How to set up keyboard shortcuts in iOS 5

One of the new and neat features in iOS 5 is keyboard shortcuts, something BlackBerry users are very familiar with. Basically, you just enter a shortcut – like using “ty” for the phrase “Thank You” – and the smartphone does the rest for you. But first, you actually have to set it up.

See the video below if you want to get keyboard shortcuts set up on your iPhone. For those of you at work or in places where you can’t watch videos, here’s how you do it:

  1. Go into Settings>General
  2. Go to Keyboard
  3. Scroll to the bottom where it says “Shortcuts”
  4. Hit “Add New Shortcut…”
  5. Enter the phrase you’d like to shorten where it says “Phrase” and enter the shortcut you’d like to use where it says “Shortcut”
  6. Hit Save on the upper-right corner and enjoy

  • holy shit this is ultra useful, thanks for sharing!

  • Chris Reilly85

    Any idea why they made the minimum shortcut length 2 characters??  I really liked one letter shortcuts on bberry.

    • Sonia Webb

      I know your question is from some time ago. If they made the minimum shortcut length 2 characters, every time you type that 1 letter for the shortcut the phrase would pop up. That would be annoying if every time I’d type a T my phrase “Ten minutes” would pop up. So my 2 letter shortcut is less annoying, “TY” is for “Thank You” and will pop up when I spell out words like “type” but I don’t use too many words that start with TY

  • David C.

    Awesome!  Can a shortcut support multi-line macros or just single line?  One of the thing I loved about PalmOS is the ability to set up shortcuts like this (using the “loop” stroke followed by some letters).  I used these to set up large blocks of boilerplate text for things I often use.

  • Steve0212

    how do you delete a shortcut after you create it?

  • Frb1977

    i just got the new iphone and love(d) this feature until i downloaded skype and went back into Settings/General/Keyboard/Shortcuts and i don’t have the ability to add anymore.  when i click Shortcuts, it actually takes me to the home screen.  i still can use the ones i put in there, but i can’t add anymore.  i have backed up the phone twice and reset the phone, which will allow it to work as long as i keep adding the shortcuts once i get into the settings, but if i leave the shortcuts section, it’s gone again.  HELP!

Back to top ▴