On mobile phones, autocorrect has been a popular feature for a long time. Correcting typos is the main purpose of this feature. A secondary feature is configuring automatic replacements. An auto-replacement allows you to create your own auto-corrections or shorthand. One example of shorthand that is included by default on iPhones is “omw”. If you type “omw” your iPhone will automatically replace the text with “On my way!”. This guide will walk you through the process of creating your own auto-replacements. Let’s talk about How to Configure Text Auto-Replacement on Apple iOS. Let’s begin!
You can configure auto-replacements in the Settings app, it’s located in General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. There you can see a list of all your existing auto-replacements. To delete an entry, click “Edit” in the bottom left, then the red minus symbol that appears on the left of the entries and finally “Delete” on the right of the entry to confirm.
To add a new auto-replacement, click the plus icon in the top right. When adding a new auto-replacement there are two fields: “Phrase” and “Shortcut”. Enter the full text into the “Phrase” field, the shortcut you want to use for it in the “Shortcut” field, then click “Save” to add your auto-replacement.
Configure Text Auto-Replacement
- Auto-Capitalization: iOS will capitalize the first letter of each sentence when you type it if this is enabled.
- Auto-Correct: iOS will detect what you are typing and try to correct misspellings, extra letters, etc.
- Enable Caps Lock: This lets you double-tap the shift key to turn on caps lock.
- Smart Punctuation: These are the “pretty” quotation marks that lean into the sentence (like
“”) instead of the vertical plan quotation marks. If you write a lot of code, this setting is a good one to turn off since compilers, shell windows, etc. do not recognize the pretty quotation marks.
- Character Preview: This feature shows you the key under the one you have just tapped.
- “.” Shortcut: If this is turned on, then when you double-tap the space bar, it will insert a period followed by a space.
- Enable Key Flicks: This is an iPad only, but it allows you to swipe down on a key to get another symbol. For example, the top row doubles as a number row on the smaller iPads.
Further about Configure Text Auto-Replacement
These settings can do a lot, but iOS also has text replacement functionality built-in. While it’s not as powerful as an application like TextExpander, this will work everywhere — including hardware keyboards. You can specify phrases and shortcuts for common things you need to type. Specifying a phrase is a way of adding a word to the iOS dictionary, and the shortcut is the smart part that is replaced with your phrase.
If you think creatively, you can come up with all sorts of uses for the text replacement feature in iOS. You can use it for common phrases you don’t want to type out, using shortcuts to expand your email addresses or common website URLs, or even for using common emoji or difficult words you’d rather not try to spell!
Your replacement will match what you type exactly – so while it will replace ‘gratz’ with ‘congratulations’, it won’t replace ‘grats’ unless you also set a shortcut with that spelling version.
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