TextExpander Touch support now in OmniFocus on iOS

by Derek Reiff on September 20, 2012

In OmniFocus for iPhone 1.15, one of our most-requested features went live: TextExpander Touch support.

There are so many different ways to use TextExpander with OmniFocus so I won’t even begin to offer suggestions here, but there’s a lot of reference material out there to link to.

  • Sven Fechner started us off earlier this year with a bit on using expansions to track project updates (in OmniFocus for Mac.)
  • David Sparks uses TextExpander to populate action titles with frequently-typed phrases.
  • Kourosh Dini goes a bit further and performs some calculations inside action titles, especially for “waiting for” contexts.
  • Michael Schechter goes one step further, completely automating a clipped email by populating context and project fields, but it won’t work in OmniFocus for iPhone. Sorry!
  • Finally, a very useful rundown of TextExpander by Thanh Pham. Mac-centric, but nearly everything works with TextExpander Touch & OmniFocus.

You can find out more about TextExpander Touch (and the original Mac variant) at Smile Software.



Dan W., current holder of the newest Omni employee title, uses TextExpander extensively:

Everyone appreciates a timely response and sometimes it’s required. I can’t always reply to messages right away—when I need to research a topic or have a conversation with someone—but OmniFocus helps track this and doesn’t bug me to send that email until all the required tasks are done.

TextExpander snippets for me are most useful in creating template email skeletons. Each email draft is an OmniFocus task and the task’s “Notes” field is my scratchpad for composing my message. My basic template sets up a text based form that includes ‘To:’, ‘CC:’, ‘Subject:’ and ‘Message body:’ with some space to write the body, it even places my curser just after the message body so I can start typing in the right spot. TextExpander Touch can’t prompt for user input like the Mac application can (an iOS limitation), so I rely on these text based prompts.

‘To:’ and ‘CC:’ remind me to call out who I’m looking for a response from and who’s just listening in. Plus, they also work as a reminder when I think of someone else I’d like to bring into the thread. As I’m composing my draft I have snippets to create URL links from my clipboard, properly case Omni product names, or include my email signature.

When I’m ready to send, I’ll copy and paste the template fields into an email message and hit Send. I also remind myself in the email template to create a “Waiting for response” placeholder task once I’ve sent the email.