Monthly Archives: December 2016

iOS’ little-known Text Replacement tool

One of my favorite tricks when using my iPhone or iPad — an iOS device — is the little-known Text Replacement tool.

There are times when I’m sending a text message or an email to someone, and I’ve got a long word or phrase to include. I generally prefer to avoid a lot of the common texting acronyms — I would rather spell something out completely. This is where the Text Replacement tool comes in handy.

For instance, my favorite restaurant is P.F. Chang’s. But the restaurant name is a bit cumbersome and time consuming to type out on a small keyboard:

capital-P period capital-F period space capital-C h a n g apostrophe s

So I have a Text Replacement shortcut set up so that whenever I type “PFC” on my iOS device, it’s automatically replaced with “P.F. Chang’s.”

Setting Up Text Replacement Options

To set up Text Replacement options on your iOS device:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. iPhone Settings

  3. Select General
  4. iPhone Settings General

  5. Scroll down and select Keyboard
  6. iPhone Settings Keyboard

  7. Select Text Replacement
  8. iPhone Settings Text Replacement

  9. Click the + (plus) icon in the upper right corner
  10. iPhone Settings Create New Shortcut

  11. The Phrase is the full phrase that you want displayed in your message (from my example, “P.F. Chang’s”)
  12. The Shortcut is what you want to type on the keyboard (from my example, “PFC”)
  13. Select Save
  14. iPhone Text Replacement Example

  15. Repeat as necessary for any additional shortcuts you want to set up

Sample Text Replacement Shortcuts

Here are some of the Text Replacement shortcuts that I have set up for myself:

Shortcut Phrase
appt appointment
btw By the way,
CFA Chick-fil-A
cmas Christmas
ily I love you!
myaddr 123 Main Street, City, State Zip
mygmail myemailaddress@gmail.com
omw On my way!
PFC P.F. Chang’s
wifi Wi-Fi

What do you think? What shortcuts would you set up for yourself?