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The 7 most useful iPhone keyboard shortcuts ever

keyboard tricks

I know, you’d rather communicate in emojis only. But sometimes, typing out texts and emails from your iPhone— with, you know, letters— is necessary.

For those instances, it helps to know all of the tech tricks built into your device that are designed to make typing fast and easy but are often totally hidden.

You really won’t believe how much time they can save you, whether you’re hammering out a few work emails or texting the same phrase you send your significant other every single day (like, “What’s for dinner?” or “What Netflix series are we watching?”)

Here are seven incredibly useful keyboard tricks to master now.

iphone keyboard shortcuts : Caps Lock

1. caps lock

This one is overly simple but since it’s not clearly labeled the way it is on your computer keyboard, you may not know how to do it. If you want to type in all caps (Twitter rant, maybe?), double tap the shift button (the up arrow at the start of the third row). A line will appear underneath the arrow, meaning caps lock is on. Tap it once to turn it off.

 iphone keyboard shortcut: shake to undo

2. shake to undo

As far as iPhone tricks go, this may be the one that saves you from a big mistake. It’s like a faster version of backspace. Say you typed a paragraph and want to clear it quickly. Just shake your phone to the right and left and a dialog box will pop up that says “Undo Typing.” Select yes to clear your typing. This can also help you if you accidentally delete an important email. Give a little shake and you can get it back in a few seconds.

To find it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Shake to Undo > Turn on

 

3. hide autosuggestions

Maybe you love the autosuggestions that show up for you to choose from; maybe they drive you crazy. You can easily hide and unhide them as you please, depending on how they’re serving you.

To temporarily get rid of them, just put your finger on the middle of the gray autosuggestion bar and swipe down to hide. Once they’re hidden, swipe up on the tiny white line in the middle of the gray bar to unhide them.

To permanently banish them, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Predictive > Turn Off.

 

iphone keyboard shortcuts : doodle

4. send handwritten notes and doodles

This one’s just for fun. In iOS 10 (you’ll need to upgrade if you haven’t yet), you can now send notes and doodles you draw with your finger. In messages, turn your phone horizontally so that the screen moves into landscape mode and a loopy squiggle button will appear in the bottom right-hand corner underneath the backspace. Tap it to access the sketchpad.

 

iphone keyboard shortcuts : add period

5. magically add a period to your sentence

Turn on the “.” shortcut, then type two spaces after a sentence. It will magically add a period plus one space at the end of a sentence. BOOM.

Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-Capitalization > Turn off.

 

iPhone keyboard shortcuts: Text replacement

6. create your own text shortcuts

I was really surprised by how cool and helpful creating personalized shortcuts can be, and I bet you will be too. Follow the path below and then tap the plus sign in the top right corner. You’ll be prompted to enter a phrase and a shortcut. Here, you can enter any phrases you use often and shortcut abbreviations that will automatically prompt those phrases to appear. For example, “omw” could be a shortcut for “On my way!” so that anytime you type those three letters, it will pull up the full phrase for you. I use this to type long annoying things, like my full mailing address (shortcut “addy”). 

Go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacement

 

7. reset your keyboard dictionary

You’ve probably noticed that as use your phone the keyboard gets to know your habits and offers suggestions and autocorrections based on your past behavior, essentially developing a personalized dictionary for you. If your best friend’s name is Jessica, for instance, it may start suggesting her name whenever you start typing “Je.” But what if you have a falling out and start hanging with Jennifer instead (DRAMA!)? Or if you inherit a hand-me-down phone? You can always reset the keyboard dictionary.

Go to General > Settings > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary.

 

Which keyboard shortcuts do you use regularly? Share the ones you consider serious time-savers in the comments, below!

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Ann
    November 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Totally helpful tips! Shake to undo? Awesome! Hadn’t thot of setting up quick things such as On my way! Love these. You always have great tips and insights and I will forward these on to some of my friends (and my pretty savvy for 83 Dad!).

    • Reply
      Carley Knobloch
      November 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Glad you liked the tips, Ann! Let me know what you try on your own phone!

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