Typinator – Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a problem with Typinator, please check out the user's guide first. The user's guide is available via the Help command in the Typinator menu. You can also download it here in English, German, and French.
If neither the user's guide nor this FAQ page answers your question, please contact our technical support.
This page answers frequently asked questions concerning Typinator. When necessary, we add new hints and problem solving tips to this page.
We regularly update this page whenever we come across a topic that may be of interest for many Typinator users.
General troubleshooting tips
If you have a problem with Typinator, we suggest that you first try the following steps:
- Make sure you have the latest version of Mac OS X and all system updates: Run "Software Update" and install all available updates. If you need to restart your Mac after the update, run "Software Update" again until it tells you that no further updates are available.
- Verify that you are using the most recent version of Typinator. Open Typinator's Preferences window, select the "Updates" tab, and click the "Now" button to perform an immediate online check for a newer version. If there is no "Now" button in the Preferences window, you are definitely using an old version. In this case, please visit our download page to get the current version.
- If there is a problem with Typinator in combination with a particular application, make sure you have the latest version of that application. If you have a problem with any part of MS Office, run Microsoft AutoUpdate to install the latest updates.
- Run Disk Utility, select your startup disk, and click the "Repair Disk Permissions" button in the "First Aid" section.
- Restart your Mac (unless you already did that during the software update).
In many cases, these steps help to fix software-related problems. If this does not help, check if any of the following questions apply to your problem. If not, contact our technical support for help.
Questions and answers
Is Typinator compatible with Moutain Lion (OS X 10.8)?
Starting with version 5.2, Typinator is compatible with Mountain Lion and signed with a certificate for Gatekeeper. In general, we recommend upgrading to the latest version of Typinator for best compatibility with Mountain Lion.
Why do I have to enable "Access for assistive devices" and how can I do it?
Typinator requires a global Mac OS X setting to monitor keystrokes. Per default, this feature is turned off, so you need to enable it when you use Typinator for the first time:
In System Preferences, select "Accessibility" (called "Universal Access" on OS X 10.7 and older) and enable the checkbox "Enable access for assistive devices". If this option is turned off, Typinator will tell you and help you to open System Preferences.
Please note that you need administrator privileges to enable this checkbox. If you do not have the necessary privileges, ask your system administrator to enable this option for your Macintosh.
What is the best procedure to install or update Typinator?
Starting with version 3.7, Typinator uses a "smart self installation" technique that makes installing and updating a breeze. Just mount the downloaded disk image and double-click the Typinator icon inside. Typinator will quit an older copy that may be running, copy itself to the Applications folder and launch the newly installed copy. There is no magic involved: You could do all this by hand as well; Typinator just simplifies and automates the process and gets you up and running in seconds.
How can I transfer my Typinator abbreviations to a new computer?
To move all your abbreviations from one Mac to another one (for example, when you replace an older Mac with a new model), transfer your sets folder to the new computer.
- If you have Typinator 3.6 or newer, check the path of the "Sets folder" in Typinator's preferences. Copy this folder to the same location on the other computer, then choose this folder as the "Sets folder" in Typinator's preferences.
You can also store the Sets folder on Dropbox to automatically synchronize it between multiple Macs. For more information, see the section "The Sets folder" in the Typinator user's Guide.
- With Typinator versions before 3.6, locate the folder "~/Library/Application Support" inside your home folder. It contains a folder named "Typinator", which in turn contains a subfolder "Sets". Just copy this folder from the first computer to the same location on the new one.
Hint: Starting with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), the Library folder is invisible. To quickly access it, open the Finder’s “Go” menu. Then press the alt key, and the command “Library” will appear.
Why do abbreviations in a certain set not expand when I type them?
This can have a number of reasons:
- The set containing the abbreviation may be disabled. Make sure that its checkbox is turned on in Typinator's set list. When this checkbox is turned off, the items are still available in Typinator's Quick Search, but Typinator will no longer consider items in this set as you type.
- Items in the set may conflict with items in other sets. Take a look at the list of abbreviations and look for warning symbols in the first column. When you select an item with a warning symbol, Typinator displays an explanation beneath the abbreviation field.
- The set may be disabled for one or more (or even all) applications. To assign sets to applications, click the button with the application symbol at the bottom right of the set list. For more information, see the section "Activating sets for specific applications" in Typinator's User's Guide.
Why does a space character appear before an expansion in an MS Word document?
This is caused by the "Smart cut and paste" option of MS Word. In some cases, Word is not quite as "smart" and makes a wrong guess, which leads to unwanted space characters.
To fix the problem, open Word's preferences and click "Edit". There is a checkbox "Use smart cut and paste". You don't need to disable all of the "smart" features. To avoid the extra spaces, click the "Settings..." button and turn the option "Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically" off.
Why is there a strange Typinator icon in the menu bar?Typinator shows variants of its "T" icon in the menu bar to indicate situations in which expansions do not work as expected. Typinator 5.0 or newer can explain the meaning of this icon: Click the triangle next to the "T" icon to open the menu and select the first command "What does this symbol mean?".
Why is Typinator disabled even though "Enable access for assistive devices" is turned on?
This can happen temporarily when you are typing in a password field. In this case, Mac OS X disables monitoring of keystrokes to prevent malicious programs from stealing passwords. The Typinator icon in the menu bar will then appear in gray with two black bullets.
If Typinator is disabled generally and independently of password fields, this may be caused by certain applications that disable the keyboard monitoring function of Mac OS X in situations when they should not do this.
We currently know about the following applications:
- Some Unix terminal applications (like Apple's Terminal or iTerm) have an option "Secure Keyboard Entry" (in the "Terminal" or "iTerm" menus) that blocks Typinator, sometimes even when other applications are active. Turning the "Secure Keyboard Entry" option off fixes the problem.
- Firefox versions 3.x and older contain a bug that globally blocks keyboard monitoring after entering a password. This has been fixed in Firefox 4.0.
- Using 1Password to fill a password field in Google Chrome on Mac OS X 10.6.x disables keyboard monitoring in all applications. This problem is caused by the password dialog of the Chrome extension. The problem has reportedly been fixed in version 3.5.7, so please upgrade to that version of 1Password.
- Using LastPass to fill a password field in Safari or Google Chrome on Mac OS X 10.6.x disables keyboard monitoring in all applications. When this happens, click in a password field in the browser, then click outside the password field such that the password field loses the keyboard focus.
- There is a known problem in 1Password on Mountain Lion that affects Typinator as well as other similar utilities. The developers of 1Password are aware of this problem and are working on a fix (details can be found on the AgileBits web site).
- Quicken's Scheduler globally breaks keyboard monitoring. Disable the scheduler to solve the problem.
- PasswordVault turns off keyboard monitoring when you leave it running in the background. Quit PasswordVault to enable Typinator again.
- Check Point's VPN-1 SecureClient disables keyboard monitoring when you start a VPN connection. Quitting the VPN client restores normal operation.
- xGestures causes a similar problem that can be solved only by uninstalling xGestures.
- Boxee has a background service called "boxeeservice" that conflicts with keyboard monitoring. To solve the problem, switch off the "run all the time" option in Boxee's settings and quit Boxee.
- Hulu Desktop disables Typinator for some users. Quitting Hulu Desktop fixes the problem.
- Site-specific browsers created with Fluid incorrectly leave keyboard monitoring disabled when you close a browser window while the text cursor is in a password field. Quitting the Fluid browser restores normal behavior.
- XHub has an option "Use Apple Remote" that deactivates keyboard monitoring. This problem has been reported to the developers of XHub. Until they come up with a fix, you cannot use the Apple Remote with XHub when you wish to use Typinator.
- Notational Velocity has an option "Secure Text Entry" that disables keyboard monitoring for all applications. Quitting Notational Velocity or turning the "Secure Text Entry" option off fixes the problem.
How do I uninstall Typinator?
To uninstall Typinator, perform these steps:
- Open the Typinator window.
- In Preferences, make sure that “Automatically start Typinator at login” is disabled.
- Quit Typinator.
- Delete the Typinator application.