How to Create Text Shortcuts in iOS 5

One of my all-time favorite jailbreak tweaks is Xpandr, a simple tool that lets you create a library of shortcuts for snippets of text that you use frequently, such as addresses, URLs, and standard replies.

There is no jailbreak for iOS 5 yet, which means no Xpandr for me. Fortunately, Apple has implemented this very same feature in iOS 5. This is how it works…

Instead of typing the same text snippets over and over again – such as an email signature, for example – iOS lets you create a shortcut, which, when typed on your keyboard, will add the phrase associated with this shortcut.

As you can see on the image above, instead of typing the full iDB URL, I just use the simple shortcut “idburl.” When I type this on my iPhone, it automatically turns into

Repeat this process with countless other phrases and you have a great time saver.

Adding shortcuts is as simple as you would expect:

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts
  • Tap the ” + ” icon
  • Add the phrase and shortcut associated to it, and you’re done.

Now every time you type the shortcut anywhere in iOS 5, it will display the full phrase.

Handy, isn’t it?