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hands_typing-200One of my favorite features that came out with iOS 6 is the ability to add commonly typed phrases and assign them shortcuts. Then when you type the shortcut it gets expanded into the phrase. I’ve set several for my phone and below are more than five shortcuts I highly recommend you set up.

Note, these keyboard shortcuts are not the same as three (and only 3)  text phrases you can set up for use when you receive an incoming phone call. These can be set in Settings > Phone > Respond with text and can only be used when you have an incoming call.

Helpful Hints

Here are some hints to get the most out of this feature.

  • Make sure the shortcut isn’t a word or part of a word or you’ll be expanding text when you don’t want.
  • To avoid the above issue, consider starting the shortcut with a special character for example ž.
    • You can get this character by holding down the z key until you get a pop up that gives you the special characters.
    • You could also start all your shortcuts with a character such as a coma but on the iPhone this requires hitting the number [123] before you can choose a special character.
  • You can’t enter more than one line or a return directly, but you can copy and paste text from another app such as Notes and the multiple lines will carry over.
  • To delete a shortcut, slide your finger to the left until you see the red Delete option.
  • Think of anything  you type a lot as  those are prime candidates for shortcuts; your name, an email address, website, etc.
  • In OS X 10.9 (aka Maverick) you can sync these shortcuts.
    • Bring up System Preferences.
    • Click on iCloud.
    • Check Documents & Data.

Table of Some Example Shortcuts

Shortcut Phrase
brb be right back
omw on my way
ctn can’t talk now
thx thanks
otp on the phone
bts be there shortly
phn 123-456-7890

What keyboard shortcuts do you use. Feel free to share them in the comments below.

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