Typinator Part 5 - Advanced Abbreviations 1

In the last post we looked at creating basic abbreviations. Today, we are going to look at more advanced abbreviations and believe me when I say that this is where Typinator really comes into it’s own. 

AutoCorrection


In the Sets window, you will find the AutoCorrection set pre-loaded for you, with over 800 expansions for commonly misspelt words. You can create your own AutoCorrection entries in the same way you would add an abbreviation to a standard set. Click the ‘+’ button below the Abbreviation window and simply input the criteria for your expansion. 

Date/Time

Date and Time entries are fantastic and I use these an awful lot for time-stamping entries into notes, updates to to-do lists, etc. 

You will find the Day and Time settings in the {…} drop down (see below)


2014-10-16 - Date Time 1 Typinator.png

There are four general options for input here - Day, Month, Year and Time. 

Day


Using the image here, you can see that 4 will display the date, with no leading zero’s if it is anywhere between the 1st and the 9th of the month. 04 will give you the leading zero. Fri displays the day in an abbreviated format, whereas Friday will spell out the name in full. 78 (in year) will signify how many days have passed in the year and what todays date is in relation to that, without a leading zero. 078 (in year) will include the leading zero. 

Month


2014-10-16 - Date Time 3 - Typinator.png

Like above, 9 will display the month of the year in decimal form without a leading zero, 09 will present the leading zero. Sep is the abbreviated form of the month and September will spell it out in full. 

Year

Getting a lot easier now! I don’t think I need to explain this one in any lengthy detail. Or indeed, any detail at all. 

Time


Now this has got a lot more options, however they are all quite simple to understand. Given the information we know from above, it’s easy to glean that Hour (1–12) and Hour (01–12) will display the hour using a 12-hour clock, the former without a leading zero, the latter with. Following that, Hour (0–23) and Hour (00–23) will display the hour in a 24-hour clock format. AM/PM and am/pm will display in either capital or lower-case, dependant on which one you choose. If you would like to record the Minutes and Seconds of the timestamp, then select these. You can select the Time Zone Name (BST) with this option and if you would like to include the number of hours Offset from UTC, then select the bottom option. 

Day/Time Calculation

Typinator is clever and tries to cover as many scenarios you may require as possible. There is even the option to perform calculations based on the current day. 


These items perform simple calculations and let you temporarily adjust the date and time used by other markers. For example, the “+/- Day” item creates a marker {{dayDelta=+1}}.

The ‘+1’ value in the above example moves the date forward to tomorrow, however if you wanted the date to be this time next week, you could change the snippet to {{dayDelta=+7}}.


If you look at the example above, please note the following:



1 - The {{dayDelta=+7}} marker doesn't present any dara. what it does is perform a calculation that moves the current day forward by a week. There still needs to be an input afterwards to deliver some content for the date and time to be presented. 

2 - There are / characters between the {DD}, {MM} and {YY} markers. This is purely down to preference as that is how I like the date to be presented. If didn't put those / characters in and I typed the abbreviation, then the output I would have would be 151114 which is not nicely formatted at all. 

Date and time calculations are always relative to a reference date and time. Normally this is the moment when the expansion takes place. Instead of using the current date and time, however, you can set an explicit date and time with the “Set Reference Date” and “Set Reference Time” markers. 

“Set Reference Date” create a template in the form {{refDate=yyyy-mm-dd}}. Just fill in the desired year, month and day and then all subsequent date markers will refer to this reference date. 

The same principle applies with “Set Reference Time” marker. 

Text Files

As well as standard text, Typinator is able to include text files in expansions. In a default installation, Typinator shows a “Text” submenu in the {…} pop-up menu. 


If you select the first one, “Loren Ipsum”, Typinator will insert a marker {Text/Loren Ipsum.txt}, which refers to a text file that contains the infamous Latin placeholder text. When an expansion contains this marker, it will be replaced with the actual contents of the text file. This is a really handy technique if you have phrases that you want to use in many different locations but, if you need to make a change, you don’t want to have to modify it in lots of different locations. 

For example, you may have a signature for your email which is currently used with 4 different expansions. One that starts with Kind Regards, one with Yours Sincerely, one with Yours, one with Regards. All of them contain your name, website, contact details etc. 

If your contact details were to change, you would need to make modifications to four different expansions within Typinator. 

However, if all of these expansions were to point to one particular file that contains your contact details, you would only need to make a modification to the referenced text file if, for any reason, any of these contact details had to change. 

If you would like o make use if this feature, you will need to populate the ‘Includes’ Folder which is accessed via the {…} drop down menu.