The column that focuses on providing help, top advice and news about your Apple devices, namely Macs, iPhones and iPads. Please send any questions to Steve via the contact details at the end of this article.
Q: I love emojis but it’s a pain to always have to get them from the dedicated emoji keyboard. Is there an easier way to pepper my sentences with these cute icons?
A: Yes there is. On an iPhone, the easiest way is via the Predictive text option. When you start typing, you usually see a bar on top of the keyboard with multiple suggestions for the word you’re currently typing. If it isn’t there, go to Settings > General > Keyboards and enable the Predictive option.
If you type words like LOL or ROFL, emoji options will appear in the predictive bar. Tap on your selection and you’re done.
This does not however work on many emojis, and it’s likely your favourites aren’t covered by this option. So what you need in this case is the Text Replacement option (it’s in the same place in Settings). Press the ‘+’ button, type in the Phrase field the emoji you wish to see – for instance 🙂 – and in the Shortcut, the letters or symbols you wish to use to trigger that change – for instance :).
Tap on Save, and from now on, when you type the shortcut, the relevant emoji will appear in the Predictive bar.
Even better, if you own a Mac and have synced it up to your iCloud account, those shortcuts will be transferred to your computer as well. This obviously means you can set shortcuts on your Mac and they will work on your iPhone. To do this, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Keyboard. Select the ‘Text’ tab, and the principle is exactly the same from there.
You can also use this feature to create shortcuts for longer phrases, like transforming ‘tbh’ into ‘to be honest’, potentially saving you valuable typing time.
STEVE PARIS is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and trouble-shooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at email@example.com or contact him on 077-8866-0407