Minimalist Notification Sound

I don’t know how I stuck with the super annoying default notification sound for a successfully expanded Text Expander snippet for all these years, but I finally got around to finding a suitable and non-intrusive replacement.

Here’s the sound in .mp3 format, for previewing it; and the .aif sound file to download and drop into your ~/Library/Sounds/ folder (both are Dropbox links).

Notifications sounds on macOS have to be in .aif format, and it’s a bit convoluted to do it with iTunes.

I edited the original sound file, which I obtained here.


Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts

As a followup to my earlier post about how to create a macOS Service (or a Text Expander snippet) to quickly append a text file using Hazel, Automator and Shell Scripts, here’s a way to instead prepend text to a text file using the same tools.

prepend text automator screenshot

Why would you want to do this?

My core interest in setting this up is for plain-text journaling. In a way, I am cobbling together the functionality I find extraordinarily useful in the iOS app Drafts for use on macOS.

I like to capture ideas, thoughts, errands, links, apps, articles, tasks and todos quickly, and I use a plain-text document system I’ve put together over the years. These automation setups remove friction in doing so, which make it more likely I will maintain the behavior.

With this setup and the companion append text automation setup, I can hit a keyboard combo, have a small window pop up where I type what I want to capture, hit OK and the automation goes and appends it to the right .txt file, in the right location, behind the scenes.

I will be writing about my plain-text journaling system in a future post. For now, read on to learn how to set this journaling automation up for yourself.

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Secure Input & Photoshop’s Hand Tool Spacebar Shortcut

If you are a fellow Photoshop user, and have experienced an unexplained loss of accessing the Hand tool using the spacebar keyboard shortcut, this  may have been caused if you are running password manager software 1Password and have used the “Hide” menu option.

I would have never found this had it not been for the warning on TextExpander‘s menubar icon, and the resulting blog post they published regarding TextExpander and Secure Input.

Quitting 1Password and relaunching it fixed the issue for me, so I can only assume it was indeed the culprit.

Continue reading “Secure Input & Photoshop’s Hand Tool Spacebar Shortcut”

Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts

I love the Drafts app for the iPhone, and I love automating stuff. The downside to using Drafts is that the workflows I’ve set up aren’t possible with any software on the Mac. I cobbled together some methods to achieve at least the one most common task I have, appending info to a master plain-text log file on Dropbox. Here’s how I did it.

[UPDATE 2017-12-30: here’s the companion article on prepending text files]

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TextExpander: Typing Shortcut Utility

TextExpander has always on the top of my must-have Mac software list. The basic functionality is simple: you type certain characters, and TextExpander replaces those characters with something else. As you can see in the screenshot above, a simple use for this is to fix commonly mistyped words. But that’s barely scratching the surface of what TextExpander offers.  Continue reading “TextExpander: Typing Shortcut Utility”

Automate iTunes Store Affiliate Links with TextExpander

I was looking for a method to make the generation of affiliate links to the iTunes Store less painful. My searching led me to this official Apple resource for generating less spammy-looking links, and it all made sense until I got to the part where it told you to “double percent-encode the plain App Store link”.

I’m no coder, but I am good at reverse-engineering code. But now I needed a script that did this double percent-encoding, and that was just the first step—I would still need to put together the full link in the end. But for now I was at an impasse.  Here’s how I solved it (with some help)…

Dashes to Spaces & Word Caps using TextExpander

When uploading my artwork to Flickr, I typically have a file name that I want to use for the title as well. The problem is, when doing a Save For Web from Photoshop or Illustrator, I have things set up so the filenames are web-friendly (all lowercase, and dashes instead of spaces between words). So when the files get uploaded, Flickr defaults to using those filenames and manually editing the text is a waste of time. Here’s how I streamlined that process.

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AppleScript: New iCloud Note from Clipboard

I was looking to create an AppleScript that appended the Clipboard contents to an existing note in the new Notes app in 10.8 Mountain Lion. It doesn’t seem to be possible, but I found a link at MacScripter to a great resource with lots of actual code examples for using AppleScript and

Using the examples at that link, I did the next best thing and set up an AppleScript that prompts you for the note title, then creates a new note in the default iCloud account with the contents of the Clipboard as the body text.

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