Text Replacement on iPhone: How to Set Up

Text replacement is like autocorrect that you operate on purpose. If you’ve expended any time typing out a message on an iPhone, you’re acquainted with autocorrect and its shortcomings. 

We know them. We dipping hate them. But there’s a corresponding, less prominent feature on your iPhone called text replacement, an all-purpose autocorrect.

It is already boosted by default — any time you type “OMW,” it will automatically switch to “On my way!” before your eyes.

Here’s how to set up your shortcut phrases with text replacement:

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text replacement
  • Click the plus sign in the upper right corner
  • Fill in the first field, Phrase, with the text you desire to use
  • The second field, Shortcut, will incorporate the text you’ll type to use that Phrase
  • Click Save in the upper right corner, and you’re done
  • Tap “Text replacement” in your keyboard options menu.

There’s just one text shortcut set up by default.

Now the bigger question: what should you use it for? Typical recommendations include setting up shortcuts for your email address and phone number. For the latter, the Phrase could be something like @@ or eml – something you’ll remember but won’t trigger unwanted text replacement.

Or you can go a less practical, more fun direction and use text replacement to automatically add a (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ or a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ without resorting to copy/paste or typing all of those characters out. Of course, you can use standard emojis, too.

Or maybe you’d like to be able to settle a casual “omw” into a text without it being converted to an energetic “On my way!” If that’s the case, here’s how you can remove the Shortcut:

  • On the Text replacement screen, tap the Edit button in the lower-left corner
  • Click the red minus icon and use the red Delete key that appears to delete the Phrase you want to remove

That’s it! You’re on your way to creating your life a little more comfortable.