All About the TextExpander Custom Keyboard (iOS)

Shonna Lemke iOS mobile

Use the TextExpander app on your iPad or iPhone for creating, editing, syncing, and expanding snippets in the apps which have added TextExpander support.

In order to allow you to expand snippets in all the apps on your device, we’ve taken advantage of Apple’s third-party keyboard feature and added a custom keyboard for TextExpander.

In this post you’ll see how to set up the keyboard, use the keyboard in any app, reorder third-party keyboards, and set up the snippet keys in your TextExpander keyboard.

How To: Set up the TextExpander keyboard

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard > TextExpander (under Third-Party Keyboards).
  3. Toggle on one of the supported language keyboards. Once the keyboard has been added, tap on it and switch on Allow Full Access. Allow Full Access is necessary for the snippets to expand.
  4. Tap into the keyboard of any app.
  5. Tap the globe key in the lower left to switch to the TextExpander keyboard.

The keyboard also offers snippet keys, which allow you to assign a snippet its own key for triggering expansion from the TextExpander keyboard. Instead of typing an abbreviation to expand a snippet, tap a single key. For more on snippet keys skip to the bottom of the page.

How To: Use the TextExpander keyboard

  1. Open any app and bring up the keyboard.
  2. When the Apple keyboard appears, tap the Globe key, located near the space bar. Cycle through the keyboards until you see the TextExpander keyboard.
  3. Type a snippet abbreviation and it will expand. Switch over to the special snippets keys using the TextExpander key, located near the space bar.

You’ll also notice the Globe key turns into the Smile key in the TextExpander keyboard.

Here is a quick video to visually illustrate the steps described above.

Keyboard Features

To adjust settings such as key click sounds and auto-correction, open up the TextExpander app to the Settings and make your selections. More details in the Settings Help.

For more information on what switching on Allow Full Access means for the custom keyboard, check out our Privacy Policy.

Keyboard languages and layouts

The TextExpander keyboard also comes in multiple languages, each is a separate keyboard you can add. Follow the same directions as in the “How To: Set up the TextExpander keyboard” section above.

You can also select a keyboard layout. Choose between QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ.

How To: Select a keyboard layout

  1. Open the TextExpander app, and tap the Settings button, it looks like a couple of gears.
  2. Tap on Layout and then select one of the layout options: QWERTY, AZERTY, or QWERTZ.

How To: Reorder Apple keyboards

  1. From the Keyboards screen tap Edit in the upper right.
  2. Drag and drop your keyboards into the order you want them to appear.

Your device comes with two Apple keyboards installed, the standard keyboard and the emoji keyboard. Any other third-party keyboards you’ve added will also appear in this list. The order of the keyboards in this list is also the order keyboards will appear as you switch between them.

If you add extra TextExpander keyboards in other languages, for example, they will appear in this list.

How To: Set up snippet keys

  1. Open Settings  > Snippet Keys and tap “+”.
  2. Navigate to the snippets you want as snippet keys and tap them. A check will appear next to the selected snippets. 
  3. Tap Done to finish.

Once you have the TextExpander keyboard open, switch over to the snippets keys using the TextExpander key, located near the space bar.

Here is a quick video to visually illustrate the steps described above.