Be More Productive with Text Shortcuts in iOS

Apple is known to include many hidden tricks in its operating systems, most commonly known as “hidden gems.” These “gems” can be very useful for the usual user but are usually hidden in the depth of different menus, not being that obvious for users.

Similarly, there’s still plenty of functionality to be squeezed out of Apple’s iOS – we’ve described one such tip below for you.

A useful trick that you may not know about: you can make your iPhone or iPad automatically type out phrases that you use a lot. And it’s quite simple to set up, too. Check it out below.

The method allows users to assign a short abbrevation to a specific word or phrase. Now, whenever you type in that abbreviation in a message, email, note, etc., iOS will automatically replace it with the full phrase that you’ve specified.

A small example: you can set “ibt” to be an abbreviation for “I’ll be there.” Whenever you type “ibt” into any iOS application, it’ll automatically replace it with the full phrase.

To set up a text shortcut on your iOS device, navigate to “Settings app -> General -> Keyboard.”

Shortcuts-Menu-Settings

Here you’ll find the option that will either read “Shortcuts” or “Text Replacements.” Tapping on it will reveal the complete list of the text shortcuts stored on your device. If you haven’t used this feature, there’ll probably be only one example: the “omw” shortcut (omw = On My Way).

Shortcuts-Added

To create a shortcut, simply tap on the Plus button in the top right corner. In the window that opens, enter in the full phrase you want to create a shortcut for, such as “I’m running late, will be there soon!” or “Can’t talk right now, call you back.”

In the shortcut field, type in the abbreviation you want the phrase to be associated with, such as “iwbs” or “cyb.”

Shortcuts-Enter

Tip: be sure to check that the abbreviation you’re using isn’t another common word or combination of different letters that you might use generally, as it’ll make the phrase insert by accident.

Once you’re done, hit the Save button, and you’ll now see that whenever you type in that shortcut in any text message, email, note, iMessage, etc., iOS will automatically insert the full phrase for you.

If at any time you decide you want to remove one of these text shortcuts, simply open up the Settings app and navigate to “General -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts” as before. Here, on the shortcut you want to delete, simply slide that shortcut to the left which will reveal a Delete button. Tap on it to delete that specific shortcut completely from your device.

Shortcuts-Delete

You can also similarly delete a shortcut by tapping the “Edit” button in the bottom left corner and deleting the specific shortcut.

We’ll be posting some other similar hidden gems in iOS soon, so be sure to stay tuned for that! As always, any and all suggestions or comments are appreciated in the Comments section below.