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Auto Text-Expansion in Adobe CC Applications


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I know this issue has been brought up on the Alfred forums previously with no resolution. Has anyone managed to find a way to have snippets automatically expand in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 and Adobe InDesign CC 2017? I am currently using MacOS High Sierra. Text expansion is working in Adobe Photoshop CC 2017. I am evaluating whether I can use Alfred as a replacement for Text Expander, which does perform snippet expansion correctly in these applications. I am, of course, a Powerpack user.

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Hi @SAJ Thanks for your post.


As I don't have access to these versions of Illustrator and InDesign, could you please provide some more details for me?

  • When you type your snippet keyword, is the keyword deleted? If not, it means that Alfred is being blocked from seeing what you're typing - usually reserved for password fields - and can't know you want you've typed your snippet
  • Does the snippet get replaced by the expected text sometimes, or never? Do you ever hear an error sound?
  • If you open Alfred's preferences to Features > Snippets for at least a minute while either of these apps are in focus, do you see a Secure Input error message like this one in red in the prefs?



In the past, some users reported issues using Alfred's clipboard alongside an older version of Illustrator, and turning off "Include SVG Code" in the Illustrator prefs helped resolve the issue until Adobe fixed it globally, so do take a look at whether any preferences tweaking in Adobe apps might help.




Adobe apps are unfortunately known for behaving in a way that's different from native Mac apps, so this may be out of Alfred's control.  However, if you can provide answers to the questions above, it may be possible to work it out :)



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Hi Vero,


Thank you very much for your reply.

  • When I type the snippet keyword, it is not deleted in these applications.
  • The snippet is never replaced by the text, and I do not hear an error sound.
  • I also do not see a red error message in Alfred preferences when these applications are in focus.

Changing the preferences for these applications, including unchecking the "Include SVG Code", as you suggested trying, did not, unfortunately, appear to make any difference.


I have a love/hate relationship with the Adobe applications and do know they have their idiosyncrasies :). I appreciate you taking the time to try and help.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

As an additional note, I have noticed that on rare occasions, the snippets are now being replaced by the text in InDesign CC 2018. Any other thoughts???

Edited by SAJ
Added software for clarification.
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@Andrew thank you for taking the time to reply. I did try the steps that you suggested, but still did not have any luck getting the snippets to insert reliably in InDesign. I noticed that smaller snippet triggers seemed to work more often than those that were longer. If there is anything else I can try, please let me know, but I realize there is probably only so much you can do from your end.


As a side note, the dictionary functionality in Alfred is really helpful!


Thanks again,


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10 hours ago, SAJ said:

smaller snippet triggers seemed to work more often than those that were longer


It appears Alfred is still acting too fast for Adobe apps to keep up. @Andrew Perhaps it would be a good idea to give users text boxes to enter the delays in rather than having to keep altering the hard-coded maxima in Alfred? No matter how much you slow it down, Adobe appears to be able to go even slower…

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