Use text macros on your iPhone and iPad with iOS 5
Mac Tip #509, 26 October 2011
Autocorrect on iOS makes typing a brief text message reasonably quick. But if I’m in a hurry and want to type something like
Be there in 2 minutes it still seems to take too long. I may have only a couple of seconds to achieve it. The new
Shortcuts feature in iOS 5 is a gift for things like that. Here’s how to make it work for you.
Apple start you off with a couple of Shortcuts already available on your iOS device. Don’t be surprised if you see some there already.
Look under General Settings
Start by opening the Settings app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. You may need to scroll down. Then tap on the
General section. Once that opens tap on
Scroll to the Shortcuts section
Once the Keyboard page appears scroll down if necessary to see the
You may see a couple of shortcuts already in there, as some are provided with iOS 5. My screenshots shows that I’ve also added some of my own already, including my name and email address.
Add a new Shortcut
To add a new Shortcut:
Add a new Shortcut…. A new page appears.
- In the
Phrasesection add the long text you want your iOS device to type out for you.
- In the
Shortcutsection add the abbreviation you want to type.
- Tap the
Savebutton to save your shortcut.
While I’ve long been able to type my own name successfully on my iPhone it was another story on my iPad. My iPad repeatedly tries to
Midas. While I’d love to have golden fingers, I’d prefer to be able to type my own name. Shortcuts has fixed this for me once and for all!
Try it out
Now open up something on your iOS device where you can enter text — a text message, a note, an email, a tweet or something else.
Type any text you may want to type, and when you’re ready type one of the
Shortcuts you’ve already entered. If you have
Autocorrect turned on you should see the expanded phrase appear as a potential correction. To accept it and continue typing tap the Spacebar.
If you don’t want the expansion to replace what you’ve typed tap the tiny
x at the right-hand end of the correction.
Whether you’re looking for speed or just to avoid embarrassing or annoying typos, Shortcuts can probably help you. Try them out today.
How do you use this feature on your iOS 5 device? Tell us in the Comments at the website.
Learn more about iPad
I do some of my best learning from the Take Control series of books. Buy Take Control of iCloud to learn how to use some of the great new features in iOS 5. Your purchases help fund this site.
Credit where it’s due
This Tip was written by Miraz Jordan, http://mactips.info, and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.