How to Set Up Text Snippets for Fast Typing in iPhone Mail

Woman typing on phone
Hero Images/Getty Images

Create snippets of text you can insert with blazing speed in emails you are typing in iOS Mail.

It Is a Tapwriter

I like typing on an iPhone's keyboard. It's all but inaudible, surprisingly fast, and the occasional unwittingly creative auto-correction makes one chuckle. Maybe you like tapping, too.

Even if you do tap for fun and profit, though, you can let iOS Mail on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad do some of the typing for you.

iOS Text Snippets

Text snippets work like automatic corrections and word suggestions, but you define the shortcut—and the snippets to which it expands can be of practically any length, from a short "thanks" to something a tad more wibbly, say: "I can but hope to somehow, failingly inch closer to amassing words that express a least fractional amount of the gratitude I feel for your" etc., etc.

Fortunately, setting up text snippets is just about as easy on an iPhone as is using them in iPhone Mail.

Use Text Snippets in iOS Mail

To enter text fast with text snippets in iPhone Mail:

  1. Make sure the desired text snippet is set up. (See below.)
  2. Make sure the text cursor is where you want the expanded text to appear.
    • To expand inside existing text, make sure the cursor is at the end of a line or in front of a whitespace character.
  3. Tap the shortcut for the desired text snippet using the keyboard.
  4. Tap anywhere on the screen as the snippet appears on the screen or tap spacereturn or a punctuation mark.
    • You can also select the desired replacement from the QuickType bar above the keyboard.

Set Up Text Snippets for Fast Typing in iOS Mail

To create a new text snippet for use in iPhone Mail:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the General category.
  3. Now choose Keyboard.
  4. Go to Text Replacement.
  5. Tap +.
  6. Enter the desired text snippet under Phrase.
    • You can enter any text and special characters (but no text formatting).
    • Note that you cannot, however, add line breaks.
    • Do not concern yourself with the initial letter's capitalization; the snippet will expand depending on how you start your shortcut.
  7. Tap the desired shortcut under Shortcut.
    • Text snippet shortcuts do have to be unique; differences in capitalization do not count.
    • You can use any key combination for your shortcut.
    • Do pick something easy to tap and not too long; a rare combination of two initial characters is good.
    • Snippet expansion can always be preempted or undone.
  8. Tap Save.

Set Up Text Snippets for Fast Typing in iPhone Mail 5

To create a new text snippet for use in iPhone Mail:

  1. Tap Settings on your iPhone's Home screen.
  2. Go to the General category.
  3. Select Keyboard.
  4. Tap Add New Shortcut… under Shortcuts.
  5. Enter the desired text snippet under Phrase.
    • You can enter any text and special characters (but no text formatting).
  6. Tap the desired shortcut under Shortcut.
    • Remember each shortcut has to be unique (disregarding capitalization).
  7. Tap Save.

Edit or Delete a Text Snippet

To remove a text snippet:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Open the General category.
  3. Now choose Keyboard.
  4. Select Text Replacement, if available.
  5. To delete a text snippet:
    1. Swipe over the unneeded snippet under Shortcuts.
    2. Tap Delete.
  6. To edit an existing shortcut:
    1. Tap the snippet you want to edit under Shortcuts.
    2. Make any desired changes.
    3. Tap Save.

(Tested with iOS Mail 5 and iOS Mail 10)