How to Use Text Shortcuts in Android

Text shortcuts are essentially phrases or words you can add to your device’s dictionary and use custom abbreviations to call them when typing instead of having to type them out entirely. Do you type your email a lot? Your street address? Phone number? Maybe you just want to reuse certain phrases like “I love squirrels” (who knows, you might be odd)? Well, all of that can be possible when you employ this little tip.

I. Setup the Shortcuts on your Android Device

First, we need to set up the shortcuts. I used a device with a close to stock Android experience for this, but the settings for this should be in a similar area of your settings on your device. You can also install the Google Keyboard on your Android device to make sure you have these options (simply search for and install the Google Keyboard from the Play Store on your device).

1. Pull down the notification bar and tap the quick settings icon in the top right corner.



2. Tap on Language and Input.

Language & Input

3. Tap on Personal Dictionary.

Personal Dictionary

4. Tap the plus sign in the top right corner.


5. Type whatever word or phrase you want to come up ultimately in the phrase section and put in the abbreviation you want to use in the shortcut section and hit Save.

Save Shortcut

6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 as many times as necessary until all the phrases/words are saved.

Repeat Adding Shortcuts

II. Using a Shortcut

1. Open any place that you can use your keyboard (i.e. text messaging, email, web browsing, etc.)

Open a Keyboard

2. Type (or even swipe) in your shortcut and you should see the corresponding word/phrase in show up in the “spelling” suggestions above the keyboard.

Enter Shortcut

3. Either hit the spacebar to automatically input it, or tap it in the suggestions to input it.

Tap Suggestion

You can also use the text shortcuts in Android to play a prank on a friend and say, make the word “hate” appear when typing in “love”, to cause a little confusion the next time they send a message to their significant other and, at the very least, some frustration on their part. What else are we to do as tech savvy friends? Help them with their computer problems? Please…

For other tips and tricks check out our How To’s section.

12 thoughts on “How to Use Text Shortcuts in Android”

    1. One way is to download Google Keyboard from the Play Store to replace it. Otherwise if it has the ability it should be located in a similar location in the settings.

      1. Great tutorial, unfortunatly Galaxy Note 2 users are unable to do this; or atleast many of us have have yet to find a way to utilize this short cut.

        1. You can. Just go to the play store and search and install Google Keyboard then follow the tutorial to set it up and then you can use the above tutorial to use the shortcuts.

  1. Whats the maximum word count for the phrase? I recall trying to use this text replacement service in an android phone and was limited to some 200 characters or so. In iphone, I am able able to use shortcute to replace texts that are upto 700 characters long.

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