Create Custom Autofills with macOS Text Macros: Marketing Hack

Adam Smartschan

Partner & Chief Strategy Officer

Marketers type a lot. Email. Slack. Websites. Blog posts. We’re always writing.

Beyond that, we’re probably using the same words and links over and over. Wouldn’t it be great if you could speed things up by creating custom autofills?

Well, with macOS, you can. They’re called text macros.

How Text Macros Work for Marketers

Think about the things you type every single day.

  • Your LinkedIn URL
  • A Twitter handle
  • Your company’s name
  • A Calendly link
  • Your email address

Those are all quite a few characters long. Text macros let you add them instantly by typing only a few letters.

For example, I send my Calendly link at least five times a day. Time was, I typed it from memory, or copied the link from a sticky on my desktop. Now I just type “cal” and get the option to add it instantly:

Same goes for any number of other strings of text. It’s a huge time and frustration saver.

Think, for instance, of answering a HARO query. Every one will need to include:

Like the Calendly link, that used to come from a sticky. It sucked. Not it’s a matter of typing:

  • haroname
  • harotitle
  • harocompany
  • harourl
  • harotwitter

Quick. Easy. Done.

Setting Up Text Macros in macOS

In the current version of macOS, Catalina, you set up text macros in System Preferences, under “Keyboard.”

Once you’re here, go to “Text” up top.

Here, you can add your text macros. “Replace” is what you’ll type to cue up the macro. “With” is what you’ll be able to add instantly.

Here’s how it works. Any time you’re typing on your Mac, you can use one of your shortcuts to trigger the longer string of text:

You usually just click it, and it appears. Simple as that. Keystrokes – and frustration – saved.

tl;dr

If you type the same thing over and over and you use a Mac, set up text macros. They’ll save you having to look up URLs or copy/paste from stickies on your desktop.

Marketers love typing. Marketers love Macs. Why not make your life a little easier?

Adam Smartschan

Adam Smartschan heads Altitude's strategic marketing and branding efforts. An award-winning writer and editor by trade in a former life, he now specializes in data analytics, search engine optimization, digital advertising strategy, conversion rate optimization and technical integrations. He holds numerous industry certifications and is a frequent speaker on topics around B2B marketing strategy and SEO.
Adam graduated from Northeastern University in Boston in 2007. He grew up in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, just miles down the road from Altitude's headquarters in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.