The most useful iPhone and iPad keyboard shortcuts
It’s time to give your tired thumbs a break.
With keyboard shortcuts on iPhones and iPads, you can save time when typing messages to your family, friends and colleagues.
Changing your keyboard’s settings is simple and quick, even for the least tech-savvy users.
Here’s how to set up and customise text shortcuts on your iPhone and iPad keyboards – and the handiest shortcuts to try.
What are keyboard shortcuts?
Keyboard shortcuts are text replacement tools for the busy iPhone or iPad owner.
Similar to how autocorrect works for spelling, a shortcut automatically replaces any brief abbreviation with a longer word or phrase as you type.
Just customise your shortcuts in the Settings app to start using them.
Not only does this feature speed up your texting time, but it can also save you from accidental or embarrassing typos.
How to create keyboard shortcuts
To make a new shortcut, launch the Settings app – > General – > Keyboard – > Text Replacement and choose the “+” symbol in the top right corner.
Enter the abbreviation you’d like to use in the “Shortcut” field, and then type in the entire phrase you want it to be replaced with in the “Phrase” field.
Tap “Save” at the top right once you’re done.
Now when you type that abbreviation and tap the space bar, it will be replaced with the phrase you saved in the settings.
Pro tip: To stop your phone from autocorrecting certain words by mistake (“lick” instead of “luck,” for example), fill in the “Phrase” field with the word and leave the “Shortcut” field blank. These 40 iPhone tricks will make your life easier, too.
How to edit and customise keyboard shortcuts
If you find yourself typing a shortcut by accident or one of your shortcuts has a typo, there’s an easy fix.
Edit and customise any shortcut by going to the Settings app – > General – > Keyboard – > Text Replacement. Select the shortcut you want to edit, type in the new phrase, and hit “Save.”
How to delete keyboard shortcuts
No longer using a keyboard shortcut? You can get rid of it with a swipe of your finger.
In the Settings app, hit General – > Keyboard – > Text Replacement, and swipe left on the shortcut you want to delete.
Then tap on the “Delete” button to make the shortcut disappear.
This trick is also good to know if pranksters ever get a hold of your phone and secretly change your shortcuts.
Most useful iPad and iPhone keyboard shortcuts
Thanks to text shortcuts for iPhones, you can communicate fast while out and about.
If you are constantly running late, try the shortcut “OMW” to say “On my way,” or “FMIN” to say “I’ll be there in five minutes.”
Personal information that you often share, like your email address, phone number, and home address, can be programmed to appear when you type EML, PHN, or ADDR, respectively.
You can also create your own abbreviations for names or places that you frequently type or text, such as a favourite restaurant or your child’s school. Consider adding any words you often misspell or mistype, like “should” rather than “shoukd,” as well.
Image credit: Shutterstock
This article first appeared in Reader's Digest.