TextExpander: support with a smile

I’m a heavy TextExpander user and I love the application. Taking the time of setting up the text expansion “snippets” once and using them multiple times across different machines saves me time every single day.

Losing my snippets

But I had an issue. For some reason, after acquiring my MacBook Pro a couple of months ago, my beloved TextExpander started to behave, well, badly. It dropped the synchronisation with my Dropbox folder, requiring me to relink to the synchronisation file again and again. Now, I’m a slow learner, so it took me a while to concede that this was not something I was going to solve myself, just by thinking about it.

Delightful support

So I made the support call, to Smile Software, the company that distributes TextExpander. Remember my discussion on delightful processes, based on Shawn Blanc’s “Delight is in the details“? Well, Smile most certainly earns the accolade of a delightful support experience. They were quick in reacting to my query, especially considering they were at the other end of the world – kind of.

Guided self-assessment

In non-threathening wording they guided me through a self assessment of my system, and after a couple of exchanges they gave me clear instructions on how to log the events on my system for further analysis. Once I sent that information, they returned very quickly to me with an answer, to which the solution was so obvious that I managed to solve it myself. So, thanks Smile for a wonderful service experience.

A simple problem

Now, what went wrong, or what did I do wrong? Well, my MacBook has an SSD of 256 GB, and I wanted to avoid putting too much information on it. So I installed a 64 GB TinyDrive in the appropriate bay on which I put my Dropbox folder. What I did not know was that it takes some time for the system to mount the drive, during which time TextExpander was desperately seeking Dropbox, in the end deciding it was not there and reverting to factory settings, hence no snippets. An entirely logical thing to do.

A simple solution

So what did I do? The answer was very simple. I switched off startup at login for TextExpander and wrote a very short Keyboard Maestro macro that activates when I login, waits for 60 seconds, then starts up TextExpander. Problem solved.