App and file launcher, search helper, and all-round work of genius Alfred has all sorts of tricks up its sleeves. One of those is a clever built-in text snippets manager.
I wouldn’t blame you for having missed it: there’s so much stuff buried in Alfred’s preferences pane, it’s easy to overlook individual features. If your text-snippeting needs aren’t that complicated or terribly demanding, it might be worth trying out Alfred as an alternative to dedicated snippet applications.
(Let me stress that bit about “if your needs aren’t that complicated”: what Alfred offers is a basic snippet-replacement service. It doesn’t have the advanced features you’ll see in apps like TextExpander or Type it For Me. The tip that follows only applies if you don’t need the extras they provide.)
To get started with Alfred’s snippets, first open the Preferences pane and click on the Features button in the toolbar. Look down the (huge!) list of features listed on the left, and click on “Clipboard.” In this pane you’ll see four sub-tabs, one of which is “Snippets;” go ahead and click on this.
Adding a snippet is very simple. Click the plus sign at the bottom of the list, and fill out the fields Alfred asks you for. At minimum, you need to provide Alfred with the snippet text and a text trigger to activate it.
Alfred’s snippets are part of its clipboard functionality, so you can call up a list of them by hitting the “viewer hotkey” when Alfred’s command window is active. It’s defined within Alfred’s main Clipboard preferences pane; I’ve got it set to Command+Option+C.
You can also give Alfred a snippets keyword (look underneath the list of snippets, and you’ll see a text box where you can define it to something that suits you).
My snippet needs are relatively few. I have only 20 or so text clips I use regularly, and Alfred is all I need. If you want smart snippets that insert things like timestamps, datestamps and more, you’ll need a dedicated snippet manager.Related