Customizing BlackBerry smartphone Word Substitutions with Macros

How-To

Not too long ago I wrote a blog post about customizing and creating shortcuts using the Word Substitution feature on your BlackBerry® smartphone. If you haven’t had a chance to check out BlackBerry 101: Word Substitution and the Custom Dictionary, I recommend doing so before we continue.

Today I’d like to show you how to further customize your Word Substitution shortcuts by adding pre-existing macros. What is a macro, you ask? Simply put, a macro allows you to insert common variables such as the current date or time into a text field on a BlackBerry smartphone.

Here are few examples (remember to press the space key after typing the text):

  • ld – today’s long date (Tuesday, September 20th, 2012)
  • lt – long time (12:24:00 PM)
  • mypin – your BlackBerry smartphone PIN
  • mynumber – your BlackBerry smartphone phone number

The macros available to you will depend on a few different factors, including the model of your device, the software version, and the input language that you are currently using on your BlackBerry smartphone. For example, here are the macros available on my device, a BlackBerry® Torch™ 9860 smartphone running BlackBerry® 7.1 with the input language set to English:

  • Short Date (%d)
  • Long Date (%D)
  • Short Time (%t)
  • Long Time(%T)
  • Owner Name (%o)*
  • Owner Info (%O)*
  • Phone Number (%p)
  • Handheld Pin (%P)
  • Backspace (%b)
  • Delete (%B)

*The Owner Name and Owner Info macros are pulled from the values that have been specified within the setting called “Message on Lock Screen” available on your smartphone.

Adding macros to a new shortcut

The following steps will show you how to create a new shortcut that leverages a macro.

1. From the Home screen or from within a folder, select “Options”

  • If using BlackBerry® 6, select “Typing and Input”
  • If using BlackBerry® 7, select “Typing and Language”

2. Select “Word Substitution”
3. Press the Menu key and select “New”
4. Create your shortcut by filling out the “Replace” field
5. Highlight the “With” field
6. Press the Menu key, select “Insert Macro” and choose a macro

 

7. When finished, press the Menu key and select “Save”.

BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 and below

1. From the Home screen or from within a folder, select “Options”
2. Select “Auto Text”
3. Press the Menu key and select “New”
4. Create your shortcut by filling out the “Replace” field
5. Press the Menu key and select “Insert Macro”, choose a macro
6. When finished filling out the text fields, press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Adding more than one macro to a custom shortcut

You can add more than one macro to a shortcut. For example, I created an email signature that contains my BlackBerry smartphone owner’s name, the current time and date, and an address.

  • In the “Replace” field I entered: “shipsig”
  • In the “With” field I entered: “From, %o, sent at %t on %D. Ship to: %O”
  • Now, typing “shipsig” in a text field produces the following result:

 

Have you created your own shortcuts on your BlackBerry smartphone using macros? Leave a comment and let us know!

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