Daily Tip: How to setup a keyboard shortcut for a username, email address or well used phrase

Wondering how to save time and effort entering common information like your name, email address, or phone number? The good news is iOS 5 has a special feature called “Shortcuts” that lets you define a word or phrase to a key combination. Follow along and we will show you how easy it is to setup and how it can save you a lot of time too:-

  • Go to Settings


  • Click on General

  • Click on Keyboard
  • You will now see a predefined shortcut which is triggered by typing omw
  • Click on Add New Shortcut
  • Type in a username, email address or phrase you use a lot
  • Now choose a letter combination to trigger the shortcut
  • Hit Save and that's stored for future use
  • Add as many as you like
  • When you are finished you will see a list of your shortcuts under General>Keyboard
  • Now open up an app that you can type into, we will use Notes
  • Type in the shortcut for one of your phrases, you will see the whole phrase open up in a bubble below
  • Hit the Space Bar and the whole phrase appears
It really is as simple as that, but if you set them up and remember the shortcut this can save you a stack of time.
Daily Tips range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@imore.com. (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)


UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

More Posts



← Previously

Best iPad app for real-time soccer scores: LiveScore

Next up →

Review + giveaway: Spiderarm articulated stand for iPad

There are 7 comments. Add yours.

andrewshah says:

Damn, I thought I was the only one who did this! Very useful tip.

srâz says:

This works across multiple languages/keyboards and special characters and emoji as well.

Rich says:

Wow. I didn't know this existed. Was this new with iOS 5? You guys rock!

yankle says:

ok awesome but ios has a bunch of words stored in their dictionary i dont like - how do i change that? (for instance when i type "lolz" a bubble pops up (autocorrect) that says "lols") can we edit ios's dictionary? do i make any sense? lolz

Grimduk says:

You teach ios while you are typing just click the x in the bubble and iOS learns that is how you edit it

Jimmy says:

This is the best tip I've found yet. This was the only thing Icould find to taught BlackBerry over iPhone (shortcuts)... and now I can't do that anymore... thank you so much for this tip

tb457 says:

i find that using @@ for my email works well