The Latest on TextExpander, Print to PDF, PDF File Compressor, Facebook Cover Video

John Vrooman | October 24, 2017

For years Mac computer users have raved about a popular and powerful text expansion application called TextExpander. Briefly, what the application does is it saves you time by allowing you to store, recall and insert text snippets into documents, e-mails, web forms, etc., via a few short, associated keystrokes (that within the program are called abbreviations).

So, for example, I could store the entire text of boilerplate customer follow-up and thank you notes into the program and then associate the texts to an abbreviation, and then recall/insert the text when needed by simply typing the associated abbreviation. Until recently, TextExpander was only available to Mac users and Windows users had to seek out alternatives such as the one I’ve been using that is called PhraseExpress ( Personally, I consider my text expansion utility as a MUST HAVE application! To learn more about TextExpander visit…

To help speed up your evaluation and training time, check out the product related videos that are available here…

Note: TextExpander apps for the iPhone and iPad are also now available in the Apple App Store.

Heads up: Another alternative text expansion product that Windows users may want to consider is PhraseExpander (

How to Print to PDF and a Free PDF File Compression Utility

On your Windows computer, check your list of installed printers to see if you have a PDF printer installed. The “Microsoft Print to PDF” printer is a common PDF printer that’s found on many Windows computers.

If you don’t already have a PDF printer installed, you should be able to install one by following the instruction found in a article titled ” How to Add or Reinstall the Microsoft PDF Printer”. Here’s a link to the article…

Once you have confirmed that you have a PDF printer installed, test it out by doing the following…

Create a PDF file that contains a few large photos by:

1. Locating and selecting (highlighting) a few photos of your choice.

2. Right-clicking on the selected photos

3. . From the right-click context menu, select “Print.”

4. . From the print dialog box that appears, select your PDF Printer and then press print.

5. Name the PDF file when prompted to do so and then click the “Save” button to save your photos to a PDF file.

You should now have a multi-page PDF file where each page of the PDF file is one of the photos that you selected above. Beautiful! Unfortunately, the beautiful PDF file that you just made will likely be quite large (in file size). To shrink (compress) PDF files, I’ve been using a free utility called “4dots Free PDF Compress.” To use the program, you simply download, install and then open the software program. Once the program is running, just drag-and-drop a PDF file onto the program window, set the output folder setting, check the “Compress Images” checkbox, set the “Image Quality” value (I typically set the value to 25) and then click the “Compress” button. When the compression process completes you should now have a new PDF file that has a much smaller file size. When I followed the above steps my original 28-megabyte, 5-photo PDF file was compressed down to a less than 8-megabyte PDF file and the image quality was still very good. Don’t be intimidated with the steps above because once you become familiar with the process (just do it a few times), you’ll be able to compress PDF files quickly and easily!

In conclusion, if you want to save a lot of hard disk space, online file storage space and/or send smaller PDF file attachments, consider giving the “4dots Free PDF Compress” software utility a try. Here’s a courtesy link to the products webpage…

Facebook Cover Video

If you use Facebook, did you know that you could now add a “cover video” instead of just a “cover picture” to Facebook fan (business) home pages? This is a pretty interesting development and should be of interest to those who want to maximize the full potential of the Facebook platform/service. If you like the idea of being able to add a cover video to a Facebook fan page and would like to learn a bit more about what’s involved, simply review an informative article on the topic that’s titled: “How to Set Up a Creative Facebook Cover Video.” The article can be found at and here’s a courtesy link to it…

Apple’s and Google’s Latest Product Launch Events

If you would be interested in watching Apple’s and Google’s most recent product launch events you can! I would suggest you; 1). Get some coffee; 2) Get comfortable, and 3) Enjoy!

Apple Special Event. September 12, 2017

Google Event, October 4, 2017

FYI: Amazon also had a new hardware product release event in late September, but I didn’t come across a video of the event. Instead, I can share an article that I came across at titled “Amazon hardware event 2017: the Latest Echo, Alexa, and Fire TV News.” The article discusses a lot of what was covered at the event. Here a link to the article…

For your convenience, the following link will lead you to a web page where you can familiarize yourself with Amazon’s hardware products and devices… (Tip: Don’t forget that you can search for Amazon product reviews on


This column (and many previous ones) are made available for your viewing convenience and reference at… (The “Technology” section of the Real Estate In-Depth website.)

– If you have comments, suggestions, tips, questions or just want to say “Hi,” you are invited to contact me at I always enjoy hearing from you!

John Vrooman
John Vrooman keeps an eye out for cool new hardware, software, apps, gadgets; SaaS solutions; social media developments, trends as well as personal/SMB productivity and related solutions. He gathers information for his column from a diverse range of resources and he enjoys sharing his discoveries with others. He has been authoring this column since August 2000 and welcomes feedback from his readers.