Monday, February 4, 2013

aText

aText is a full-featured text expansion program for OS X. It is cheaper than TextExpander and LifeHacker touts it as being also better than the competition. It's "better and cheaper." Furthermore: "Not only can you insert things like the date, time, and clipboard in a variety of formats, but aText can control cursor and keyboard positions as well. You can include snippets inside of snippets. You can create fillable forms when you want multiple variables in one snippet, which I find to be the most useful feature in a text expansion app and something aText handles almost perfectly." There seems to be, however, nothing in that list that TextExpander, for instance, cannot do. And the interface looks very much like TextExpander. Since I already own TextExpander, I will probably forgo this application, unless I hear that it can do more than what I can do already. (I really would like AuthotKey for the Mac.)

Nor do I see how it can both be "better" than TextExpander and be soon on the Mac app store. Sandboxing should be just as much a problem for it as for TextExpander. But what do I know? In another review, you find: "At first, I thought aText was just a cheap knock off of TextExpander. It’s not. While features are comparable, TextExpander does more, but aText does the basics." Not really helpful. The claims make no sense? aText not just a cheap knock off of Textexpander? Why? Because (i) the features are comparable? Because (ii) TextExpander does more? Because (iii) aText does the basics? (i)-(iii) scream: "it is a knock-off."

For someone who does not already own such a program, aText might be a good choice at $5.00. But I think the claim "Whether you're currently using text expansion or not, you really owe it to yourself to give aText a try" is false.

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