Even if you have an A in Language and don’t need an electronic crutch to type without fail, the auto-corrector is always a very useful tool to navigate through the mistakes we all inevitably make when we hit the virtual keys on the iOS keyboard at breakneck speed. But it’s not foolproof either, and learning how to tame it is very important in order to make it better over time rather than becoming a nuisance.
But let’s start at the beginning, how it works. The iOS autocorrector tries to predict what we’re writing before we’re done by means of a label that appears underneath them. But watch out, it’s more than a suggestion, it’s the word that will necessarily replace the current one as soon as we press space.
If the suggested word is the one we want to write, fine, the space key will save us some keystrokes; but if it isn’t, and the auto-corrector keeps showing it when we have finished writing ours, remember to click on the label to reject it and, only then, to click on space or a punctuation mark to continue with the rest of the text.
Tip: If you see a word underlined in red, click on it to see suggested corrections. If the word you want doesn’t appear, write the correction yourself.
Every time we reject the correction of a particular word, iOS becomes more permissive of this word until it considers it a valid term and becomes part of our personal dictionary, a dictionary that is kept in sync with all our devices through the “Documents and data” option in Settings> iCloud.
Restore our personal dictionary
The iOS Self-Corrector tends to improve over time if we use it correctly, but sometimes we can also reach a point of no return where it becomes more of a nuisance than a help. Under Settings> General> Reset you will find the “Reset Keyboard Dictionary” option which deletes all stored words with a clean slate.
And if that doesn’t work either or you just can’t get used to the iOS auto-correct function, disable it in Settings> General> Keyboard> Auto-correct.
If you have an iPhone 4S or higher , you can use the mic button next to the space key to dictate a live text . It works quite well and can be one of the fastest and most convenient methods of writing long messages as long as you have an Internet connection. If you don’t see the button (and you should) check that Siri is enabled in Settings> General> Siri.
You can dictate entire paragraphs without any problem or individual sentences, replace selected text or add something at a particular point by clicking on it to move the insertion point. Finally, mention that you can add punctuation marks or format text using some very easy to remember conventions:
- “Open quotation marks” and “close quotation marks”
- “New paragraph”
- “New line”
- “Initial capitalization” to capitalize the next word.
- “All caps” to put all the next word in capital letters.
- “Capitalize all” and “un-capitalize all” to capitalize the adjacent words all.
- “Turn on all lowercase” and “turn off all lowercase” to put the adjacent words all in lowercase.
- “Activate without space” and “deactivate without space” to put together a series of words.
- “Happy face” to insert 🙂
- “Sad face” to insert 🙁
- “Winking face” to insert 😉
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“Enable uppercase” and “disable uppercase” to capitalize the first character of each word.
For example, “Pedro comma open exclamation point next time in capital letters keynote I have to cover my closing exclamation point” becomes “Pedro, next time Keynote I have to cover my closing exclamation point”. .
Tip: As with Siri, you can also start a dictation by bringing the iPhone close to your ear and moving it away again when you’re done.