snippetexpandergui - Snippet Expander desktop application


Save your often used text snippets and then expand them whenever you type their abbreviation, or via the search and paste window.

For example:- "ser`" expands to "Snippet Expander rules!"


snippetexpander [-s|--search-and-paste] [-v|--version] [-h|--help]


If no options are given, the snippet management window is shown.

-s, --search-and-paste

Show Snippet Expander's quick search and paste window.
If possible, a default shortcut of Ctrl+` for using the search and replace window is installed on first run.
You should set or change this to your preferred shortcut via your operating system's settings UI or files.

-v, --version

Display version number and exit immediately without showing a window.

-h, --help

Display help and exit immediately without showing a window.


Abbreviations should be short, easy to remember and hard to trigger accidentally.

It helps if an abbreviation includes either a key word from the fully expanded text, or an initialization or acronym that is part of it.

For example, if you regularly wrote "Snippet Expander" 😉 you might use "se".

However, there are a lot of words that include the letter combination "se", (see, so there's a reasonably high chance that Snippet Expander would expand that abbreviation when you didn't want it to.

So instead it's common to add a "trigger character" to the end of the abbreviation. This is commonly a character that isn't found in normal sentences such as "`" or "~" that is easy to find on your keyboard. Often just appending a space is enough, or doubling up characters.

I personally use "`" (commonly known as grav or backtick) a lot as it's a single keystroke on my British layout keyboard just below my Escape key. So for me "se`" is a natural abbreviation for "Snippet Expander".

However, I could see using "se " or "se~" for the abbreviation.

If you do use a trailing space as your trigger character you might find it useful to include a trailing space in the text that is expanded, e.g. "se " expands to "Snippet Expander " as it's more natural when typing.


  • Auto-expansion only works on accessible applications, use the shortcut to open the search and paste window for other applications such as browsers and Electron based apps.
  • Auto-expansion does not work in terminals, but the shortcut method works with terminals that accept Ctrl+v for paste such as the elementary OS terminal. Holding Shift while selecting a snippet from the search and paste window usually pastes into a terminal too.
  • The cursor placeholder is not supported when using the shortcut method rather than auto-expansion.


snippetexpander(1) snippetexpanderd(1) snippetexpanderx(1) snippetexpander-placeholders(5)


Created and maintained by Ian Jones <>. Up-to-date sources can be found at Information on how to contribute and where bug reports and feature requests may be submitted can be found on the project page at