I’ve been looking into Text Expander and things like it for the past few days, and I ran into this lifehacker article pointing out that iPhones and iPads have text expasion built right into iOS starting at version 5. I have no idea why they’ve never mentioned anything about it, because it’s really useful to have when using big fat fingers to type on tiny glass screens. Here’s how to set it up:
Set Up Text Expansion (Shortcuts)
1. First things first, let’s get text expansion (or Shortcuts, as Apple calls it) set up. To get it set up, either watch the video up top or follow these steps:
2. Open up the Settings app on your iPhone’s home screen.
3. Tap the General section.
4. Tap the Keyboard section.
5. Swipe down to the bottom and tap the button labeled “Add New Shortcut…”
6. Under “Phrase” type the phrase you want the shortcut to expand to, and under “Shortcut” type the shortcut you want to type instead. For example, if you wanted “brb” to expand to “be right back”, you’d type “brb” for the shortcut and “be right back” for the phrase.
7. Tap save when you’re done.
So what does that mean? It means that you can set up shortcuts for your phone number, so when you type something like phn it will expand to your full phone number. Or when I type kr.com it’ll automatically expand to www.kevinrothermel.com. You can create a shortcut for whatever you want, and they’ll sync across all of your iPhones, iPads, iPods, and whatever other iThings you may have. If it doesn’t seem like a big deal, at least give it a try.