Create iOS-Style Keyboard Shortcuts In OS X [Video How-To]


Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the new features introduced in iOS 5 was the ability to create keyboard shortcuts for common and often used phrases. This feature was embraced by many iOS users, and for some has become the most useful feature in Apple’s latest release of iOS. Many don’t know it, but OS X actually includes this same feature. In this video, I’ll show you how to find it and set it up.

  • chriswtburke

    Far out?. I’ve been looking for something like this for the last year… Does it work in snow leopard too?.

  • markrlangston

    Great tip! I played around in SP and changed my don’t-do-that noise from “funk” to “hero”. Sounds a like a confirmation sound on Xbox 360.

  • Robert

    Great tip! Did not know you could do that.
    I am using TextExpander (… for about 3 weeks. TextExpander allows you to do the same but with a lot more flexibility/configurability.

  • TLoke2112

    Hmmmm no language and text option in SP over here….

  • scapelle

    Awesome! I have Text Expander, but I’m always up for anything I can do within the OS.

  • insightr

    Great tip! Does anyone know if this allows you to enter a new line, eg cj becomes:

  • Akiva J Gordon

    Is there a way to do the “.” shortcut (i.e. double-space for [full stop][space])? I’ve been able to get other shortcuts to work, but this one won’t…

  • Ajay Chauhan

    Great tip.  Somehow, the shortcuts don’t work in Safari (eg. Facebook Login page).  Any thoughts on how to get shortcuts to work in Safari?

  • AnneAcc

    Yes, just paste the multi-line text into the “With” field

  • AnneAcc

    In Safari (or any other Cocoa application) go to Edit > Substitutions and make sure Text Replacements is checked. If it still doesn’t work, blame the web developer for the way they have configured the text fields.

  • AnneAcc

    In the “Replace” field type the double-space, then in the “With” field type a single period with no space. To trigger this shortcut you have to TRIPLE SPACE (double space for the shortcut plus an extra space to ‘accept’ it – as with all of these shortcuts. Even though you triple-space, you will end up with one period followed by one space.
    This works for me as long as Text Replacements is checked in the Edit > Substitutions menu of the applications I want to use this with.
    You have to use this double-space + space trick otherwise you will risk triggering this shortcut with every space you type followed by any character.The main downside (other than the triple click) is that it won’t auto-capitlaize the next letter.I suspect iOS style auto-corrrect will be more consistent in future versions of iOS

  • AnneAcc

    Just make sure you activate Text Replacements in each application you want to use this with (in Edit > Substitutions on Lion and something similar in Snow Leopard)

  • AnneAcc

    This is for Snow Leopard or later. 
    Leopard and earlier versions of OS X did not have this feature and the Language & Text pane features were in the International pane.
    If you are on 10.7, make sure you haven’t hidden any of your System Preferences panes by clicking and holding the Show All button, then choosing “Customize” at the bottom of the list. Language & Text should be on the top row in 10.6 or 10.7.

  • Ajay Chauhan

    Thanks.  That did the trick.

  • David Gillette

    I looked where you say in Safari. All of that is grey’d out. Any ideas? I admit that I am doing this as a normal user. I do not like running as privilaged user all the time. 

  • David Gillette

    Sorry for the traffic. I was running software updates and when I logged back into my normal user everything was fine.