Automatically replace or enter text with Text Replacement on iPhone or iPad

Did you know that iOS and iPadOS have a ‘personal dictionary’, also known as text replacement. The ‘dictionary’ consists of self-defined keywords. This very useful function makes it possible to automatically replace certain letter combinations or words with a sentence or word.

For example, when you type ‘at’, you can have it automatically replaced with ‘appletips’. For example, this feature is very useful in quickly entering URLs, email addresses, symbols, emojis, standard phrases, etc. The keywords and substitutions are automatically synced across all your devices via iCloud.

Enable and add text replacement

To use text replacement you must first add the keywords and phrases to your personal dictionary. You can do this via the procedure below.

  • Open ‘Settings’
  • Navigate to ‘General’
  • Select on ‘Keyboard’
  • Open ‘Text Replacement’
Automatically replace or enter text with Text Replacement on iPhone or iPad

You will now see an overview of all text replacements, including some standard replacements. Tap the plus button to add a new text replacement.

Fill in ‘sentence‘ enter the word, phrase, or symbol you want to use when you type the keyword or abbreviation. Then add more keyword a desired replacement. This means that when you type the keyword it will be replaced by the sentence. Tap Save to add the text replacement. You can delete a replacement by swiping from right to left over the replacement with one finger.

How to automatically replace text in iOS?

To use the substitution in a text, type the keyword (for example at) followed by a space, the keyword will be replaced by the specified word, symbol or phrase. You can also apply this procedure if, for example, iOS automatically replaces a word or text incorrectly via the spell checker. This happens especially often with email addresses and locations.

As mentioned earlier, all text replacements are synced via iCloud across all your Apple devices (iOS, iPadOS and macOS). In macOS, you can access the text replacements via  ▸ System Settings ▸ Keyboard ▸ Text.

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