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Text Expansion Software

This isn’t a legal tip, but it is very useful.

If you write a lot, particularly if you write the same thing a lot, it is worth getting a bit of software that that will replace the text you type, with another, pre-prepared bit of text. So, for example, you could type ‘raininspain’ but get ‘The rain in Spain, Falls mainly on the Plain’.

That example, of course, is fairly useless useless you’re writing about musical versions of Pygmalion. But there are lots of other uses.

For example, I use this for:

  • Difficult to spell names of parties, witnesses or cases.
  • Inserting the current time / date into documents (by typing ttime and ddate respectively).
  • Case names that crop up regularly (including citation).
  • Hackneyed quotations from cases, e.g. ‘The employer shall not without reasonable and proper cause conduct itself in a manner calculated and likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of confidence and trust between employer and employee.’ (All I had to type to get that was ‘tt&c’.) Or ‘aanquote’ gets me ‘[I]t is the job of the tribunal of first instance not simply to set out the relevant evidential issues, as this Industrial Tribunal conscientiously and lucidly did, but to follow them through to a reasoned conclusion except to the extent that they become otiose; and if they do become otiose, the tribunal needs to say why’.
  • Hackneyed phrases from legislation, e.g. ‘ppcp’ for ‘provision, criterion or practice,’ or ‘pprop’ for ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’.
  • Inserting my address and email quickly (and without having to remember them).
  • Applying different email signatures depending on who I’m writing to.

None of this sounds radically exciting. But it makes a lot of things just slightly easier, which does add up.

Personally, I use TextExpander to do this and I’m very happy with it. But there are a number of different programes, for both Macs and Windows PCs that will do the same thing.

2 comments

  1. Temple

    That’s a good tip. I use Linux and I just discovered that the Linux equivalent is called “Autokey”. Love the blog!

  2. Ron

    Yes you can also use this in ‘word’ using autocorrect. It helps enourmously. Thanks for the blog. Allways entertaining and informative.

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