If so, good news. Both Android phones and iPhones (as well as iPads and iPod Touches) will let you create your own, custom keyboard shortcuts for … well, just about anything.
Once you’ve tweaked the right settings, you can ask “you there?” in a text message by simply tapping, say, “yt”. You could also conjure your street address, your official title, or a phone number in just a few keystrokes.
Here’s how to do it…
On an Android phone:
- Tap Settings, Language & Input, then “Personal dictionary.” (Note: the exact settings may differ depending on the make and model of your Android phone.)
- Tap the “+” sign in the top-right corner of the screen, then enter the word or phrase (like “on my way”) you’d like to make a shortcut for.
- Next, type a brief shortcut that’s easy to remember; for example, “omw” for “on my way.”
- Tap the Back key, and you’ll see an entry for the shortcut you just added. Want to add more shortcuts? Tap the “+” sign again.
- Now, go to the Messaging app, compose a new message, and tap one of your new shortcuts—and when you do, the phrase you entered will appear in the row of auto-correct options just above the keyboard. Tap the phrase to add it to your message.
On an iPhone:
Note: This tip was originally written for iOS 6, but it still works fine in iOS 7.
- Tap Settings, General, then Keyboard.
- Scroll down to the Shortcuts section, then tap “Add New Shortcut.”
- In the blank next to “Phrase,” type in (for example) “You there?” Then, in the Shortcut section, tap in the letters “u” and “t.”
- Tap the “Save” button. All done!
- Let’s give our new shortcut a try. Go to Messages, compose a new message, and tap “ut.” A bubble should appear right above the text, with our new “You there?” shortcut. Press the space bar or a punctuation mark to accept.