Text replacements in macOS

Written on December 6, 2020

While macOS text suggestions and the emoji keyboard is pretty good. I think Slack’s method of adding emoji’s to text using the colon : symbol is so much easier.

Typing in :pizza in Slack prompt

:pizza yields the pizza emoji every time.

Replacement of :pizza with the pizza emoji

Using macOS’s text replacements feature, you can set it up to get quick access to your favorite emojis called up by the colon : or whatever you’d like to represent your emoji.

Setting up text replacements in macOS

In macOS to set up a text replacement, you’ll want to go to  > System Preferences > Keyboard.

Once you’re in the Keyboard preferences, click on the Text tab.

Click on the plus + symbol in the lower left corner and you’ll be able to set up a text replacement.

Under the Replace column you’ll want to put in the text macOS should replace like :pizza:.

Now in the With column you’ll want to put the emoji you’d like to replace the text with 🍕.

Keyboard preferences with text replacements

The great thing is you can get really creative with your text replacements.

For example, I’ve got a text replacement to replace :shrug with the emoji 🤷🏻‍♂️ but I’ve also got -shrug to replace it with the emoticon version ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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