How to add a text-replacement shortcut to your iPad keyboard

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If you type routinely enough on your iPad or iPhone using the onscreen keyboard, it doesn’t take long to realize that there are certain words or phrases that you use on a regular basis,  This is especially true for iPad users–who are even more likely to pair their iPad with a bluetooth keyboard.  Since a detached keyboard can provide a more comfortable extension of your iPad, users are even more likely to do some serious typing.

Having said that, wouldn’t it be nice to use shortcuts while typing on your iPad the same way you can on your Mac? Turns out you can, and it’s easier than you think.  Oh sure, there are third-party apps that provide the same functionality.  But why not use the built-in option that Apple added way back in iOS 5.  I know I have been using it since then, but it still remains largely unknown by the average iPad and iPhone owner.


To activate the shortcut feature, otherwise know as–Text Replacement, on your iOS device, open the Settings App and select General–> Keyboard–> Text Replacement.  There are already a couple of default ones pre-loaded.  To add a new one of your own, hit the “+” sign int he upper right corner.  Now type the phrase (or word) you would like to create a short-cut for, and then create the corresponding short-cut that will auto-fill your new phrase.

It’s that easy.  A couple things to remember–your short-cut needs to be at least two characters.  Also, try to avoid creating a shortcut for your phrase that you might accidentally initiate automatically while typing other words.  For instance, I wouldn’t create a short-cut like “at” because every time I  type the word “at” and hit the space bar, it would auto-populate my saved phrase.


Any short-cut text replacements you create on your iOS devices will be saved across all devices that are signed in to the same iCloud account.  This is especially helpful if you move from your iPad to your iPhone throughout the day. Lastly, you can make changes to your saved text replacements anytime by tapping on the one you would like to edit, and you can delete them at anytime by swiping from right to left.

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