If you regularly find yourself typing the same piece of text over and over again, TextExpander could be a real life-saver. It’s a simple way to store a library of regularly used text snippets, and easily recall them using a pre-defined keyword.

I use TextExpander countless times every day, and it comes in handy all the time. Whether you often send out very similar emails, or just like to speed up your coding, you should definitely give TextExpander a try.

Version 3 brings a range of new features, including fill-in-the-blank snippets, shortcuts for entering new snippets, a shortcut to edit the last expanded snippet, and snippet search and suggestion via a quick keyboard shortcut. There’s an excellent video tutorial that demonstrates all of TextExpander’s features, including these new ones.

We also have an exclusive discount code for AppStorm readers, good for 20% off the full version TextExpander (single license or family pack). Just use the code APPSTORMTE when checking out, and be sure to do so before it expires on the 5th December!

Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or just a thrill-seeking nomad, we all know that venturing out into the world can be a complicated process.

In place of notebook pages taped to the fridge, Post-Its stuck to your monitor, and scrawled itinerary on a sturdy coffee-shop napkin, Outer Level offers you Knapsack. This all-in-one trip planning solution aims to de-clutter your preparation process and take the hassle out of planning for your next big (or small) adventure. We delve in to see if Knapsack delivers on its promise.

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Perhaps you have more than one Mac in your life. I know several people that have an iMac in their house, a work machine, and also their own Macbook for travelling around. If that’s the case, then it can be hard to avoid a “media mess” spread all over your different machines. Now, you can fix this by using web services like Dropbox, but if you want something more specific and easier to setup, this might not be a good fit.

That’s where applications like iPhotoSync come in. This one in particular aims to offer an easy iPhoto synchronization process across different computers, so that you can automatically have the same photographs available on all your machines. But does it deliver?

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My desk has become a sea of paper. Drawers and drawers filled with old reports, warranty guides, receipts, and papers whose origin I haven’t the slightest idea about. I’ve never really considered trying to scan and catalog my physical world, converting it to a digital one.

I guess that is why I was taken aback when asked to review Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software like ABBYY FineReader. I never really thought I’d be able to organize everything in any of my drawers. But after looking at the different scanned-file organization and OCR options, I may yet find a way to search through the mess…

After the jump, I’ll explain what exactly OCR is, and walk you through a number of different solutions available for the Mac!

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Corkboard is the future of copy and pasting on Macs. It provides a simple and elegant way to manage all the data you put in your clipboard. You can drag photos, text, links and more to the application’s menu bar, and it will be securely stored until you need to use it.

This review will give you an in depth look at one of the most powerful clipboard managers available for the Mac. Read on to find out just how amazing this $10 application is, and how it can change the way you copy and paste!

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Winners Announced!

We’ve picked out five randomly selected winners, and congratulations are in order to:

  • Sean Sykes
  • Poporin
  • Ragnar
  • James Baker
  • Brendan Quigley

We’ll have your license on the way soon!

Old Competition Post

I’m pleased to announce that we have another awesome giveaway this week, offering you the chance to win a license for Knapsack. We’re going to be reviewing this app in the coming weeks, but by way of a quick summary, it’s a great way to plan, organize and document your travel.

The Knapsack website does a brilliant job of explaining all the various features the application has, and I’d definitely recommend taking a look.

We have five full Knapsack licenses up for grabs, and entering is really simple. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, letting us know which part of the world you’ve love to travel to!

The competition will run for one week, and we’ll announce the randomly selected winners on the Thursday 2nd December. Best of luck, and enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend!

Happy birthday, OpenOffice. Believe it or not, it’s been ten years since the mighty “other” productivity suite—the open-source uncle of Microsoft’s ‘Monopoloffice’—began the slow fight for recognition. How far we’ve come.

Of course, it’s been slightly less than ten years for us Mac folks, but in any case the milestone merits a re-evaluation of this streamlined suite of apps, especially in light of Microsoft’s recent release of Office 2011 for OS X.

At the end of the day, the question has always been whether or not OpenOffice is able to sufficiently replace Microsoft Office. Has it reached this stage today? Read on to find out…

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It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post today. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions – it’s great to have the chance to help you out with your Mac-related queries and quibbles.

Some of the topics covered this week include tagging your photographs in iPhoto, whether you need to defragment your Mac’s hard drive, sharing specific folders across your network, and how to know when the time is right to upgrade your Mac!

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I remember when I used to have computer classes in school—we all used to spend our class time in MS Paint creating cool drawings. Later, I found out Paint was useful for other things, and I started using it as a quick image editor for tasks like adding captions to an image. Like me, there are a lot of people that don’t need to use a full-featured app like Photoshop or GIMP to make and modify their images.

That’s where Paint-like apps come in. Like their original Windows counterpart, they tend to be simple and very easy to learn and use. The problem is, there are no bundled apps with your Mac that do what Microsoft Paint does (at least not any more).

If you too are looking for a MS Paint equivalent for Mac, then check out some of the options we are presenting to you today!

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Much has been written about Apple’s decision to no longer ship the MacBook Air with Flash pre-installed, and while there are plenty of arguments for and against this, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that uninstalling Flash can dramatically improve your browsing experience and battery life.

Apple themselves have stated that Flash is the number one cause of crashes in Safari, and—if you’ve ever watched a YouTube video on your MacBook—you’ll know that all the system fans kicking in can’t be good for your battery life.

Unless you spend a great deal of time designing or visiting Flash websites, you should definitely try uninstalling it for a few days. I have, and I won’t be going back in a hurry.

Fortunately, there are a few simple workarounds to make the transition easier and still allow you to use Flash when you really need to.

John Gruber posted a great article on this topic a few weeks ago, explaining that even after installing Flash system-wide, it’s still available in Google Chrome (as it has its own self-contained Flash plugin). For the few times I need Flash on a day-to-day basis, this workaround is more than reasonable for me.

I’ve noticed a far quicker browsing experience, and found that many sites actually serve alternative content when they discover you don’t have Flash installed. This is more notable than when you’re running ClickToFlash, and uninstalling Flash altogether is a more honest process than tricking websites into letting ClickToFlash handle this type of content.

Is this something you’ve tried on your own machine? If not, I’d strongly recommend giving it a go, even if just for a few days! Have your say in the poll above, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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