How to Make Keyboard Shortcuts on Your iPhone

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to create “keyboard shortcuts” – shortcuts that allow you to type just a few characters instead of an entire word or phrase – on your iPhone or iPad.

Your iPhone and/or iPad includes a feature that allows you to type a “shortcode” that will auto-complete to a full word or phrase. So instead of typing out something like your email address, you can create a shortcut that will automatically “type out” your email address for you.

  1. Tap the Settings button on your iPhone/iPad, and select General from the list.
  2. Scroll down and select Keyboard.
  3. Scroll down to the Shortcuts section. Lets jump right in and create one – tap the Add New Shortcut… button.
  4. In the Phrase section, type out the phrase that you want your shortcut to turn into. In this example, we’re going to create a shortcut for your email address. So, in the Phrase section, enter your email address.
  5. In the Shortcut section, enter the short ‘code’ you want to use that will automatically enter your email address when typed. In this example I used the ‘code’ rgm (which in my mind stands for “Ross GMail”). It also works as a good code because “rgm” isn’t a word, or the start of one. Tap the Save button (upper-right corner) when you’re done.
  6. Your new shortcut should be listed in the Shortcuts section.
  7. Now try it out. Open up a new Text Message or Email or any App that you type in, and enter the phrase you set as your shortcut. As you can see in the image below, as soon as I entered my shortcut (#1) it auto-completed to my email address (#2).
  8. That’s it! You can create as many shortcuts as you’d like, and the more you use them the more helpful you’ll find them.

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5 thoughts on “How to Make Keyboard Shortcuts on Your iPhone”

  1. I tried entering in a snippet of text around 3 paragraphs long in the “phrase” section, and I receive a warning saying “phrase must be at least 2 chracters long”? Obviously 3 paragraphs is longer than 2 characters. Any idea as to why I’m receiving this message and it’s not letting me create the shortcut? Is there a max character limit? It would be nice if it told me what that was.

  2. My shameful mistake was entering the shortcut and phrase the wrong way around. So check if you have filled in the forms correspondingly so.

    In my mind I would go from entering the shortcut first and then in the second field the phrase that comes out. But as you can see in the screenshot, first enter the phrase (‘many thanks’) and then the shortcut (‘mt’).

  3. I tried having a shortcut for my email address and ‘mt’ forthe phrase ‘many thanks, but neither turns into a phrase when I type in the shortcut.

  4. Thank you very much–I appreciate all the hard work you have done to help me understand my I-Phone. Brilliant!!

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