March 2, 2016

TextExpander Calendar Snippets

Production Note: On Wednesday afternoons for the past nineteen weeks I have been posting some useful TextExpander snippets. Sadly this is going to be the last post that I will make as part of the regular series. I will still contribute to my TextExpander tip section, just not on a weekly basis.

This week post is all about 'Back to Basics.' I created some essential calendar snippets in TextExpander to make some routine tasks a bit easier.

Month Names Group

Text Expander Months

Simplify your typing by having a TextExpander Group containing snippets that expand to display the name of a particular month. So instead of typing November, you type in m.11 and to display February simply type in 'm.2'

Week Name Groups

At the end of every week, I start planning my blog content strategy for the following week. I usually start by listing out each day of the week and figuring out what the topic of the day will be. Setting up a snippet list of week names is an easy way to get things in motion.

I then take the topics and insert the ideas into 'Remember the Milk' and assign the due dates.

Take action

You can download the 'Month' group that I create so that you can implant my suggestion to your TextExpander library. Thanks to Natraj Obrien for the download idea!

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March 2, 2016

Latin Dictionary as a Random Source

Loceris Eluscem Arcaris

If your doing any type of QA testing and looking for a good random word or phrase, why not use a different dictionary source? In one of my TextExpander snippets, I am generating a random word using a modified version of the Latin dictionary. My modified latin dictionary has 111,097 words whereas the original source file had 1,243,950 words. That would cause a serious performance issue dealing with that many words.

My filtered file doesn't include a lot of the small or very large words. My data source has words between 6 and 7 letters. Yes, in the latin dictionary there are 111,000 words that are in that range.

Get the Current Latin Dictionary File

You can download the large list over on WinEdt Dictionaries. The site has all sorts of dictionary collections to use a random text generator.

There are all sorts of random word generators that can be used with TextExpander. This Perl script was tested against many popular methods and was found to have the best performance with a large data source:

#! /bin/bash
perl -e '$dict = "/Users/deicerem/dict/wordstream.txt"; $bytes= -s $dict; open IN, $dict;seek(IN,rand($bytes-11),0);$_=;$_=;print'

Update the path and filename to whatever data source that you have.

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