A Step by Step Guide

If you poke around in your iPhone for a bit, you’ll find your keyboard options include “text replacement.” You can use this set-up to save time (and typo frustrations) for sentences you type regularly, your email sign-off, and contact information.  Some of these may seem goofy; in reality, it doesn’t take THAT long to type your address or email.  BUT, those few seconds you save with shortcuts definitely add up.

Need some inspiration?  Try these:

  • “haddress” and “waddress” – one for your home address, another for work.
  • “eemail” to punch out your email address – particularly helpful when filling out online forms
  • Your go-to responses – e.g. “dyk” can become “do you know?”
  • Regular names that require accents, umlauts, or even copyright or trademark symbols
  • Statements you type regularly – “see attached,” “as requested,” or “what the heck are you talking about?”
  • Regular emojis – scrolling for the perfect emoji can take some time, but you can avoid this by using a shortcut: e.g. “:lol” can become 😂😂😂
  • Avoid the dreaded auto-correct – if your phone tries to correct a friend’s name or a business, add the correct version to text replacement

Ready?  Let’s do it.

Go to your iPhone settings

Head over to your Keyboard settings, under General

Now, go into “Text Replacement”

There, you’ll be presented a list of shortcuts already in your phone

After you tap the plus sign, create your shortcut

Hit save, then head to a new text or email to try it out!


Rinse & repeat!

Before you go, keep a few things in mind…

  • If you use both the shorthand and the sentence typed out, you’ll need to get a little creative.  If you use “please confirm receipt” in emails, and “pls” in texts, use “plz” in your shortcuts and stick to pls in your texts.
  • Don’t use this for passwords, even if the app or website will let you (some don’t).  Besides the security issues, it’s all but impossible to verify and adds a space.  It’s not worth the headache.
  • Don’t use a common word for a shortcut. Get creative, and remember you can use punctuation (within reason, if you use too many punctuation characters, you’re not really saving time).
  • If you use an iOS device and a MacBook, these will show up for both.  Very convenient unless you go to write a blog post about keyboard shortcuts and use examples, in which case you should be prepared to hit the escape key on your keyboard a few times.
  • This post is specific to iOS, but you can transfer the same concept to Outlook AutoText or other programs.  Poke around and see if you can do so on your choice of device.