It’s not the best typing experience out there, but the iPhone’s keyboard allows you to put words to digital paper while on the go. Here’s how to make the experience better with the 15 best iPhone keyboard shortcuts.
iOS has come with a keyboard feature called “Shortcuts” for the last several years and it’s something that many users may not even know about. It’s essentially text expansion and it allows you to type in an abbreviation and have the entire phrase automatically typed out for you.
The best part is that you can completely customize these shortcuts and create anything you want. One example is typing in “omw” on your iPhone’s keyboard and have it automatically spit out “on my way.”
It’s a pretty awesome feature that’s tucked away inside the iOS keyboard settings, and it’s something that should be much more known than it is and used more often. However, there’s also the possibility that you’ve know about this feature for a while, but simply have no clue what shortcuts you could possibly set up.
The good news is that the possibilities are endless, but here are a handful of useful shortcuts that we’ve found to be the best. Jot them down and put them in your iPhone right now.
Best iPhone Keyboard Shortcuts
eml: Your email address — Anytime you have to go into the secondary keyboard to access a special character can be pretty annoying, and it’s not the quickest way to do it, so if you find that you’re entering in your email a lot, why not make a shortcut for it?
phn: Your phone number — I don’t use this one too often, but if an online form ever asks for my phone number when I’m signing up for something on my iPhone, I can enter in this quick shortcut, which will automatically expand into my Google Voice phone number.
adr: Your mailing address — Same as with my phone number, but this shortcut has also come in handy when friends text me asking me for my address so they can know how to get to my place. It takes two seconds compared to what feels like ten minutes.
omw: “On my way” — Ideally you shouldn’t text while you’re driving, so before you leave it’s always a good idea to text the person you’re meeting that you’re on your way before you start driving, and the quicker you send off that text, the quicker you can get on the road.
onwh: “On my way home” — Similar to the shortcut above, but instead it’s a text that you’ll most likely send to your significant other to let them know that you’ll be home soon. Again, don’t text and drive.
sg: “Sounds good” — I tend to say this a lot when I text so it was just a good idea to make it a keyboard shortcut.
np: “No problem” — I also say this a lot in text messages. The moral of the story is create few shortcuts for phrases that you use often. It can save a lot of time overall.
abq: Albuquerque — This is just an example, but if you live in a city with a particularly long name, it can be a good idea to create a shortcut of it. Other examples include “sb” for Santa Barbara, “sc” for Sacramento, or “fw” for Fort Worth.
brb, thx, omg, gr8, 4U, fml, etc.: These are common abbreviations that can automatically expand to the actual phrases. Personally, I hate short-hand versions of phrases like this, so if you want your text messages to look more professional, but still want to type like you’re in high school, this is a great way to that.
lol: “That’s hilarious!” — Similar to the shortcuts above. It’s great if you want to get into the habit of not just saying “lol” whenever you see something funny. You can also use “that’s funny!” or even just “haha!”.
cm: “Call me when you get this” — This is probably not one you may use that often, but sometimes someone you need to talk to is currently busy, so sending them a quick text to call them at their earliest convenience is the next best option.
cul: “I’ll call you later” — I frequently receive calls when I can’t answer, whether it’s at a concert or in a restaurant, so I tend to send them this quick text message to let them know I received their missed call, but will have to call them later.
luv: “Love you” — As any couple, my wife and I say “love you” a lot over text messages, whether it’s to end a conversation or just randomly throughout the day. Shortening this already-shortened phrase might not be a big deal, but it can add up over time.
now: “meow” — From the movie Super Troopers. It can be a fun prank to play on someone else if you have access to their iPhone, or you can do it yourself if you’re feeling goofy.
ugh: Expressionless face emoji — Essentially, this shortcut is about replacing short words with emoji, so if you like to use emoji a lot, this can be a great shortcut to have, as it saves you time from searching through the emoji list in order to find the right one.
In the end, these are just examples that you can use yourself, but the possibilities are endless as far as what you can do. Feel free to play around with the shortcuts in the iOS settings, and let us know of any that you use!