espanso: an open source cross-platform text extender that helps you type content faster and improve productivity

Introduction: espanso is a cross-platform text extender tool written in Rust. The text extender allows you to use shortcuts instead of typing long words and sentences.

If you use a keyboard Macro Or a mouse macro, you may have saved a lot of time to finish the work.

However, you cannot just use a macro to type everything. Yes, maybe one or two things, but not many. And, for this reason, the text expander should be very convenient.

In this article, I will introduce Spanish, This is an open source text extender.

espanso: open source text extender

espanso is an interesting open source text extender tool with cross-platform support, the tool is written as Rust programming language.

It does not provide a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for customization or control. Any configuration changes must resort to the terminal or change the YML file. The default settings make it very easy to use.

Basically, it allows you to quickly write a piece of text using short codes or keywords. First, it provides a basic short code to type the date.

For example, when you type “:date“, espanso will add the date as “July 13, 2020“. By default, the date format is MM/DD/YYYY format-but you can easily change it (we will introduce it later in this article).

Similarly, you can use any custom keywords or short codes, such as “:say hello“Enter”Hi! My name is Ankush Das”

Characteristics of Spanish

Spanish running

This is the product provided by espanso to make your work more efficient:

  • Support text expansion when using the shell to help you operate faster
  • Execute custom scripts with the help of espanso keywords
  • Support adding emojis (requires additional installation)
  • Save the code snippet and reuse it with espanso
  • Full system integration
  • Application-specific configuration options
  • Cross-platform support

In addition to the listed functions, if you explore more use cases and try on the system, you can actually do a lot of work.

Install espanso on Linux

You can get DEB From its packaging GitHub release section It can be installed on any Ubuntu-based distribution. Even if most people know how to install .deb Software package, if you are a novice, you can take a look at how to install DEB files in Ubuntu.

For Ubuntu-based distributions, if you encounter an error launching it from the terminal, make sure to type the following command below to ensure that you have the necessary packages to run it:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install libxtst6 libxdo3 xclip libnotify-bin

You can also install it on the Arch system/Manjaro distribution via AUR.

For other Linux distributions, you can use Snap packing To install.

If you do not know how to install snapshots, we suggest you refer to our guide on installing and using snapshots on Linux.

For installation and download instructions, please refer to espanso’s Official installation instructions.

Download Espanso

How to use Spanish?

Since there is no GUI, some people may need some time to figure out how it works. Therefore, to avoid trouble, let me share some tips for using Spanish.

Start and set up

After successfully installing espanso, you need to start it to set it up.

To do this, simply enter the following in the terminal:

espanso start

It should ask you to add the process that starts when you start the computer, and if you want, you can allow it to continue. If you hit No, Then you must manually start espanso manually each time you log in to the system.

You can always register the service to systemd by typing the following command in the future:

espanso register

To verify that it is running, you may need to enter:

espanso status

Sometimes, short codes may conflict with your normal usage. Therefore, when you need to stop it, just click the following command in the terminal:

espanso stop

You can do this by typing “Spanish“Or”Spanish-hGet detailed information in the terminal.

Basic configuration of extended text

You may want to refer Official documents If you are using Windows or macOS. Here, I will show you how to customize or add custom extended text on Linux.

First, please browse the home directory (enable hidden files) and then go to /.config/espanso folder.

Espanso customization

When you come here, you will find a default.yml File, as shown in the screenshot above. This is the default configuration file for espanso.

You must use the default text editor to open it. It should look like this:

Espanso default configuration

If you look close enough, you will notice the preset text and its short codes or keywords.

You can choose to edit the existing ones (just like I modified the date format in the screenshot above) or add new ones as needed.

If you want to add new keywords for text expansion, just copy and paste the following format directly below the existing match:

  - trigger: ":YourKeywordHere"
    replace: "Text That You Want To Be Replaced With The Keyword"

You need to add custom keywords and text as needed, and save the changes to the file, then complete!

You may receive a notification about the successful reloading of the configuration. If you don’t do this, simply go to the terminal and restart Spanish to refresh the new configuration.

If an error occurs, you may need to adjust the spacing of the content you write and make sure it is correct. To give you an idea, here is how it looks after adding new keywords:

Espanso modified configurationEspanso modified configuration file

Here, I point out examples of basic customization. You can also follow the instructions below to perform application specific matching and other advanced configuration Official documents.

wrap up

Although I didn’t know this amazing tool before covering it, but now I know that it proved to be a very useful tool that can save a lot of time.

What do you think of Hispanics? Let me know what you think in the comments below!