Expanding Text

If you have used a Mac for a while you may have discovered or need to discover text expanding shortcuts. There are several third party apps that do this, I use Typinator and there are others. Don’t feel the need of a separate app? Then lets check out how to do this in the Mac OS.

Text Expansion

I use text expansion in the Mac OS quite frequently. It is a very handy time saving feature. I use shortcuts in email, texting, web page design and lots of other sutff. If you are not in the market for a third party text expansion program then you might like to create some text expansion shortcuts in the Mac OS. To do this you just need to go into the Keyboard Preference Pane:

You wil see a row of Tabs. Click on the “Text” tab. You will see a list of default shortcuts that come with the Mac OS. If you wish to create your own text expanding shortcuts just click on the “plus” symbol at the bottom of the window:

A new text expander item will appear. Just type your shortcut in the “Replace” column (left side) and then type in the replacement text in the “With” column (right side):

Here I have created a shortcut for the Macessence Blog website. I created a shortcut requesting more information too:

You can enter quite a bit of text in the replacement side. I am not sure what the text limit is, but small paragraphs are definitely doable.

So, lets see how this works. I am going to type some abbreviations in the paragraph below:

Falcon Garden Club

Would you please provide more information regarding your issue?


If you look at the screenshot above, you can figure out which abbreviations I typed right?


Setting up text expanding abbreviations is really easy and very handy. If you use certain text phrases all the time in your computing you should consider setting up some shortcuts, you won’t regret it.