Short Text

Short Text is a way to use one or two letters each to type a fairly large vocabulary of words. It speeds both typing and handwriting.

There’s a detailed explanation in the Introducing Short Text post. As time goes on I’ll post more about Short Text, including learning strategies.

A key thing about Short Text is you can use as much of it or as little of it as you want. The first step is to to use “t” in place of the most common word in the English language – “the”. As you add short text words, your typing and handwriting become more efficient.

To start, take a look at most common three words of each letter – here’s the Top Three Words PDF.

If you want to go further, take a look at the full Short Text dictionary PDF. It’s more than 5,000 words, not including endings. This gives you a fairly large vocabulary of unambiguous shortcuts to draw on.

Also, note the date on the dictionary PDF – I intend to keep adding words, so this will expand as time goes on.

I’m using Short Text on an iPhone and iPad using Text Replacements (Settings/General/Keyboard/Text Replacements). Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it should be to share these, and Text Replacements are currently limited to 9,999 entries. Also unfortunately, it’s not easy to save and share text replacements. You can Share a Text Replacements on a Mac, and the words will show up on connected devices, but you can’t currently save and share among iPhones and iPads.

I also have Short Text enabled on a PC, using Word Expander, a free text replacement app. It is possible to import word lists into Word Expander, and you can import many more entries than you can using Text Replacements.

Feel free to contact me if you want me to share either of these lists.

I’m also using Short Text for handwriting. If you want to go full old technology, you can print out the short text dictionary as a lookup, and handwrite Short Text using tic marks for repeated letters.

I’m finding that typing short text on iPhone and also handwriting it, then reading back is a good combination for learning.

If you do take a look, please get in touch – I’d like to know what you think, and how you might be using this, including if there are words you use that aren’t in the dictionary and what those words are. You can also let me know if you want a heads-up when there are updates to the Short Text dictionary PDF.