Text Replacement - Type faster and reduce spelling mistakes

Learn how to quickly type your email, mobile number or even home address online. Saving you time and reducing the chance you'll misspell it!
17 January 2022

It can be annoying having to constantly type out your email, home address or even mobile number every time. Which is exactly why you should be using the text replacement feature that comes as part of iOS, Android, iPadOS and MacOS.

If you’re looking to save time and ensure you don’t make any mistakes when writing the same details out constantly, text replacement is for you.

What is text replacement?

It’s a relatively simple feature that will allow you to replace a shortcut or acronym you choose, with a longer piece of text.

For example, instead of writing out “on my way” every time, you can set a shortcut so that when you type “omw” it’ll ask if you’d like to replace it with “on my way”. 

While expanding acronyms is useful, text replacement is really great at giving you a faster way to write out details you always use.

Use Cases & Examples

  • Write out long details quickly like your email, mobile number and even home address.
  • Expand your frequently used acronyms when texting someone who might not understand what they mean (sorry Grandma!)
  • Ultimately save time and never misspelling your details again

I personally use the following text replacements

  • Email: When I type “@g” it’ll suggest my gmail address, and “@h” will suggest my hotmail.
  • Mobile: Using “#m” will suggest my mobile number

Also good to note, these replacements are “suggestions” meaning it won’t automatically replace your shortcut, it’ll just appear on the keyboard as a selectable option.

Limitations

  • When text replaces say an email address, it'll put a space at the end which is normally fine but can cause issues (say when logging into a website)
  • If using full stop at the start of a shortcut like (.@g), you’ll need to make sure there’s a space in front of the full stop in order for the suggestion to trigger (So “...nd of sentence.@g” wouldn’t work but “...nd of sentence. .@g” would work)

iOS & iPadOS Steps

iOS and iPadOS are pretty straight-forward, I go over it in my videos over at TikTok and YouTube, but if you want a written guide - I have you covered.

  1. Open up “Settings” → Type in the search bar “Text Replacement” → Click on the result and then on “Text Replacement” again.
  1. Now click the “+” button and add whatever you’d like to add. For example I created one for an email address.
  1. That’s it, every time you type in your shortcut a suggestion will appear allowing you to select it.

MacOS Steps

Setting up text replacement on your Mac is also quite straight forward, giving you the same functionality as on the iPhone and iPad. simply type your shortcut and it'll suggest expanding it with your chosen phrase.

To set up click on the Apple icon (top left hand side of the screen) click "System Preferences" click "Keyboard" and then select "Text"

From this screen you can click the little "+" icon, you'll now want to put your shortcut into the replace section and your say email or mobile number for example, into the with section.

That's it.

Android Steps

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As for Android it can get a bit tricky. Depending on which phone you have it might be called something different, for example on Google's line of phones (Pixel) you need to do the following to set it up.

  1. Open up “Settings” → click “Languages and Input” → click “Personal dictionary”
  1. Then click the “+” icon, now you can type your shortcut and phase, for example below I put my email and “.@g” so each time I type that it auto-populates my email address.

If the above steps don’t work for you, please let me know in the comments. Above was done on a Google Pixel (stock Android).

What about Windows 10 and Windows 11 Text Replacement

Unfortunately at this time there’s no text replacement equivalent built into Windows 10 or 11 at this time. There are some free and paid alternatives you can use like Beeftext - none of which I’ve personally tried.

That’s it

Have a suggestion or comment, I'd love to hear it!

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