Espanso text expander

Editing the default phrases file for espanso in Sublime Text 4.

If you are not already using a text expander application then I highly recommend that you start. It will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of keystrokes every month.

As the name suggests, a text expander application is a utility that runs in the background and looks out for you typing predefined phrases which it then replaces with usually a longer text version.

For example, when I type --@e, my text expander replaces this with my full email address: gareth@garethjmsaunders.co.uk, saving me 25 keystrokes.

Continue reading Espanso text expander

Fliqlo flip-clock screensaver

Fliqlo screensaver in 24-hour mode, low brightness about 50% scale

I may be a bit late to the party when it comes to minimalist-style PC clock screensavers but I’m here now.

Loved by photographers of beautiful desktops and minimalist office setups the world over, Fliqlo is a free screensaver that displays a clean, simple flip-style clock on your screen.

Currently, it is offers three options: 12-hour/24-hour, brightness and size. Future releases promise multiple monitor support and the ability to exit from the screensaver by mouse-movement rather than keyboard press.

Fliqlo is available for Windows and Mac.

Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

It’s now late October, the clocks have gone back an hour to GMT. In Scotland the nights are fair drawin’ in—it is getting dark earlier. All the more important then to make sure I look after my sleep hygiene.

For the last 14 years I have been working mostly sitting in front of a PC. I’m also a bit of a geek so I find myself sitting in front of a PC even when I’m not being paid to do so.

For years I found it hard to get to sleep at night. It turns out that staring at computer monitor for hours is not great for your sleep. The blue light emitted by a screen affects our attention, reaction times and mood (Source) and, crucially, our sleep.

In 2009, I discovered an application called F.lux that detects where you are in the world and automatically adjusts the screen colour temperature to gradually remove the blue as the sun is setting.

Continue reading Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

Inclusivity settings in Microsoft Word

Screenshot of Inclusiveness settings in Word
Inclusiveness settings in Word for Microsoft 365

Here’s an interesting little something that I learned on Twitter a few weeks ago: within the grammar checker settings in Microsoft Word (both native Windows application and online version) there is a section on inclusiveness that checks your writing for

  • Ethnic slurs
  • Gender bias
  • Gender-specific language

The Windows application also checks for

  • Age bias
  • Cultural bias
  • Racial bias
  • Sexual orientation bias

Why are these not switched on by default? Here’s how to switch these on.

Continue reading Inclusivity settings in Microsoft Word