10 Ways To Use Text Replacements On Your Mac

Text Replacements are one of the most useful productivity features on your Mac. But even people that use them don't always use them to their fullest potential. Here are 10 examples of things you can do with Text Replacement on your Mac.

Comments: 26 Responses to “10 Ways To Use Text Replacements On Your Mac”

    john Clark
    4 months ago

    I worked in a major health care provider and used an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. It had a great feature similar to Apple’s text replacement. It was used for the physician notes. The user could type a shortcut and then an expanded standard note would appear. That note could be a sentence or multiple paragraphs. Each user had their own customizable library of shortcut/text replacements. To prevent accidental replacement the user would be taught to start their shortcut with a “.”

    john Clark
    4 months ago

    If a person has multiple Apple products and synch’s on iCloud the text replacements will work across all their devices.

    Tony Rosner
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary
    Can I synchronise Text replacement across the cloud?

    bruce stasiuk
    4 months ago

    When I enter (c) the copyright symbol doesn’t come up

    4 months ago

    bruce: Do you see that as one of your Text Replacements in the list? Are you pressing a space after it? Which app?

    Sherry
    4 months ago

    Are you able to make the font a different color?

    4 months ago

    Sherry: No, this works on pure text and not styles, fonts or other text attributes.

    Riley Willcox
    4 months ago

    Is there a way to prevent a space being added to the end of the pasted text?

    4 months ago

    Riley: What’s the use case? Normally there would be some sort of character separating the replacement and what you type next. I think punctuation works too.

    Alan Oliver
    4 months ago

    When I enter the text replacement into an email or pages document it appears as Uppercase and not as it appears in the Keyboard Window. Is there a setting somewhere that causes this.

    4 months ago

    Alan: I can’t imagine what would cause that. It isn’t uppercase when you type letters normally? Does it happen with all text replacements? Try to make some new ones and see.

    Tim A.
    4 months ago

    Saw this elsewhere and have adopted it: use a “!” as a lead character for the text abbreviation.

    John Stires
    4 months ago

    Often times (a growing trend) a space after an email is not accepted in the window requesting it, occasionally accompanied with a phrase stating “not a correct email format”, etc. The only way to prevent the space (I’ve found) is to click on the suggestion instead of hitting the space bar. “teh”=”the” happens so frequently I’ve forgotten it’s there. Great subject!

    Julie Wasmus
    4 months ago

    When I used a PC, there was a ‘snipit’ tool which allowed me to copy any part of a screen and the after pasting it, I could draw on it, circling important notes, write on it etc. Is there any think for Mac that will do this? I like the clipboards, but am looking for one that I can also edit.

    4 months ago

    Julie: You can do that natively on a Mac. The built-in screenshot function can be set to take it right to the clipboard, or it can go to the markup tool so you can add things. See https://macmost.com/the-complete-guide-to-taking-screenshots-on-a-mac.html

    Marilyn
    4 months ago

    Is there a way to “find-replace”? For example, if I have a list of people’s addresses and some say Box, some P.O.Box, and some say POBox, is there a way to find the offending ones (one at a time, of course) and replace with the standard designation that I want to use? Thanks.

    Gerry t.
    4 months ago

    What’s the problem with being offered an unwanted text replacement? It’s only inserted if you use the space key immediately, and if there’s an imminent clash just reject the offer. Like, if i don’t reject the offered “trigger” word, cd, and insert a space (a tacit acceptance) i get my replacement, ⌘. There’s much overlap between a good ( more flexible ) clipboard manager and the much quicker Text Replacement,imho. Text/symbol replacement is even more valuable on iPhone,

    Gerry t.
    4 months ago

    What’s the problem with being offered an unwanted text replacement? Gary’s example of a form-letter could have been triggered by the word “the”; to accept the replacement he hits the space bar, to write “them” he simply continues typing, to write “the” he rejects the replacement offer then hits the space bar, and “the” is written. If I want “azalea” that’s what i type, a +z +space gets me . To write cd I must choose to reject the replacement ⌘. A good clipboard manager will do it more slowly.

    Lance
    4 months ago

    Gary:
    Excellent post(s), lots of good ideas. I’m adding test replacement to my Mac. Not sure why but when I use this feature with my Mac mail program it works in the To: section and Subject: section but not in the general text area. Am I doing something wrong? Again, great info each week, thanks.

    4 months ago

    Lance: Not sure why it isn’t working for you there. Are you remembering to hit space or return after typing the phrase?

    Teodor
    4 months ago

    Is there a way to replace letters within words as i type? For example when i type “1@teodor” i need to replace @ (as i am typing) to $, so the result would be “1$teodor”. Also if i type “123123@” to be “123123$”. Not sure if you can understand what i am saying…

    4 months ago

    Teodor: I don’t understand. Why not type $ if you want a $?

    Jesse the K
    3 months ago

    Text replacements are even better on iPad, where typing is more challenging.

    I use double commas as my unusual prefix, since the comma key appears on default iPad keyboard without shifting.

    For example:
    ,,b
    Expands to
    <strong> </strong>

    I use this on my old-fashioned blog that requires HTML. The replacement has a space so it’s easier to move the cursor in to type my bold word.

    Roddy
    2 months ago

    I have the exact same issue as Lance. I have to select the checkmarks in Mail’s menu: Edit>Substitutions and make sure “Text Replacement” is checked. You just can’t get the “preview bubble” when you type, but it does enter it once you press the spacebar or return key. As stated, the Subject line does behave normally. Every other app on my iMac previews the replacement text before committing it, as well.

    I did reach out to an Apple Advisor today and they confirmed it is an issue.

Comments Closed.