How-To

Save Typing Time With Text Replacements on iPhone

Save time typing the same things again and again. You can set up text replacements on iPhone and type simple shortcuts instead.

How many times have you typed the same thing on your iPhone? Whether in a text message or email to your friend or coworker, we all do it, and probably more than we realize.

If you set up text replacements on your iPhone, you can speed up typing that text. These replacements allow you to enter something simple, for example, “OMW.” Then, have it replaced with “On my way.”

It may take a minute or two of your time upfront to set these up, but it can save you time later. Plus, if you use an iPad or Mac as well, these text replacements sync. So you can use them on your other Apple devices.

Set Up Text Replacements on iPhone

Grab your iPhone (or iPad since the process is the same) and walk through these simple steps to access and set up your text replacements.

To use an example, we’ll set up a text replacement for “Let me know if I can help” using the shortcut “LMKH.”

Access Text Replacements

  1. Open Settings and select General.
  2. Choose Keyboard and tap Text Replacement. You may see one or two replacements on the list already to get you started. So you can keep and use these or get rid of them, which we’ll show you how to do later.
  3. Tap the plus sign at the top to add a replacement.

Open Settings, General, Keyboard and tap Text Replacement

Enter Your Text Replacement

  1. Next to Phrase, type what you want the expanded text to read (Let me know if I can help).
  2. Next to Shortcut, type the shortcut or abbreviation you want to use to trigger the replacement (LMKH).
  3. Tap Save.

Add your Phrase and Shortcut

You can then give your text replacement a test. Type the shortcut in a text message, email, note, reminder, or another spot to make sure it works as you expect.

You’ll see the text replacement in the Quick Type toolbar above your keyboard when you enter the shortcut. Tap to use it.

Use a Text Replacement on iPhone

Edit Your Text Replacements on iPhone

You can edit your text replacements in the same area of the Settings that you set them up.

  • To change one, select it, make your edits, and tap Save.
  • To remove one, swipe it from right to left and tap Delete. Alternatively, tap Edit at the bottom, tap the minus sign next to one, then tap Delete.

Edit Text Replacements

Access Your Text Replacements on Mac

As mentioned, your text replacements sync so that you can use them on your other Apple devices. So if you want to view, add, remove, or edit them on Mac, it’s easy.

Open your System Preferences using the Apple icon in the menu bar or icon in your Dock. Select Keyboard and choose the Text tab.

  • Use the plus and minus buttons to add and remove replacements.
  • Click the Replace or With text to edit a replacement.

Open System Preferences, Keyboard and select Text on Mac

Spend Time Now to Save Time Later

If you take a few moments to create the text replacements, it’s a “one and done” scenario. You can then save time whenever you want to type that phrase, email address, phone number, or whatever your replacement may be.

For more, check out how to forward a text message or filter unknown senders on your iPhone.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Howard Glantz

    May 5, 2023 at 5:25 am

    Yes, Text replacements have saved me much time; that is, using it with Apple programs built into iOS, but there sb a way to sync them with Google apps so many people use and love. For example; if I was typing this on Safari browser (which I cannot do on my office computer), sb and wdh magically become should have and would have.

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