iOS Text Replacements

posted in: Automation

A really cool feature of most computer systems these days is text replacement. IOS has a really simple implementation of it that I use all the time to automatically type text that I use all the time.

The basic idea is that you enter a shortcut that you want to use. Anytime you type that shortcut, iOS will automatically replace that shortcut with the text you have assigned.

The steps to set it up are as follows:

Tap “Settings"

Tap “General"

Scroll down and tap "Keyboard"

Near the top, tap "Text Replacement"

You'll be presented with the following screen. By default you have a bunch of text replacements in there already (In this screen shot you can see a few others I use as well).

To add a new one, tap the "+" button in the top right.

On the next screen, in the "Phrase" text box, enter the full text you want to type each time. This might be a common set of emoji you use, it could be a webpage URL you use a lot, it could be a bunch of text you post regularly on social media. Basically any text at all you find yourself typing a lot. (Note: You can copy / paste text here. Copy that really long email you type a lot and paste it in this field, etc.)

In the next field, enter the shortcut you want to use. This it the short text you want to type that will be replaced with the longer phrase. Most of the time I just use a single word with the first letter repeated but its up to you. Just make sure its short. The whole idea is to only have to type a short sequence of characters and it will be replaced with the longer phrase.

Tap "Save" in the top right when done and your new text replacement will be added to the list.

Now anywhere you enter text in iOS you have the option to use this text replacement. To test it just open the "Notes" app and type the "Shortcut" you entered in the last step.

Along the bottom in the bar above the keyboard you should see the text replacement appear. Just tap it. Your shortcut will be replaced with the phrase. It's as simple as that.

Now anywhere you can enter text in iOS and apps you can use the text replacement.

Give it a go. It saves me a lot of time every day.