How to Take Advantage of iPhone’s Text Replacement Feature

Apple iPhones have a built-in text-replacement feature. Although it’s not new or flashy, it can be quite useful. Discover what this feature does and how to use it.

Many Apple iPhone owners do not realize that they have a text-replacement feature built into their devices. While this feature might not sound too exciting, it can help you save time on the job. For example, suppose you regularly use your iPhone to send business emails and text messages. If you often include a brief description of what your business offers in that correspondence, you can have that description pop up each time you type “bizoff” or any other combination of characters. Similarly, you can have your company’s address appear whenever you type “cmpadd” if you dislike typing it because you have to keep switching between your phone’s letter and number keyboards.

All supported iPhone versions include the text replacement feature. Here is how to use it.

Adding a Text Replacement Entry

The iPhone’s text replacement feature is easy to access and set up. However, before you do so, it is best to give some thought about what shortcut you want to use for your entry. You can use letters, numbers, and symbols in the shortcut. Space, however, are not allowed.

Equally important, you should not choose words or character combinations (e.g., acronyms, abbreviations) that you already use in your emails and text messages. Otherwise, the replacement text will appear in places where you do not want it. To avoid this scenario, some people devise a naming convention, such as repeating the first letter in a shortcut (e.g., “bbizoff” and “ccmpadd”) or adding an unusual prefix such as a comma (e.g., “,bizoff” and “,cmpadd”).

After you have decided on an appropriate shortcut, you can create a text replacement entry. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap the gear icon on your home screen to launch the Settings app.
  2. In the Settings app, select “General”.
  3. Scroll down and choose the “Keyboard” option.
  4. Select “Text Replacement”.
  5. Tap the + sign in the upper right corner to add a text replacement entry.
  6. In the “Phrase” field, enter the text you want inserted. It can be any length (e.g., a word, a sentence, a paragraph).
  7. In the “Shortcut” field, enter the shortcut you want to use to trigger the insertion of the text.
  8. Tap the “Save” button to add that entry to your text replacement list.

Now whenever you type the shortcut followed by a space, the shortcut will be automatically replaced with the desired text. If you find that the shortcut is not working or only works if the replacement text is short, check to see which iOS version your phone is running. There is a bug in iOS 12 and iOS 12.1 that results in text replacements not working if the phrase is longer than 120 characters. This bug was fixed in iOS 12.1.1. So, if you are experiencing problems and your phone is running iOS 12 or iOS 12.1, upgrade your device to iOS 12.1.1 or a later version.

Changing and Deleting a Text Replacement Entry

You can easily change or delete a text replacement entry. To change an entry, do the following:

  1. Go to the “Text Replacement” screen by selecting “Settings”, “General”, “Keyboard”, and “Text Replacement”.
  2. Tap the text replacement entry you want to change.
  3. Make the changes.
  4. Tap the “Save” button to save the changes.

If you want to delete a text replacement entry, perform these steps:

  1. Go to the “Text Replacement” screen by selecting “Settings”, “General”, “Keyboard”, and “Text Replacement”.
  2. Swipe left on the shortcut you want to delete.
  3. Tap the “Delete” button that appears.
  4. Tap the “Done” button.

Give It a Try

Although iPhone’s text replacement feature isn’t new or flashy, it is quite useful. Give it a try. You can create as many shortcuts as you want, so you can use them for many different tasks. For example, the feature could come in handy if you receive numerous calls and text messages from customers. You could create the shortcut “,oac” that will insert the message “I’m on a call. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” That way, you can quickly and easily respond to the customer sending the text with minimal disruption to the call you’re on.


WAMS, Inc.

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