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Inserting multiple spreadsheet cells

To fill multiple spreadsheet cells with Typinator, you can create an expansion that consists of multiple lines with tab characters to separate cells. For example, you could create a simple expansion like this:

count 123
price 45.99

But when you type the corresponding abbreviation in a spreadsheet cell in Numbers or Excel, the expansion is inserted as a multi-line text item in a single cell: TYP-PT_InsertingSpreadsheetCells1.png The problem is that pasting in spreadsheet applications is handled in two different ways depending on the current selection: When you select a single cell, pasting replaces the range of cells that start here, but when there is an insertion point inside a cell, pasting affects the text in the cell. When you type an abbreviation, there is always an insertion point inside a cell, which leads to the unwanted result.

Fortunately, Typinator has a feature that allows you “escape” from a cell. To put an expansion in multiple rows and columns, insert the {esc} marker at the beginning of the expansion: TYP-PT_InsertingSpreadsheetCells2.png This simulates an esc keystroke, which reverts the change made to the current cell and selects the entire cell. Then the rest of the expansion gets pasted, which results in: TYP-PT_InsertingSpreadsheetCells3.png As an alternative, you could use separate return and tab keystrokes to jump from cell to cell as the expansion is processed. For example, the following expansion has a similar effect:


The second techniques is more flexible, as it also allows you to insert other navigation keystrokes that move the selection to different parts of the table, such as {up} and {right}. As a downside, the expansion looks more complex, and it takes longer to process, since the cells must be filled one by one (whereas the previous technique fills them all at once with a single Paste operation).