Book references with TextExpander

I previously mentioned that I was using OmniFocus to keep a list of recipes, techniques, and other cooking related things I want to try/learn/eat/do, and that I would write a post about that.

This isn’t that post.

What this is, is a quick testimonial for the usefulness of TextExpander. The gist of TextExpander is that you assign a short abbreviation to a longer piece of text, and then whenever you type the abbreviation, it’s replaced (Expanded) with the long version. It can actually do quite a bit more (like, run shell scripts and Applescript commands), but text-replacing is it’s core functionality.

in my OmniFocus project, I’m using this for referencing the book and page where particular recipes are found. A recipe item with a reference looks like this:

Baked Apples with brandy and honey (The Family Meal p/106)

The abbreviation I’ve assigned to The Family Meal is “tfm”. In TextExpander, it looks like this:

Screen Shot 2011 11 13 at 9 06 02 AM

The funny looking %| thing tells TextExpander where to position the cursor after expanding the abbreviation, so to get:

(The Family Meal p/106)

What I typed was simply:

tfn 106

TextExpander for Mac is for sale at smilesoftware.com and the Mac app store. There’s an iOS version, too– but I honestly haven’t found it that useful yet (and now, text expansion is built into iOS 5).