During any given day, there are blocks of text that we often reuse. It may be help for a family member on how to login to an online service or guidance and support to a coworker regarding a process or resource. A text substitution tool makes writing these kinds of text-based messages easier by creating a database of commonly used responses and enabling you to quickly insert them into any software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Gmail, Facebook, and more) using quick, short text codes.
One of the oldest and best text snippet utilities is TextExpander, a paid tool available for Windows, Mac, iOS and more. They are the gold standard for paid utilities of this type. However, a few years back they switched up their pricing model from a one-time fee for a license or upgrade to subscription-based pricing.
If you are like me and don’t use this kind of utility as frequently as a professional writer would, then the subscription fee can be significantly greater than the value you may feel you get from automating the insertion of text snippets using short codes. If the one-time fee model were still available, I would still strongly consider TextExpander. But, for now I needed an alternative.
After extensive testing, the alternative that I found worked best was Xavier Michelon’s Beeftext, an open-source text substitution tool for Windows. Beeftext offers all of the core functionality that made TextExpander useful in the first place, but without the feature bloat or high costs that an ordinary user might prefer to avoid.