Typinator 5.1: interactive input fields

Ergonis Software announced the release of Typinator 5.1, a new version of their popular text expander. Their press release says: “The new version takes text expansion to the next level with interactive input fields.” And having been a beta guinea pig for them the past couple of weeks, I can safely say that it’s true.

Typinator 5 contained the ability to insert scripts into expansions. That was great — you could, for example, have Typinator expand a sentence with a price that automatically converted from USD to EUR. However, for script-illiterates like myself, I pretty much depended on others to share their scripts in order to benefit from this new functionality.

So, when I wanted to expand file names of which only 4 digits changed with each different file, I nevertheless tried to create a script — that miserably failed (no surprises there). I then tried to do something with Typinator’s support for variables, but that wouldn’t help me change the numbering with every file — I needed a script for that!

When Ergonis offered me to try out their beta (every registered user has access to the beta, actually) because it had these “input markers”, I thought it wouldn’t hurt, and it didn’t. It actually saved my day(s) because the beta was pretty solid, and the new feature was simply brilliant.

With Typinator 5.1, your expansions can contain input markers whose content is dynamically asked for when an abbreviation is used — input markers can occur multiple times in the same expansion, and you can call them anything you like. When you type in the abbreviation, a dialogue window will open and the input markers will show up as input fields with whatever you called them in Typinator as their labels. Once you’ve filled in this “form”, and hit the OK button, the entire expansion appears where you wanted it in the first place.

So, here it is, a terrific new way to create text expansions that work like forms, and allow you to create things such as customisable mail templates, snippets for quick currency conversions, and much other stuff — the possibilities are now truly endless.

A long list of more than 25 further enhancements includes the option to add comments in expansions, a button for quick access to Typinator’s Sets folder, dramatically improved speed of repeatedly used AppleScripts, and much more. All embedded utilities are now universal 32/64-bit binaries, and Typinator has been signed with a Developer ID certificate in preparation for Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper.

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