Tips & Tricks- Creating Text Shortcuts for Android Smartphones

This week, we’re featuring an Android tip:

Do you find yourself typing out the same long names, addresses, or places in text messages and emails? There’s a way to save you time on typing lengthy words and commonly used phrases.


Here’s How:Text pic

Open the Settings app

Tap “Settings”

Tap “Language & input” 

Tap the settings icon for the keyboard software you are using.

Tap “Personal dictionary”

Tap the “+” icon in the top right.

Type the phrase you want your shortcut to expand to. (For example: “I will call you later.”)

Type your preferred shortcut. (For example: “cyl”)

Tap the “back” button or “Save”.

That’s it! Now, whenever you type your shortcut in a text message or an email, the corresponding phrase will appear in a suggestion bubble below your text.

Just press “space” to insert the phrase.

Check back next week for a tip for any kind of cell phone!

30 Thoughts on "Tips & Tricks- Creating Text Shortcuts for Android Smartphones"

  1. Walentin Kostenko says

    Great tip…thanks…keep them coming…

    reply to Walentin

  2. Toni Race says

    When I go into language and input I get keyboards and input methods. All three boxes are checked and the only one that I can uncheck is google voice typing, the other two, samsung keyboard and swype stay checked and can not be unchecked. So how do I get into the area personal dictionary?
    Thank You, Toni

    reply to Toni

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for the comments, Toni. If you are using a keyboard app such as Swype, try tapping Swype and modifying that personal dictionary. If you are having issues, please feel free to give us a call at (888) 345-5509, and we would be happy to walk you through it. Thanks again!

      reply to Ashley

  3. Bennie says

    And here I eas thinking thr kids were typing all that out! Now I know their tricks.

    reply to Bennie

  4. Sabriyyah says

    Hi I’m looking to shorcut a few phrases but in the input of the phrase it says ‘no spaces aloud’ and it appears just as it does above with SAVE not being an option. Is the standard keyboard sufficient or do I need to add a keyboard app?

    reply to Sabriyyah

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting! It sounds as if you are trying to add spaces to the shortcut name. Try saving as a single phrase without spaces, which should allow you to save the phrases as a shortcut. You should not have to add an additional keyboard app. Once you save these shortcuts, you’ll be texting quicker than ever! We appreciate you taking the time to comment today.

      reply to Ashley

      • Carmell says

        Mine says the same. No spaces allowed. When I click the personal dictionary it only says add to dictionary, no option to add shortcut. What am I doing wrong?

        reply to Carmell

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          We’re happy to help you, Carmell. You’ll just type in the phrase you want to add to the Dictionary (like “see you later”). Once you’ve typed that in, an option for Shortcut should appear. You can save the name of the shortcut there, such as SYL. Then, when you type SYL, “see you later” will appear. We’re happy to walk you through it if you like, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Thank you for taking the time to post, and we hope you have a lovely day!

          reply to Ashley

  5. Jay says

    Any way to shortcut the current date?

    reply to Jay

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Jay. These shortcuts are meant to be used for commonly used words only, so unfortunately, a date isn’t an option. Thank you for the comment!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Shawndell says

    I am trying to type a long message that I send out to customers. It seems to limit how long the phrase can be. Is there any way around this?

    reply to Shawndell

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for the question, Shawndell. There is a character limit, so try breaking your message into smaller segments so that you have 2-3 shortcuts instead of just one. That way, you can write the message with just a few words. We appreciate you taking the time to post!

      reply to Ashley

  7. Valentin says

    Hi! So glad I found this guide, but I still have an issue! I can enter shortcuts like in the guide, but when i actually use them in a text, I have to tap the suggestion under the text. What i would prefer is that the phrase is entered automatically when i press space. Any idea of what might cause this? Thanks!

    reply to Valentin

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Valentin. For Android phones, you will need to select the shortcuts in that way. If we become aware of any updates or changes with new operating systems, we’ll be sure to let you know. We appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      reply to Ashley

  8. Casey says

    Hi! I’m trying to create a shortcut for an entire paragraph, but it only saves about 5 words. Is there a way to create a shortcut for a longer amount of text? Or an app I can install that might do this?

    reply to Casey

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Casey. For most devices, a shortcut can only be a few words. You might try saving the paragraph with a note taking app such as Google Keep, then copying and pasting it in your text message as needed. If we can assist you further, just give us a call at 888-345-5509 at your convenience. We appreciate you reaching out to us today!

      reply to Ashley

  9. Ruby Elizabeth says

    It’s not working 🙁

    reply to Ruby

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Ruby. That post is quite a few years old, and your Android phone likely uses a different operating system. You can add a “quick response” option instead by opening your messaging app, then selecting the menu in the upper right corner. Next, select “Quick Responses”. You’ll see a list of options appear. Tap the “plus” sign at the top to add your own! We’re happy to help you with this over the phone if you like at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to post!

      reply to Ashley

  10. Gavin says

    I followed the steps on my lte 2 android and there is no personal dictionary. Just an autocorrect

    reply to Gavin

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Gavin. Depending on the version of the Android operating system that your phone is using, these steps may be found in a different spot. We recommend looking at the settings within your messaging app. We appreciate you reaching out to us!

      reply to Ashley

  11. Oatmeal Creme Pie says

    When I go 2 language and input there’s no personal dictionary 🙁
    What can I do to have a shortcut because my autocorrect keeps changing my I’s to U’s and vice versa. So what can I do to change that?

    reply to Oatmeal

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting! This post is from a few years ago, and your phone may have different options available in the settings. Depending on your device, you can edit settings by opening the Settings app, then reviewing the options provided under Language and Input. We’re happy to walk you through it at 888-345-5509 if you like. We appreciate you reaching out, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  12. Renee says

    Can someone help me how do I save my texts message off of my smartphone to my Gmail .

    reply to Renee

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Renee! I took a look at your account, and I see that you’re using an Android phone. There are a variety of apps available to help you backup your text message conversations, such as SMS Backup+. We’re happy to help you with any other questions you may have at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  13. Rebecca says

    How do you enable this feature on an LG STYLO 3? I can’t find the options in settings. TIA

    reply to Rebecca

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Rebecca! Depending on the type of phone you have, you should be able to find these options by opening the Settings app, then going to the Keyboard option. We can help you over the phone as well if you like, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  14. DavE says

    Still good and it helped enormously. Setting was just in a little different place. THANKS

    reply to DavE

  15. Patty says

    Hi! I have an Android Samsung .
    There’s 3 shortcuts i want to add/use when I’m texting or emailing (i upgraded my phone they were on the old one).
    1. Bold there’s some words that need to be Bold.
    2. Italics again i use italics in my writing so they stand out.
    3. Underline like above i do use.
    I’ve been looking Everywhere to add these. I did put in – under Smart words(or something like that) can it be done? Seems to me if i tap the little arrow that’s just above keyboard, it arrows down and there’s plenty of space. I would really appreciate your help. Even if its a no can’t be done. Thank you

    reply to Patty

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Patty, smartphones don’t have the option to format text for text messages so you won’t be able to bold, italicize, or underline text when sending a message. This is because text messages are sent as plain text.

      reply to Nicole

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