If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and have updated your device to iOS 5, the new operating system, you are probably having fun exploring the 200 new features in the update.
As with any update, you will discover features you like and others that you don’t really care about or use. But there’s one feature I found that is so incredibly useful that I miss it when I’m not typing on the iPhone. That’s right, it makes typing on the iPhone easier than on a computer keyboard.
The feature is Keyboard Shortcuts. When you use this feature, you type just a few letters and the iPhone uses Autocorrect to change what you typed into what you wanted to type. For example, set a shortcut with your initials to type out your whole name. I set the shortcut “cnm” for Carolyn Nicander Mohr. Set one for your email address. I set “gml” for firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a website, set a shortcut for your website address. I set “urlwot” for http://www.wonderoftech.com.
If you use certain terms a lot when you send a text message or email, set a shortcut for those terms. Set one for your home address so you can use the Shortcuts when you’re filling in forms. Imagine, filling in forms on an iPhone can be easier than on a computer!
What you shouldn’t use Shortcuts for: your passwords, credit card numbers, social security number and any other confidential information.
You also should be careful of the Shortcut you choose. Make sure the combination of letters don’t form a word, otherwise Autocorrect may insert the shortcut where you don’t want it to go!
How to Set Up a Shortcut
To set up Keyboard Shortcuts, go to Settings => General => Keyboard => Shortcuts. Click on the + sign in the upper right corner of the screen. Then type in the phrase you want shortened and the shortcut below it. Then press Save in the upper left corner.
Go to your email, Notes or Message app to test the shortcut to see if it worked.
If you end up adding so many shortcuts that you forget what you added, no worries. Just go back into Settings => Keyboard => Shortcuts and you will see a list of all of the shortcuts you have saved.
If you have more than one iOS device, such as an iPhone and iPad, make sure you have set up the same shortcuts on both devices. Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy trying to remember which device has which shortcut!
Make typing on your virtual keyboard easier by setting up keyboard shortcuts for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch!
Have you used Keyboard Shortcuts? Do you like to save keystrokes when typing? Did you ever think you would actually like Autocorrect? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Image by Keith Ramsey