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How to boost your productivity with Espanso, a free text expander


Espanso is an open source, cross-platform text Expander.

Espanso, Productivity

Installation on Windows/macOS.

brew tap espanso/espanso # Espanso is hosted outside the core homebrew repository.
brew install espanso


# Download the "deb" package, https://espanso.org/, Install on Linux
wget ···.deb
# Install the package:
sudo apt install ./espanso-debian-x11-amd64.deb
# Register Espanso as a systemd service: 
espanso service register
# Start Espanso
espanso start

Arch & other distributions

If you’re using any other Linux distributions, you can use Espanso’s AppImage to get the program up and running on your computer. To install the Espanso’s AppImage, just open a terminal and follow these steps:

  1. Create the $HOME/opt destination folder: mkdir -p ~/opt Install fuse2: sudo pacman -Syu fuse2
  2. Download the AppImage inside this folder: wget -O ~/opt/Espanso.AppImage ‘URL_GITHUB.COM/Espanso.AppImage’
  3. Make the AppImage executable: chmod u+x ~/opt/Espanso.AppImage
  4. Create the “espanso” command alias: sudo ~/opt/Espanso.AppImage env-path register
  5. Register espanso as a systemd service (systemd is a “system and service manager”): espanso service register
  6. Start espanso: espanso start

You are ready to use espanso. Open any application and type:



Espanso uses a file-based configuration approach, type: espanso path to find the path of your configuration folder. Typically: Windows (C:\Users\userName\AppData\Roaming\espanso), macOS (/Users/userName/Library/Preferences/espanso) or Linux (/home/userName/.config/espanso).

There are two folder: config and match. The files contained in the match directory define WHAT Espanso should do (base.yml), i.e., all your snippets and actions. The files contained in the config directory (default.yml) define HOW Espanso should perform its expansions.

  1. Move espanso configuration folder to the Dropbox folder (mv ~/.config/espanso/ ~/Dropbox/).

  2. Create a symbolic link: ln -s ~/Dropbox/espanso ~/.config/espanso/

  3. Synchronization MacOS: rm -rf $HOME/Library/Preferences/espanso/, ln -s “$HOME/Dropbox/espanso” “/$HOME/Library/Preferences/espanso”, espanso restart. We are assuming that $ESPANSO = /$HOME/Library/Preferences/espanso.

  1. Alicia’s Notes, Using Espanso to boost Efficiency.
  2. Espanso
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