quick text on mac

Quick Text On Mac

Quick text on Mac is similar to what apps like TypeIt for Me and Text Expander do but this is built into the Mac OS.

Replacement text is a nice feature that works on most applications built for Mac. With replacement text, we can use an abbreviation that calls up a larger piece of text. For example, we could type “imtg” and the computer will type out “In a meeting”. This saves some typing. If we have text that we use over and over again, setting replacement text can be a real time saver.

I setup replacement text shortcuts in the preferences panel. Let’s create a shortcut for a sentence I use in emails. Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

Apple menu system preferences option


Click on the keyboard settings icon.

System preferences panel


Click on the text section. We already have a couple of quick text abbreviations set.

keyboard text tab option in system preferences


We can create our own replacement text with a shortcut. Click the plus button near the bottom of the panel.

add button to add quick text abbreviation


Provide a short set of letters, numbers or symbols for the shortcut. Try not to use any commonly used words, acronyms or numbers.

abbreviation field for quick text option


In this example, we’ll enter a shortcut for information that I regularly provide in a followup email. After entering the shortcut, press the tab key on the keyboard to move to the phrase field or click inside the phrase field.

quick text abbreviation typed into field


The shortcut will be replaced with “Thank you for attending the professional development opportunity”. I’ll enter this into the field.

quick text replacement text next to abbreviation


Let’s use this shortcut in a message. We’ll start the Mail App. Let’s provide this sentence in the subject line of the email. Once we type the shortcut, the text that will replace the shortcut will appear below the abbreviation. Press the space bar and the shortcut will be replaced by the text. Shortcuts are case sensitive.

using quick text abbreviation in subject field of email


That was quick and easy. We can create as many replacement text shortcuts as needed. The abbreviations can contain any combination of letters, numbers, symbols and punctuation marks.

full text applied after typing abbreviation into subject field


These quick text options work on most applications. When testing the replacement text, I found that it didn’t work on Microsoft products like Word.

Posted in MacOS.