If you’re a big twitter fan, like I am, you’ll know that saving space is always a good thing. One or two characters saved can make all the difference to whether you can say everything you want to say without compromising your message.

Sometimes, I’ll want to say half, or quarter, or even do a cute little finger pointer, which looks like this:


There’s a really easy way to do it. First, find the character you want to shortcut to (such as ½) and copy it into memory, by pressing and holding on it. Adjust the little blue markers if you need to get just the single character.

Go to your iPhone’s settings > general > keyboard > shortcuts.

Now tap the + button at the top, paste the character into the Phrase box, and the shortcut you want to type to get it – in the case of ½, I’ve just set it so that I need to type 1/2, but you could use anything. Keep doing this for all the different shortcuts you want.

Cat using an iPhone

Cats are notorious for wanting to use shortcuts on their phones. They're very busy pets.

To help get you started, I’ve put some of the ones I use most often below:

… ellipsis (three little dots instead of one!)
☞ finger pointer (as seen above)
½ half symbol
¼ quarter symbol
¾ three quarters symbol
© copyright symbol
® registered trademark symbol
™ trademark symbol

These characters are also supported by Facebook; and you’ll find some other characters to copy at Twitter Symbols or TwitterKeys.

Other shortcuts

I also created some other shortcuts to prevent my phone trying to be clever. For example, I often type esp instead of especially, and the phone thinks I want to type ESP. So to stop it autocorrecting, just type esp into both boxes.

And because I often type et instead of get and don’t want to say ET, just type et in the Shortcut box, and get in the Phrase box.

On your desktop

You can also use a keyboard shortcut on your desktop computer. You can either work out the keyboard shortcut using Character Map or Character Viewer, or download a little app like xType for Mac and set up the same shortcuts in that.

xType screen shot

xType can help you with those pesky shortcuts