there's one Mac utility we couldn't live without, it would probably be TextExpander, which saves us countless thousands of extra keystrokes each year. The software got a big update today, but don't go looking for it in the Mac App Store.
Smile Software has announced the availability of TextExpander 4, a major update to its popular Mac typing shortcut tool that promises to automate even more of your keystrokes.
Version 4 includes a new option for "fill-in-the-blank" snippets, which come in handy for form letters that can be personalized with names, dates and other information once expanded. Fill-ins are also available for multi-line text fields, popup menus for multiple choices and optional text blocks that can be added as needed.
TextExpander 4 also introduces a new Snippet Creation Assistant, a step-by-step method for creating your own snippets based on individual needs.
"TextExpander users are incredibly creative at finding new ways of automating their work," said Greg Scown, TextExpander developer and Smile founder. "With the additional fill-in snippet options, we've given them even more ways to do that."
Unfortunately, all of TextExpander 4's goodness comes with one caveat: Due to the Mac App Store's new sandboxing requirement, the app cannot be sold there and must be purchased directly from Smile.
"Because TextExpander 4 cannot be 'sandboxed,' it is not available on the Mac App Store," the release notes explain. "TextExpander 4 is signed with a Developer ID from Apple to meet the requirements of Gatekeeper in the forthcoming OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)."
Thankfully, upgrades from earlier versions are only $15 (free if you've purchased after January 15, 2012), which includes the Mac App Store version. New customers can purchase for $34.95, and Family Pack and Office Pack licenses are also available. Purchases can be made at the company's website or directly from within the app itself.
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