Short Text Asks for Apple

My last post was about Short Text, a way of using one or two letters, sometimes repeated, to type and also handwrite more efficiently.

I used the Text Replacement feature in the iPhone to make the three most common words of each letter materialize after I hit a letter one, two, or three times followed by a space. I then used one, two or three of the initial letter followed by one, two or three of another letter for the next 200-odd most common words that started with the initial letter. Because there are few words that start with “j” or “x” I used those letters to indicate endings. There are some other details I covered in the first post that make room for more words for each letter.

As I expanded my Short Text vocabulary using Text Replacement (Settings/General/Keyboard/Text Replacement), I hit the limit of the number of text replacements you can have. Apple devices store text replacements as an array, and the array can hold 9,999 items.

So I have an ask for the Apple developers – a Text Replacement array that goes beyond 9,999 items.

This brings me to second, related, ask for the Apple developers. It’s not easy to share Text Replacements, and if you have a lot of them it’s tedious to add them manually, even if you use speech input and shortcuts. That’s an understatement.

I was able to copy the list out of my text replacements using a Mac. If you have a Mac on the same Apple account as your iPhone, I can share the file I typed in and you can use that to replace the text replacements on your Mac and get them onto your iPhone that way. But there’s no way to save or share text replacements from a phone or an iPad, and there’s no way to merge a file.

So my second ask for the Apple Developers is a way to save and share text replacements. A simple save and share function would do a lot. It’d be even better, though, if I could share sets. For instance, I’d like to be able to share the first short text set of 75 most common words so anyone could try it out without having to enter them one by one. And I’d like to be able to separately share my full set of words for folks who are really inspired about learning two-letter shortcuts. It’d be great if I could share everything except my custom z and q words. And it’d be great if I could import comma-delineated lists.

Thanks for listening.

The Short Text page on Patch on Tech points to Short Text resources including a PDF of the top three words for each letter and a PDF of the current Short Text dictionary.