How to Set Up Text Replacements for Frequently Used Emoji and Special Characters in iOS
Most of us have a handful of emoji, emoticons, or special characters that we type on a frequent basis. Whether it be ? when we’re having a laugh with our friends, ⌘ when we’re telling a family member about a nifty keyboard shortcut, or ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when we’re showing our lack of interest. But, typing these often requires switching to a third-party software keyboard or copy/pasting from the web.
Luckily, we can utilize the built-in iOS text replacements to create shortcut phrases for typing these quickly.
- Go to Settings → General → Keyboard → Text Replacement.
- Tap the + button in the upper-right to add a new text replacement shortcut.
- Type or paste the emoji, special character, or emoticon into the Phrase field — for example ?.
- Type the text you’d like to replace into the Shortcut field, such as :lol.
Now, whenever you type your shortcut — :lol — the system will automatically replace it with your desired emoji, emoticon, or special character — ?.
As an additional tip, when setting up these text replacements, try using an easy to type special character at the beginning of the shortcut — like a colon — followed by a single word or abbreviation. This minimizes the chances of accidentally triggering them and aids in memorization, since they all share the same format.
To get you started, here’s a handful of emoji, emoticons, and special characters that you might want to build text replacements for:
- ? —
- © —
- ⌥ —
- ಠ_ಠ —
- ? —
- ? —
- ™ —
- ? —
We have more helpful tips right here.
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