Shortcuts to sentences, or why I love Word Substitution

TIPS & TRICKS / 08.29.13 / tywill1


For those that frequent the BlackBerry Support Community Forums, or chat about BlackBerry on Twitter, chances are you’ve most likely seen some stuff from JSanders, aka @Jsanders10, aka Joey! 

Whether its tips and tricks, or providing support, Joey has been helping people get the most from their BlackBerry devices since his first device, a BlackBerry 7100t. Continuing with this theme, Joey’s put together a great post that will help you get started with Word Substitution, one of my favorite ‘must use’ features! Take it away Joey!

As a BlackBerry Elite I’m always on my BlackBerry Z10, texting, emailing or BBM’ing with friends, family and my colleagues and clients. Over the years I’ve learned how to save precious seconds by making use of every feature of my BlackBerry. Word Substitution, which lets me enter short combinations of letters that automatically become preset sentences, is easily my most used time-saver. I simply would not survive without it. (On BlackBerry OS devices, the same feature is called AutoText.)

I use it constantly. Before leaving the office in the afternoon I send a BBM to my wife of “hh” which becomes “I’m headed home” or “otw” which becomes “I’m on the way home”. I have 5 or 6 preprogrammed so I can vary it most days.

Interested in creating your own Word Substitution shortcuts? If so, here’s how!

To customize Word Substitution on a BlackBerry 10 smartphone:

  1. Tap Settings followed by Language and Input
  2. Tap Prediction and Correction and then Word Substitution
  3. Tap Add a Shortcut at the bottom of the screen
  4. Enter your shortcut text in the first block, followed by the replacement text in the second field

To customize AutoText on a BlackBerry OS 7.1 and earlier device:

  1. Select Options followed by Typing and Input
  2. Select Word Substitution
  3. Press the Menu key and select New
  4. Add your shortcut text in the Replace field and in the With field, enter your replacement text

Your shortcut text will normally be some odd combination of two or more characters (think “zz,” “qq,” “jj,” “vv”) or a combination of characters that create some mnemonic reminder of your intended phrase.

I use shortcuts for many things:

  • “hb” is “Happy Birthday” and then I just type the name of the person (for all those Facebook birthday posts)
  • “ll” inserts the ampersand “&” and “pp” inserts the percentage symbol “%”
  • I have “myadd” which enters my office mailing address, city, state and postal code, and “myph” which enters my office phone number.
  • I have a number of shortcuts entered for Twitter hashtags: “zt” enters #Z10, “qt” enters #Q10, “bbe” is #BBElite, “rt” is #RollTide and I could go on and on.
  • Some of my shortcuts are longer multi-sentence and multi-paragraph Word Substitution insertions (because Word Substitution support line breaks, i.e., paragraph breaks!). I use those for client responses to job quotes and business inquiries which I need to handle at a later date, but I want my valued client to know I am working on the request.
  • And I have a few others which explain detail some detailed technical matters I often get questions about.

Lately, with the BB10, my keyboard has actually learned when I type some of those and the correct hashtag will appear as an automatic keyboard suggestion.

I would simply not enjoy my BlackBerry without Word Substitution and I certainly would be much less efficient.

Do you use Word Substitution? Share your favorite shortcut with the community by leaving a comment below.

To learn about a feature on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone or troubleshoot an issue, there are several great options available to help. Visit for access to product manuals, how-to demos, tips and tricks, YouTube videos, support forums, knowledge base articles, Twitter support, and contact information for your region.

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