If you’re like me, you may find that you spend a fair amount of time typing the same blocks of text over and over again on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. This could be driving directions to your home, birthday or holiday greetings, or anything else that you find yourself typing repetitively. Luckily, you can save time by configuring text replacements so that with just a few keystrokes on the keyboard of your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can insert that block of text into any document, email, or other instance of text input.
Creating and using text replacements on iOS and iPadOS
Note: If you’re using VoiceOver, whenever this guide says to “Tap,” perform a one-finger double-tap instead.
To create text replacements on iOS and iPadOS:
Step-1:Open Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement, and tap add.
Step-2:In the “Phrase” field, type the block of text you want the device to insert when the shortcut is typed. If it is a longer or more complicated passage, you may want to copy and paste it from another app into this field.
step-3:In the “Shortcut” field, type the keys you want the device to replace with the phrase you typed in step 2. For example, if you typed “Happy birthday” in the phrase field, you could type “HB” in the shortcut field. This way, whenever you type “HB” (without the quotes) and press the Space bar, the phrase “Happy birthday” will be inserted.
Step-4: Tap save.
Creating and using text substitutions on macOS
Note: If you’re using VoiceOver, whenever this guide says to “Click,” press VO-Space instead. Also, text replacements are referred to as “Text substitutions” on macOS, however the feature is the same and whichever device you create them on, they will be automatically synced via iCloud to your other signed in devices.
To create text substitutions on macOS:
Step-1:Open System Preferences > Keyboard.
Step-2:Select the “Text” tab and click add.
Step-3: In the “Replace” column, type the keys you want the Mac to replace with the text in the “with” column. For example, if you typed “HB” in the replace column and “happy birthday,” in the with column, whenever you type “HB” (without the quotes) and press the Space bar, the phrase “Happy birthday” will be inserted.
Note: These columns are not labeled for VoiceOver, and pressing VO-Left and Right arrow will not work to move keyboard focus between columns; you must instead use the Tab key.
If you have any questions or suggestions for future tips, sound off in the comments.