The most frequently asked questions

How do I import TextExpander snippets into TypeIt4Me?

For an explanation of how to go about this, see the blog post: How to import TextExpander snippets into TypeIt4Me

You're not planning to move to a subscription-based model for TypeIt4Me, are you?

No. We have never considered moving to a subscription model (compulsory or otherwise) and we have no intention of doing so. As far as we can recall, in 25 years, we have only changed the standard full price twice: when we lowered it from $30 to $27 and when we lowered it again from $27 to $19.99.
When you buy a TypeIt4Me licence, the app is yours to keep and use as you see fit, for as long as you like. The licence is good for 3 years of free minor version (i.e. 5.x.x) updates. Major paid upgrades come along roughly once every 3-5 years and cost just $8.99 for all registered customers – no matter how long ago they originally purchased TypeIt4Me.

I've just upgraded OS X on my Mac and now TypeIt4Me doesn't seem to work. How do I get it up and running again?

Don’t panic, just follow these simple steps and TypeIt4Me should work normally again.

1: Open System Preferences

2: Click Security & Privacy

3: Click on the Privacy tab

4: Click on the Accessibility section in the column on the left

5: Click the Lock button in the bottom left-hand corner and enter your administrator password if required

6: Check the box next to TypeIt4Me.app under “Allow the apps below to control your computer.”

7: Quit TypeIt4Me, and relaunch. 

Following the steps above ought to get TypeIt4Me working normally again. You may also need to reboot your Mac. If you’re still stuck after that, try looking in your TypeIt4Me preferences, going to the Expansion tab and making sure the ‘Disable keyboard expansion’ box is not checked. Some customers have reported that this gets mysteriously switched on by a bug – we’ll be looking to fix that with the next update. If you’re still having trouble even after doing that, try going into the TypeIt4Me ‘Triggers’ preferences and toggling all of the delimiters off and on again.

Secure Event Input alerts annoy me. How do I stop TypeIt4Me notifying me every time another app turns Secure Event Input on?

These notifications are to help you identify apps that may be preventing TypeIt4Me from expanding your abbreviations, but if they’re annoying you it’s easy to turn them off. Open your Mac’s System Preferences and go to Notifications (it’s in the top right corner). Once you’re in Notifications you’ll see a list of apps on the left. Select TypeIt4Me in the list, then select the “None” option and untick all the checkboxes under “TypeIt4Me alert style”.

How to turn off TypeIt4Me notifications

I'm already using an abbreviations file stored in Dropbox with an older version of TypeIt4Me that doesn't officially support it. I haven't updated to TypeIt4Me 5.5 yet. Is there anything I need to do before updating to make sure things go smoothly?

Yes, there is. For a smooth transition to TypeIt4Me 5.5, make sure your abbreviations data file (“[yourfilename].typeit4me”) is in a folder named TypeIt4Me, inside your Dropbox folder.

Older versions of TypeIt4Me allowed for abbreviations to be stored anywhere on your Mac, but TypeIt4Me 5.5 works a bit differently and is stricter about where you keep them. It stores [snippet] abbreviations in one or more files (“sets”) which you can still name as you like, but which must be stored either:

  • in the default Sets directory in the TypeIt4Me Application Support folder of your library (for it to show up in the Sets on this Mac pane)

 

or

  • in a folder named TypeIt4Me inside your Dropbox, iCloud Drive or Google Drive folder (so it will show up in the remote sets pane when you activate your preferred sync option in Preferences)

 

or

  • in a shared network folder (you can specify the path by selecting the Other option in Sync Preferences)

 

If you’ve already updated and your abbreviations aren’t showing up in TypeIt4Me, don’t be alarmed, they’re perfectly safe. They’re just in a different place than the new TypeIt4Me expected, so it doesn’t see them yet. Do a Spotlight search for files ending in .typeit4me. Locate your existing abbreviations file in the list of search results and double click on it. This will automatically move it to the Sets folder and make it the active TypeIt4Me set. You can then move it back to Dropbox by first checking the Dropbox option in TypeIt4Me’s Sync Preferences and then dragging it from the Sets on this Mac pane across to the Sets in Dropbox pane in the main app window.

Just the Facts...

Everything you always wanted to know about TypeIt4Me…but were afraid to ask.

What is TypeIt4Me? What does it do, exactly?

TypeIt4Me is a text expander. Text expansion is essentially on-the-fly substitution of short typed abbreviations with longer ‘snippets’ of content, which can include lengthy words, phrases, boilerplate texts or even pictures. Wherever you type a shorthand abbreviation of your choosing, TypeIt4Me will instantly replace it with a corresponding snippet that you’ve defined.

The very first text expander developed for Mac OS, TypeIt4Me is an app designed to accelerate your typing by rapidly replacing your custom defined abbreviations with longer ‘snippets’ of text and / or pictures as you go. Once installed and launched, it silently runs in the background to help you type more quickly and accurately.

Find yourself typing the same things over and over? Build up a set of abbreviations and the full text / image ‘snippets’ that they represent. TypeIt4Me will save you time and keystrokes by automatically expanding them while you continue typing. This works systemwide, in any app in which you can type.

How might I use TypeIt4Me?

How you use TypeIt4Me will depend on who you are and what you often find yourself writing. It’s popular with doctors, transcriptionists, lawyers, customer support teams, coders, journalists, authors and bloggers.

Things TypeIt4Me can help you knock out more quickly include:

  • people’s names, email addresses and other contact details
  • commonly repeated phrases
  • awkwardly lengthy / difficult-to-spell medical terms
  • boilerplate clauses for legal contracts
  • “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” IT support replies

 

It can be particularly useful for entering repetitive data in a database file or spreadsheet, or for anyone who finds him or herself frequently typing the same things over and over.

Many people find TypeIt4Me useful for speedily inserting the current date and a return address when composing letters. It’s handy for email sign-offs, too. For example, you might type just br to get:
Best regards,
Jon Appleseed.

Does the latest TypeIt4Me work with OS X 10.11 El Capitan?

Yes it does. TypeIt4Me is designed to work with OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).

If you’ve just upgraded your machine to a newer OS X and have found TypeIt4Me has stopped expanding your abbreviations, see pages 82-85 of the user guide for help getting it running smoothly again.

 

If you’re running older system software then you’ll need to download an older version of TypeIt4Me. For Mac OS X 10.8 through 10.5, you should download TypeIt4Me 5.2.1. If you’re still running 10.4 or even older versions of OS X, you’ll need to download TypeIt4Me 4.2.1 instead.

What are the minimum system requirements for TypeIt4Me?

The latest version of TypeIt4Me requires a Mac running OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later. Mavericks and newer versions Yosemite and El Capitan are free to download from the Mac App Store; if you’re still running an older OS but your Mac can run El Capitan, Yosemite or Mavericks, we strongly recommend upgrading so you can take advantage of the many UI enhancements, new functionalities and security improvements these offer.

Apple formally notes that OS X Mavericks runs on the following Mac categories:

 

To upgrade to Mavericks your Mac needs to be running at least OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and have at least 2 GB of RAM installed as well as at least 8 GB of available storage space.

If your Mac can’t run Mavericks then you’ll need to download an older version of TypeIt4Me. For Mac OS X 10.8 through 10.6, you should download TypeIt4Me 5.2.1. If you’re still running 10.4 or even older versions of OS X, you’ll need to download TypeIt4Me 4.2.1 instead.

How much does TypeIt4Me cost?

The price of a standard single TypeIt4Me user licence is $19.99 (USD) / £14.99 / 19,99€.

Student / academic single user licences cost $12.99 (USD) / £9.99 / 12,99€.

You can upgrade from an older version of TypeIt4Me for $8.99 (USD) / £7.99 / 8,99€.

A 5-user multipack licence can be purchased for just $59.99 (USD) / £44.99 / 59,99€.

If you purchase TypeIt4Me from the Mac App Store, there is a fixed price of $19.99 (USD) / £14.99 / 19,99€. You will get free updates, but please note that these will include bug fixes only. Apple’s sandboxing policy prohibits us from adding any new features to the Mac App Store version of TypeIt4Me.

Is TypeIt4Me 5.5 a free upgrade for existing users?

TypeIt4Me 5.5 is a free upgrade for anyone who last bought a TypeIt4Me licence after January 1st, 2013.

Anyone who bought a licence before 2013 can upgrade from an older version of TypeIt4Me for $8.99 (USD) / £7.99 / 8,99€.

What's the difference between the TypeIt4Me available on the Mac App Store and the app you sell directly from your website?

Good question! It’s a little tricky to explain and this may make your eyes glaze over, but here goes. The TypeIt4Me available on the Mac App Store is version 5.4.4. TypeIt4Me was made available on the App Store prior to the introduction of Apple’s strict sandboxing policy that mandates apps sold through that channel must now be entirely self-contained. Apple has graciously permitted non-sandboxed apps like ours to remain on sale on the Mac App Store, but TypeIt4Me must remain frozen at version 5.4.x there; while we will continue to support it and fix bugs, we are not allowed to add new features to it.

As a result, we now maintain two different versions of TypeIt4Me for two different distribution channels: a legacy 5.4.x version you can buy through Apple and a newer shareware version available directly from us, that’s under continued development and will go on receiving new features over time.

The latest shareware version is 5.5. It has an almost identical feature set to the Mac App Store version, but instead of iCloud snippet syncing it offers a choice of syncing via Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive or a shared network folder.

An important distinction to note is that only the Mac App Store version of TypeIt4Me is able to handle full, automatic 2-way syncing via iCloud. Changes made to iCloud-stored snippets on an iPhone or iPad running the TypeIt4Me Touch iOS app will only be picked up in TypeIt4Me on your Mac(s) if you’re using version 5.4.x purchased from the Mac App Store. If you have the shareware TypeIt4Me downloaded from ettoresoftware.com, snippets you store in iCloud Drive will be available for use in TypeIt4Me Touch on your iPhone or iPad, but any edits or additions you make there will not automatically be synced back to your Mac.

So, which version is right for you? That depends on your requirements.

If you only plan to use TypeIt4Me on a single Mac: both the Mac App Store version and the shareware version available directly from us should meet your needs. That said, only the shareware version will get updates and new features over time; you may want to factor that in to your purchasing decision.

If you require full, automatic 2-way iCloud syncing of your snippets between your Mac(s) and iPhone(s) or iPad(s): get TypeIt4Me 5.4.4 from the Mac App Store.

If you just want to run TypeIt4Me on multiple Macs and have the option to use the same synced snippets on all of them, both the Mac App Store version and the shareware version available directly from us offer ways to do this that should meet your needs. Once again, though, only the shareware version will get updates and new features over time; you may want to consider that when deciding which one to purchase.

What does iCloud support mean? Do I need it?

iCloud support in TypeIt4Me just means you can decide to store your abbreviations and snippets in iCloud for sharing with multiple Macs and any iPhones or iPads running the TypeIt4Me Touch iOS app. If you only use one Mac and no iOS devices, then there is no added benefit and you don’t really need iCloud.

If I want to sync my TypeIt4Me snippets with iCloud, do I have to buy TypeIt4Me from the Mac App Store?

If you want full, 2-way automatic syncing of your snippets with the TypeIt4Me Touch iOS app on your iPhone or iPad, yes.

If you just want to be able to sync your snippets to use them on more than one Mac and you’re happy to use iCloud Drive or another cloud storage / syncing service, then the answer is no, you don’t have to buy the Mac App Store version. As of version 5.5 the shareware TypeIt4Me available directly from our website now supports syncing with iCloud Drive, as well as Dropbox, Google Drive and shared network folders.

Is TypeIt4Me a keylogger? Is TypeIt4Me a safety risk? Is it spying on me?

Don’t worry, TypeIt4Me is not a keylogger in the scary sense. While it does have to log keystrokes to do its job, these keystrokes are never saved or sent anywhere. Moreover, TypeIt4Me empties its cache every time you press the spacebar (or any other keys you’ve set up to trigger expansion). Thus, TypeIt4Me hardly ever remembers more than 20 characters of what you most recently typed. Using TypeIt4Me does not compromise your privacy.

What exactly is a snippet?

The term “snippet” refers to the full text and / or picture(s) that TypeIt4Me will automatically insert in your document when any given abbreviation is expanded. In earlier versions of TypeIt4Me snippets were referred to as “clippings”, because they are items of content that are copied to and from the Mac’s clipboard.

How long can the contents of a snippet be?

Snippets (i.e. the text that is typed when you type an abbreviation and a trigger) can be up to 32,000 characters long.

What are snippet sets?

In TypeIt4Me, a snippet “set” is a file that contains a group of TypeIt4Me snippets. These sets are a way for you to organise and keep different groups or types of snippets separate, if you’re so inclined.

How many entries can be added to each set?

There is no specific limit. However, a large number of entries (i.e. thousands) will tend to slow things down a little on older Macs and bringing up the Edit Snippet… dialog may take a fairly long time.

Why have many different snippet sets?

Many people use just a single set containing all of their snippets and that’s perfectly fine. Others like to switch between several different sets, each suited to a particular context. Here are a few examples of how you might use sets:

  • Switch between an “Office set” and a “Home set”.
  • Maintain a secondary “Spanish snippets” set for when you’re typing in that language.
  • Keep a separate “Code snippets” set that you only use when you’re programming.

 

By design, only one set can be active at a time; this is to prevent conflicts in cases where you might want the same abbreviation to expand to something different depending on which set you’re using. For instance, you might have a nec abbreviation that expands to necessity when your “English snippets” set is active and to necesidad when “Spanish snippets” is active.

How many different snippet sets (abbreviation data files) can I have?

As many as you care to define and will fit on your disk.

Does TypeIt4Me work under Classic / Panther / Tiger / Leopard / Snow Leopard / Lion / Mountain Lion?

Older versions did of course, but these are no longer in development as we must look to the future and focus on the more recent OS X clients in order to keep pace with the evolution of Apple hardware. Things have moved on quite a bit in the last ten years… we know it hurts, but it might be time to mothball that Macintosh SE/30 :-)

Can I use an abbreviations file created with the Classic version in the OS X version?

Yes you certainly can, though you might want to keep in mind that once the old abbreviations file is converted to the new format it can no longer be used with the Classic version (one way transfer only).

Why don't you have an answer to my question?

Feel free to email it to support@ettoresoftware.com and we’ll do our best to answer it (but be aware that at busy times, we may not be able to reply for several days).

Troubleshooting & How Do I...?

Confused about something? You may not be the first. Check these solutions to common issues.

How do I import TextExpander snippets into TypeIt4Me?

For an explanation of how to go about this, see the blog post: How to import TextExpander snippets into TypeIt4Me

I'm using the Mac App Store version and don't know how to get my abbreviations into iCloud. A little help please?

TypeIt4Me 5.3 and up stores snippets in one or more files (“sets”) which you can name as you like and store in the Sets directory. If you double-click a TypeIt4Me document file in the Finder, it will be moved into the Sets folder and become the default file. To share your snippets across all your Macs and iOS devices, drag and drop a snippets file from the left to the right pane at the top of the TypeIt4Me ‘Edit Snippet…’ window.

If you’re finding it doesn’t work, make sure you have iCloud ‘Documents & Data’ enabled in your Apple system preferences. Open System Preferences and click on the iCloud icon, then click on the Options… button next to iCloud Drive. In the Documents tab that comes up, make sure the checkbox next to TypeIt4Me is ticked.

Argh! I just updated TypeIt4Me and my abbreviations file seems to have disappeared. What do I do?

Don’t panic. Do a Finder search for files ending in .typeit4me. Locate your existing abbreviations file in the list of search results and double click on it. This will automatically move it to the Sets folder and make it the active TypeIt4Me set.

Is there a way to move snippets to a different set?

Yes, you can easily do this by copying and pasting them. Just hold the command key and select the snippets you want to move by clicking on them. Copy them to the clipboard (command-c). Navigate to the other set you wish to move those snippets to. Then click once anywhere in the list of snippets in the new set and paste (command-v).

How can I uninstall / remove TypeIt4Me?

To uninstall TypeIt4Me 5.x, simply locate it in your Applications folder, move it to the Trash and empty the Trash.

To uninstall older versions of TypeIt4Me, follow these two steps:

1) Open the TypeIt4Me Preference Pane and click Turn TypeIt4Me Off.

2) Click Show All, ctrl-click on the TypeIt4Me icon in the System Preferences and choose Remove.

I'm using Snow Leopard / Lion and whenever I load TypeIt4Me I get a system alert message that says "To use TypeIt4Me preferences pane, System Preferences must quit and reopen". How do I stop this from happening?

If this is happening then you’re running an outdated 32-bit version of TypeIt4Me and we recommend upgrading to the latest version of TypeIt4Me. Upgrading will resolve the issue and you’ll get the benefit of new features too. If you’re not ready to upgrade yet though, there’s a simple alternative fix for the problem. Locate the System Preferences application on your Mac (it lives in the Utilities folder), then ctrl-click on it and select ‘Get Info’ from the context menu that pops up. This will bring up an information window that features an ‘Open in 32-bit mode’ checkbox. Tick the box and you’ll be good to go, it shouldn’t bother you again.

How do I define an abbreviation to display the current date and/or time?

This is explained in depth on pages 49-54 of the TypeIt4Me user guide. To access the user guide, click on Help in the TypeIt4Me toolbar or menu.

How do I eliminate the space between a numeral and a hyphenated expansion like "-year-old"? For example, I'd like to be able to type "47yo" and have that expand to "47-year-old" with no spaces.

That’s an easy one: simply define the abbreviation as #yo (the # symbol is interpreted by TypeIt4Me as any numeral). Now whenever you type any number immediately followed by “yo” with no spaces, this will expand to “[number]-year-old” without leaving a space after the typed numeral.

How do I define keyboard shortcuts to bring up the various TypeIt4Me dialogs?

This is explained on page 78 of the TypeIt4Me user guide. To access the user guide, click on Help in the TypeIt4Me toolbar or menu.

I lost my abbreviations file: how do I find it?

If you’re using TypeIt4Me 5.3 or later, just click on the name of the active snippet set in the main TypeIt4Me window: it will take you to the file in Finder.

If you’re using TypeIt4Me 5.2.x or earlier, try hovering the mouse over the name of the abbreviations file in the main TypeIt4Me window: a tooltip will appear that shows you the path to the file.

Alternatively, use Spotlight to search for items whose extension is .typeit4me (or under older systems, whose Type is T4ME).

I'm worried iCloud might screw up or lose my TypeIt4Me sets. Where can I find them locally so I can back them up occasionally?

Your TypeIt4Me sets are stored locally within the ‘Library/Mobile Documents/TypeIt4Me’ folder on your Mac. If you can’t see your Library (Apple hides it by default), just hold down the option key on your keyboard and select Go in the Finder menubar – it will then be visible in the dropdown.

Why does TypeIt4Me lose track of the file containing the abbreviations?

Make sure you store the abbreviations file on the same volume/partition as the startup system volume.

Why doesn't Word append the space that triggered the expansion?

You need to turn the ‘Use smart cut and paste’ option off in Word’s Preferences, under Edit

An app I was using stopped TypeIt4Me from working and a message flashed up saying something about secure event input being blocked. ...Help?

What Secure Input is and why it sometimes interferes with TypeIt4Me

Secure Input is a very useful protective feature built into many apps that kicks in to shield your passwords and other sensitive data while these are being entered. This is so that they can’t be intercepted and recorded for nefarious purposes and only you will know what you’re typing.

Secure Input is very much a good thing, however it is meant to be used sparingly. It can cause problems if it isn’t turned off again once it’s done its job. With some apps, when the Secure Input protection is triggered it erroneously remains enabled even after you’re done entering the sensitive information and / or you switch to a different app. TypeIt4Me and other text expansion apps will then effectively be ‘locked out’ of keyboard input and prevented from functioning until Secure Input is turned off.

How to resolve the Secure Input issue and get TypeIt4Me working again

If Secure Input has stopped TypeIt4Me from working you’ll need to identify the app that has left Secure Input enabled and quit that app.

It’s often a web browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox that leaves Secure Input enabled, though there are known issues with other apps too, including popular password managers such as 1Password and Lastpass. If none of those looks to be responsible, it could also be down to other third party apps like Fluid, Hulu Desktop, iFinance, Quicken Scheduler, Chronories or Notational Velocity. If you’re a command-line tinkerer you might also want to ensure that Terminal’s ‘Secure Keyboard Entry’ is turned off when you’re done entering a password.

Sometimes when I try to quit TypeIt4Me from the menubar it doesn't work. What's going on?

This can happen if you have set your preferences to hide the TypeIt4Me icon in your dock and you click on Quit in the menubar while the preferences window is still open. Just close the preferences window and you should be right as rain again.

I can't see the TypeIt4Me icon in my menubar, where's it gone?

If you’re not seeing the TypeIt4Me icon in your menubar, it’s likely due to one of three possible explanations:

Firstly, TypeIt4Me may not in fact be running, in which case you simply need to relaunch it by double clicking it in your Applications folder (or clicking it in the dock if you keep it there).

Secondly, you may have specified in TypeIt4Me’s preferences that the menubar icon should be hidden. Hold down the ctrl key and click on TypeIt4Me in your dock, then navigate to Preferences. In there, click on ‘Menu’ and make sure the ‘Hide menu’ radio button is not checked.

The third possibility is that – though it’s still running – TypeIt4Me’s icon is being hidden because the menubar has become crowded and there are a lot of other items displayed to the right of it.

Menubar overcrowding can come about when your screen is not wide enough to accommodate all your icons as well as all the menu options for the current application in use. MS Word and other Office applications have lots of menubar options, so you may find this happens when using them. Fortunately, there are ways to save space and mitigate this. You could, for example, go into ‘System Preferences’ > ‘Users & Groups’ > ‘Login Options’ and change the fast user switching menu to display as ‘Icon’ or ‘Short name’ instead of ‘Full name’. Another space saving trick could be to change the way the date and time are displayed. If you’ve tried both of these and there still isn’t enough space for you to see the TypeIt4Me icon, you could also quit some other less frequently used apps that perhaps live in your menubar and then relaunch them so that the TypeIt4Me icon moves further over to the right and will be more likely to remain visible at all times.

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