How to Master Autocorrect on your iOS Devices

Not everyone is a great speller, and you don’t need to be if you use modern technology. Nothing feels worse than sending an email and catching a blatant misspelling moments after you’ve pressed “Send.” Tiny keyboards can also make it impossible to tap the right letter, contributing to accidental misspellings. Autocorrect can help you avoid these frustrations, and is conveniently included with all modern iOS devices.

As its name implies, Autocorrect is a feature inside of all modern iOS devices that automatically corrects your emails and text messages as you type. Tap a couple of letters and iOS completes the word for you. For instance, type “impelem” into a text message. Apple iOS prompts you to change the misspelling to “implement.” Tap the space bar and the word is automatically changed. Newer iOS versions add a red underline to improperly spelled words in text messages and email. Tap the underlined word and spell-check gives you a list of properly spelled words to correct it.

Autocorrect is also useful for auto-capitalizing words. For instance, whenever you start a new sentence, the first letter will be automatically capitalized.

Finally, Autocorrect also allows for the expansion of predefined abbreviations or shortcuts. The commonly accepted etiquette for email and text is to avoid the use of abbreviations wherever possible — something that Apple took into account way back in iOS 5. Autocorrect now matches use of such abbreviations and shortcuts and will spell out the word or phrase for you. For instance, “omw” is the common shortcut for “on my way.” Autocorrect can take “omw” and translate it to the full phrase for you.

If you want to add shortcuts to your keyboard and iOS’s spell-check, follow these steps:

Tap the “Settings” icon on the home screen.
Tap “General”
Tap “Keyboard”
Tap “Add a Shortcut”
Type the full word or phrase you want to use in the “Phrase” section. In the “Shortcut” section, type the shortcut you want to use.
Tap “Save”

That’s all it takes. To test your changes, open an email or a text message and type your shortcut.