Preventing Expansion of an Abbreviation

If you have an abbreviation that you are happy with, and you are just seeking a way to type it out without expanding it (for instance, to tell someone what the abbreviation for your nifty Snippet is), there are several ways to prevent TextExpander from “seeing” the entire abbreviation. You can also set a hotkey to disable TextExpander in Preferences > Hotkeys.

​The quickest ways to “break” TextExpander’s detection of an abbreviation are:

  • Type left arrow then right arrow in the middle of the abbreviation. The arrow keys clear the key log and thus prevent Snippet expansion.
  • Click the mouse anywhere while typing the abbreviation, even somewhere that keeps the insertion cursor in the same location.
  • Switch to another application while in the middle of the abbreviation using Command-Tab or (Alt-Tab in Windows), then switch back.

If, instead, you are unhappy with a particular Snippet, you can simply edit the abbreviation, delete the Snippet, or delete just the Snippet’s abbreviation (you could still expand it by searching for it, or using the inline search or status menu item).

If the Snippet is in a predefined group, such as a spelling auto-correction group, or some other URL-based group, but it is undesired, you cannot edit the Snippet because the group is locked, but you can still delete it. You can, however, add a prefix to the entire group so they will not expand unless the specified characters are typed ahead of the Snippet.