What is Text Replacement?

Text Replacement is the Simplest Step Towards Automating Your Digital Life

My life, like yours, is full of repetitive tasks. For example, every time I sign into an online tool I’m asked to give my username. Nine times out of ten it’s my email address.

So all day long I’m filling in forms with my 25 character email.

But thanks to automated shortcuts, I only type 4 keys every time I use it.

This is the power of text replacement.

How Text Replacement Works

When I type the 4 characters “emdb” the device I’m using takes the cue and fills in my entire 25 character address.

If I type “emfh” my secondary email fill in the form.

What’s the Big Deal?

You would be right to wonder how much time this saves, but this is just the tip of the automation iceberg. I give you this simple example to show you there are many tasks we face every day that can be shorted by similar “if I do this, then do that” commands.

How to Do Text Replacement Step By Step

On a Mac, you find Text replacement in the System Preferences Panel.

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text > then add a new shortcut using the plus sign at the bottom of the form.

Apple has further automated this by connecting your Mac to your mobile devices via the iCloud. So, when all is working well, this new shortcut will also work on your phone.

Unfortunately, this feature is often broken (come on Apple!), so you may need to add it manually for mobile use.

To find your iOS shortcuts, go to System Preferences > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement and tap the plus to add a new entry.

Check out how to do similar shortcuts on an Android

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