keyboard maestro icon
icon by Yoolk

If you’ve recently needed a text expander utility, might I suggest the trusty Keyboard Maestro1.

I switched from TextExpander → Alfred quite some time back. Somewhat recently, I again switched from Alfred → KM for a couple of reasons:

1. One tool to rule them all

Between work & home, I use multiple computers these days. Having to sync + maintain each of these different utilities across multiple computers is becoming tedious.

Keyboard Maestro is a mainstay in my productivity toolbelt and isn’t going anywhere. Might as well double down on it for the things it does well.

2. Fixing app quirks

One of the big problems I found with utilities like Alfred is that the text expansion would activate too quickly. Consequently, the expansion wouldn’t work in certain apps (like VSCode).

With Keyboard Maestro though, you can add a micro delay2, ensuring the snippets work flawlessly everywhere.

keyboard maestro macro for an emoji text expansion

You can also limit the scope to just a few apps if you’re worried this delay will slow you down in non-problematic apps.

3. Mix text expansion with other macros

Building on that, with Keyboard Maestro, you’re not limited to just text replacement.

You can execute full-fledged macros with your text expansion. Here’s an example of how I add checklists in Google Docs3.

keyboard maestro macro for inserting checklist in google docs

Keyboard Maestro remains one of the most powerful utilities for the Mac.

  1. Referral link ↩︎

  2. I use 0.5s ↩︎

  3. It puzzles me that they haven’t assigned a default keyboard shortcut for this already. ↩︎