One of the most underrated features of iOS devices is Text Replacement. This is exactly what it sounds like. You can set up a short string of letters or symbols that are replaced by text whenever you type them. And you totally should, because it’s so easy and incredibly functional for all sorts of scenarios.
First up, to find Text Replacement, all you have to do is go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. The screen looks like this:
There are a myriad of things you can use text replacement for that really speed up the typing process, particularly if you’re always typing in your email address, if you’re sick of autocorrect butchering your sentences or if you just want to reduce your oft-used phrases to only a few letters.
Some examples are using ‘@@’ or ‘eml’ for your email address. If you have multiple email addresses, you can always add an extra @ for a second one or use eml2. It’s all about what works for you.
Or you could use it so you never have to type out your address the next time your friends want to come around by using ‘^^’ (I think of them as two little roofs) for your home address. You can also replace short phrases such as ‘talk to you soon’ with ‘ttys’ or ‘don’t you dare eat the leftover pizza in the fridge’ with dydm8 (or is that just me?).
Then there’s my personal favourite: Converting ‘dunno’ to ¯_(ツ)_/¯.
But that’s not all Text Replacement is good for. Autocorrect can also be a fickle beast, and often when you’re ready to get fired up and curse everything that’s happening in the world you’re suddenly tweeting “this planet is ducked!”, which doesn’t make a lot of sense and also ruins the message you’re trying to get across. If autocorrect is troubling you, consider using Text Replacement to set up autocorrect-corrections!
Of course, you could always use it for nefarious means as well, like changing phrases your Mum might say to text from James Joyce’s Ulysses.
— Patrick M (404) (@MrBikferd) April 25, 2014
It’s worth noting that Text Replacement does sync with iCloud and users have reported that once they’ve created one, they’re near-impossible to get rid of. That is to say, don’t just go crazy creating ridiculous replacements for every word in your dictionary or you might end up in trouble in the future.
Overall though, it’s a fantastic feature that not enough people use and it really decreases the time you spend looking at your phone texting long email addresses or hitting the backspace button to correct an annoying autocorrect.
It’s definitely the ducking best feature of iOS.