29 June 2016

iOS Keyboard Shortcuts - #100DayProject - Day 090

Image Source: Pixabay.com
I've been asked how I am able to type phrases and email addresses so quickly on my iOS devices so I thought I'd share how here. It's not anything I created or invented, but it's a little tip on iOS that many don't seem to know about. It involves the shortcut menu in the Keyboard section of the Settings, so allow me to walk you through step-by-step with some images and all.

Now keep in mind, these directions are for an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad) so they won't be the same on an Android device. Maybe I'll get some screenshots and do another tutorial on the Android side, but this one is for my Apple users.

Step 1: Settings

To start, you need to go to your Settings app. Your icon may be in a different location, so find the app with the cogwheel. 

Step 2: General Menu

Next, you want to go to your General Menu. It should be near the top in the 3rd section of Settings items. 

Step 3: Keyboard Menu

Now you want to scroll down a little bit looking for the Keyboard Menu. This menu has all sorts of great options that you may want to play with, but we only need one of them for this tutorial. 

Step 4: Text Replacement

You will need to select the Text Replacement menu for the next step. This is an awesome section of the Settings that many don't know exists. 

Step 5: Add New Text Replacement

This is the screen that will show all of your different Text Replacement shortcuts you've created. You won't have very many in your list when you first start, but may end up having lots after you see how easy it is to use these. 

Step 6: Create the Shortcut Phrase

This is probably the most confusing screen of the whole process, one that I have to remind myself each time what part is what, so don't feel bad if you have to re-refer to this image or open a completed Shortcut to remember. Next to Phrase (labeled #1) is where you write out the entire phrase you want to shorten, I used #PassTheScopeEDU here as an example. On the Shortcut (labeled #2) is what you put to have the shortcut text replacement happen. Notice I put "ptsee" to shorten it down. I just now listed it in quotation marks because if I didn't do that it would shorten to #PassTheScopeEDU right away since I am also running an app on my Mac called TextExpander by Smile that is amazing. If you really like this feature on iOS then you may want to consider purchasing TextExpander on your Mac. 

I mentioned above that you could use this same trick to make typing your email addresses easier, so here's a quick tip I use for mine. 

Notice, I used the "@@" as my shortcut to produce my full email address. This makes typing an email address really fast and easy. But what if you have more than one email address, then what? I feel your pain and am here to tell you it's totally possible to have the mess of email addresses cleared. Feast your eyes on the following image.

Just add another @ to the end so you have "@@@" for your 2nd and "@@@@" for your 3rd and so on and so on. If you notice above, I have five different accounts all working with this nice tip and it's great! I highly suggest you try it out. 

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you tried it and just how much it changed your workflow on iOS devices. I know that this has made participating in Twitter chats easier on my iOS devices. While I still prefer to use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite on a desktop machine, it is nice to have the hashtags work with shortened strokes. The other place I really love this tip is when at conferences. Makes adding in the #ISTE2016 so much faster and less chance of me typing it in wrong. 

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