Using TextExpander to expand a sequence of OmniFocus tasks: A failed experiment

I recently got turned on to TextExpander by the Mac Power Users podcast.

One of my ideas was to use snippets in OmniFocus to create certain repetitive multi-action sequences. For example, when a project involves emailing someone and then waiting for a reply, it would be nice to type a short abbreviation and then enter a fill-in for the name of the person and then have TextExpander create two actions in OmniFocus; one called “Email ” with a context of “Online” followed by another called “Waiting for reply from ” with a context of “Waiting”. I theorized this should be doable because TextExpander lets you insert key presses like Tab and Enter into snippets.

Well, it didn’t work for me as expected. Strangely, it works with the first action; I get the title and context that I want. For the second action, however, I cannot get it to set the context. No matter how many tabs I insert into my snippet expansion, any text that I try to make it put in the context field of the second task seems to go in the title instead. Strange.

Here is the snippet:

If you get it to work or have any insights, please let me know…

One thought on “Using TextExpander to expand a sequence of OmniFocus tasks: A failed experiment

  1. First, you need to use %key:return% instead of %key:enter%. The Enter key will return the cursor to the Title field; Return will advance to a new action.

    Second, TextExpander goes absolutely haywire after %key:return%. It thinks the expansion is done, and acts really weird. You have to make sure your snippet does not have any abbreviations for this to expand correctly. You’ll have to use the snippet from the menu.

    Hope this helps!!

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