How to get the most out of Word Substitution with BlackBerry OS 10.2.1

Word Substitution
By James Richardson on 23 Feb 2014 05:12 am EST

We all know that typing on BlackBerry 10 is as good as it gets, whether you're a all-touch or hardware keyboard user. With the awesome intelligent word prediction, banging out a message is faster and more precise on BlackBerry 10 compared to the likes of iOS, Android and Windows Phone in my experience. 

For all-touch BlackBerry 10 users you can of course take advantage of the predicted words being displayed on your keyboard and then swiping them up to insert them into the message and for many folk this will be all you need for making the most of your time. But there are some further shortcuts that can be made in the form of Word Substitutions. 

This feature isn't brand new in OS 10.2.1, in fact it's been present since BlackBerry 10 first launched, but it's one of those little things that I normally forget to take advantage of. Maybe of more use for hardware keyboard users - the Word Substitution will allow you to type just a few chosen letters and the OS will automatically recognize what word you want to use and insert it in full - clever stuff. 

As you can see in the example below, if I want to include the word CrackBerry in anything on my BlackBerry all I need to do is type the letters CB. The OS will sort out the rest. 

To start adding words to the feature just follow these simple steps:

  • Jump into settings
  • Select Language and Input
  • Select Predictions and Corrections
  • Select Word Substitution
  • Press the + tab at the base of the display to add your own words

You can add whatever words you like to the feature and as many you need. For words that you use on a very regular basis it sure makes sense to utilize the feature to cut down on key strokes/presses. As BlackBerry users we are of course people who get stuff done and this small component in BlackBerry 10 helps is achieve that goal. 

Reader comments

How to get the most out of Word Substitution with BlackBerry OS 10.2.1


Unbelievable, I have taken first position in this prestigious Crackberry. I will like to thank God almighty for making this possible and also my family members and all blackberry fan in Nigeria and across the world. My gratitude goes to government of Canada for making sure blackberry does not go under the water. Long life to you all blackberry fans and user.

Posted via CB10

I believe that the government of Canada was more than happy to let BlackBerry go into the sewer. But it's Crackberry fans like you me and all the other pirates who have joined Crackberry and those who continue to buy BlackBerry products are the ones that has kept BlackBerry alive.

And that's not forget the great team at BlackBerry.

Catapulted from my Z10.

And Jim Lockhead, Crackberry has very strict membership rules, you can only post first comments once you have danced naked around the fire during full moon.

Please confirm you have abided by the rules, otherwise your first comment will be delete.

Catapulted from my Z10.

This is one of the better First comments that I have seen.

Haha hahaha

But to the purpose of my post. I have been loving the 'word predictions' since day one. It is great that the user is able to change them as he desires.

This truly is a great feature that I appreciate from BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Z10STL100-3/

I love this feature, but the best way to get the others to realize it is by adding "Auto-Response" before your message to quick responses such as "drv" = I'm driving etc. I usually get great feedback and I get to say, "Well you can only do this on a BlackBerry"!

Posted via CB10

Nice. I think I like this "driving" substitution. I'll use it :)

The shirt addict blueprint | BBM channel = C00122EC9

WTF? A 'firster' with religious connotations. Now that really is a first around here.

Anyway, the word substitution info is useful to me. I think I will keep that part of settings open for a while and add words as they occur to me.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Yes only problem I have with it though is that if I do u>you without using always use that capitalisation. It writes YOU at the beginning of sentences.

To bad, that I can't import my words from bbos or bbos exported txt files. I had more than 1000 words in it.

Wenn du mir sagst, was dort draußen richtig ist, werde ich nicht mehr versuchen dich zu küssen... (Sayumi Whisp)

I wish that you could back up and restore this ad well or better yet wish it was saved to the cloud and would follow me with my BlackBerry ID

It's one of my favorite features but I hate having to type them all in again every time I switch Blackberry’s

Posted via CB10

Yes this is exactly the type of cloud services I want from BlackBerry
BlackBerry Protect+ Password keeper backup+ contacts + files I choose + word shortcuts + anything else all secured and encrypted from my device to the cloud and back. I'll pay a subscription a buck a month two bucks a month maybe just so I know it's always there always secure and not being data mined. Please?

Posted via CB10

That's a great idea. I would love for this and other OS settings to follow my BlackBerry I'd and/or be backed up with BlackBerry Protect, which still needs to be updated for BB10 with the functionality we once had in BBOS.

Posted via CB10

No, no, it is better than MSoffice, there isn't anything existing that could compete with BlackBerry' typing experience with word substitution added.

Posted via BlackBerry Q10

One of my favourite features on my Z10

I was not born with a hunger to be free, it was only when I discovered that my freedom had been taken from me that I began to hunger for it. 4life Z10STL100-1/

i use this feature like crazy, it really speeds up typing that much more on the q10, great stuff

I use Word Substitution everyday. Can't imagine having to type the word BlackBerry in full.

Posted via CB10

You don't have to type BlackBerry every time. BB10 recognises what you have typed in the first time around.

All I have to do is type bl and it automatically comes up with the rest. So BlackBerry is learning what you type as you go along.

Catapulted from my Z10.

BlackBerry has a built in short cut by default, just type bb and hit space bar. Also you have the regular short cuts such as "mypin" and "lt" for local time etc. I'm gonna start using this substitution feature more for sure.

Posted via CB10


I use word substitution so much that  BlackBerry and CrackBerry should pay me for this

ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ ๑ˆ⌣ˆ๑ ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇

Posted via Awesome Astro flying10.2.1.1925 on CB10. For a regular dose of Quotes, subscribe C001190A9 .

You don't need the update for word substitution, has been there since day one.

Posted with my Q10 running

Is word substitution the only way to get the correct currency symbol?

Also, how can I get more symbols? I usually have to google the symbol and copy it from the browser!

Posted via CB10


Posted via Awesome Astro flying10.2.1.1925 on CB10. For a regular dose of Quotes, subscribe C001190A9 .

I have been using word substitution since the first day BUT it doesn't work since I updated to official It's a pity. I'm sad about it!
It really doesn't work. I just tried cb word as in your fancy example.

I never used a leak. And apparently you are enjoying this feature yet. Don't understand why it doesn't work for me.
Any suggestions?

Posted via CB10

I thought word substitution with words like cb to be CrackBerry should be inserted manually.
These are not automatically add on.
U choose what word became what.


I put ihihi to become ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ ๑ˆ⌣ˆ๑ ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇.
This is inserted manually. The reason I put 'i' in front of the word hihi is to differentiate it as icon or replacement. So that I can write hihi as well as ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ ๑ˆ⌣ˆ๑ ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇ƗƗɪ̣̇.

Posted via Awesome Astro flying10.2.1.1925 on CB10. For a regular dose of Quotes, subscribe C001190A9 .

I understand what you said. I defined words in the setting: word substitution... but it does not work when I try them when I text. only predefined shortcuts are realized ( like yr, mo, mypin..)

Posted via CB10

Only the predefined words ( such as yr, alot, mo...) are realized. User defined words are not realized.

Posted via CB10

Do you have the words the wrong way around on the substitution?

E.G. Does typing BlackBerry print out just bb?

Posted via CB10

No. Look I went to word substitution page in setting. In the first box I wrote cb. I tapped in the second box and wrote crackberry. Saved it. Then I exited the setting all the way and closed the setting.
Then I opened a text mssge. I wrote cb and no prediction was shown. If it works, word crackberry must be shown in green on the space bar.

I have been using this feature for months. It stopped working when I updated to 10.2.1

Posted via CB10

Word substitution doesn't work in text (if you mean sms) and I'm actually fine with this feature - you more or less pay/character in sms so I prefer to have the choice to abbreviate words in sms texts.

 Q1O

It was working and then stopped in bbm messages. I don't know if it was the newest OS update (the one after 1925) or some other glitch.

Also, the BACKSPACE or DELETE does not work as it did in OS7 and prior. I can't eliminate a prior space.

There is one specific "Word Substitution" option dedicated for SMS messages.

Go to the hub, open the action menu, select settings, and select "text messages". You will have a toggle to activate "Word Substitution" for SMS.

Posted via CB10

I realized that it works only in the default language of your phone, the second language sometime it works and sometime it does not. So,either disable one language or be content with the default one. I stand to be corrected.

How have you got the dark background in the picture is that available on Z10 or just Z30?

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

One of my favorite features on my Z10, it saves me a lot of time. I also used it on my Bold 9900 and had quite a list of shortcuts, unfortunately when switching phones that list wasn't imported to my Z10.

Posted via CB10

Key post James, i am really using this and add this to the intuitive typing memory of both keyboards this makes it a fast typing experience...otherwise known as Witch wicked !

Posted via CB10

Inconvenience ( ic) , Tobogganing ( Tob), I use this as one example !
I have simple phares for my son's swim team and for my projects I am working on !

Posted via CB10

I knew about this but still haven't remembered to incorporate it into my typing.

Posted via CB10

Love using it for shortcuts to common community names I use... definitely adds to the positive bb10 keyboard experience.

Posted via CB10

Does anyone have a cheat sheet for the system commands ( I can't think of a better phrase )? By that I mean how "lt" stands for local time and is turned into the system command %T which then is then turned into the local time on the device.

I would like to know if there are more system commands floating out there that we can use in these text shortcuts.

Posted via CB10 on a Z10STL100-3/

Word substitution has been around since at least my 8900 Javelin. I can't speak of prior to that, since I was using a Palm Pilot then.

I used it more with my older BlackBerrys, now in BlackBerry 10 not that much since the word prediction do a good job on this matter.

Posted via CB10

Yes it's an amazing feature and as already mentioned stupid of BlackBerry not to offer continuity on this from BBOS (it still puzzles me how long it is taking for basic, and I mean b-a-s-i-c BBOS features to find their way in BB10, like speed dial on the Qs, one year (!) exactly...)

Otherwise the uses of word substitution are endless I think with the real power in substituting whole sentences and paragraphs with letter combinations:
- I have letter combos for several signatures (a casual one, a business one etc, with full name, first name only etc)
- combos like 'hhh' for 'Honey, i'm headed home'
- for legal stuff I have 'ldis' for a full disclaimer paragraph
- words only like 'rnt' for restaurant, 'wkd' for weekend, 'mymail' to show my mail address and on and on

We should do a thread to compile collective knowledge on good word substitution combos!

 Q1O

I do the same with standard phrases and signature blocks for different purposes. Omw = On my way. Etc...

Love this feature. It's much more powerful than single word substitutes.

Posted via CB10

Thanks James Richardson. You had the example picture wrong, CB and CrackBerry were in wrong places, I noted that and you deleted my comment and changed the picture. Cool.

Posted with my Q10 running

James need to correct his article. This feature is already alive in BlackBerry OS7, and perhaps OS6.

Posted via CB10

I'm glad they got rid of the bugs. For a while my word substitution wasn't working properly, it made my life really difficult.

Great feature, used it for years!

I can't get it to accept a carriage return though on my Z30, 10.2.0... Worked fine in bbos.

Anyone have a suggestion?

BB should send out tutorials to all OS10 users on a regular basis, like 1 every second day.People don't realize how good this phone could be.Very good idea,not everyone frequents CB ,if it wasn't for them I would return the phone.I love my phone more and more because it really is great.

Definitely, there are so many features that I don't always have time to try them out and then forget about them. One every couple of days would be great.

Posted via CB10

JMO, but this is the worst keyboard I've used. The interface is great, but the word prediction is rarely even close. As I type this less than a third of the words I'm typing are being accurately suggested. If there's anything I miss from my Android (nice. The keyboard knew I was going to say android) it's the availability of different keyboards. Granted the interface was garbage and the system was unstable, I'm just saying I wish blackberry (couldn't predict that word though) offered options. Again, just my opinion. Let the fanboy hate begin.

Posted via CB10

Type "bb" and hit space, shortcut for BlackBerry. When I type "b" bbm, BlackBerry, business and being are the predicted words.

Posted via CB10

I'm not sure about all the sources that are used for analysis, but doesn't it better predict words you use more often? That would explain your Android vs BlackBerry issue. I type "b" and it is already predicting BlackBerry. Maybe you need to give it more time with less wipes or something.

  / o )` .      
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(_ ' \  `^-)""     `. \
      |               | \
       \              / |
     / \  / .____.'\  ( \ (_
    | ,"| |     \ | `. \ ` - '
     \\ ( )      ) |  ) /
     |_ ] | |     /_ ] //
       /_ ]        /_ ]
Happy Lunar New Year 2014 !!!

 CB10 

Coming from a tactile keyboard this Z10 frustrated me to no end with spelling mistakes due to inexperience with tapping on glass. Word substitution allowed me to set up a commonly used word bank and it's been fantastic since.

My word prediction stopped working on BlackBerry 10 except in BBM. Any suggestions how to get this working anywhere on the phone again? Currently I have not been able to take advantage of 10.2.1 since my carrier hasn't updated.


I made a lot of shortcuts. Bb makes BlackBerry. Hy makes :) hp makes :p ( shortcuts from my 9900 days) initials insert my name, fb for Facebook and many many more... by adding word substitution for things like R - are and U - you it allows me to type a lot faster and write full sentences. #PoweredbyBlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Word Substitution was better on the 9900 for one reason,'s really annoying for my upper case U to become YOU instead of You. Also, punctuation is a problem. I set "u" to become "you" and if I type something like "u?" it doesn't become "you?" unless I set a rule for "u?"

Posted via CB10

From day one about 6-7 years ago

tur =

Thank you.


I've always used it at the end of my emails (obviously if it applied the the situation)

James, do these substitutions carry over when the OS is updated? Do they need to be redone every OS installation.

I typically have about 30 % of my emails being the same 8-10 emails.

I can reply with a 5 paragraph email faster on my z30 than outlook with word substitution. This is complete with web links, signature and all the text. I just key in the 3 character code, space and send.

Posted via CB10

It's very useful when it comes to exact and correct english, e.g. youre = you're, theyre = they're, I (it should be small letter 'I' but well, word substitution) = I and many more.

Posted via CB10

anyone knows how to transfer our old Word Substitutions from BB 7 to 10?
I entered a ton on my old device, but I don't feel like retyping them in. Many were quite useful though.


Been using word substitution for ever back on bbos7. Wondered why they didn't copy the whole file from there to bb10. Can fire off whole sentences with a couple of buttons

Reg leaked Q10

You're right RegN.

I'm happy to see that a few of the tried-and-true shortcut variables are back again (10.2.1 - not sure I saw it on 10), but I put in a lot more that I miss now. I guess I will have to dig up the old BB and see if I can manually re-enter them. I've been putting it off. :)

BlackBerry 10 is awesome and I've used the keyboard feature to sell this phone to folks who have not understood that BB10 is not the same OS as BB7 and they were blown away.

It's amazing how easy it is to type with this keyboard often if not all the time in my case using just my thumb!

Posted via CB10

I'd like to know how to remove some autocorrect word in other language than English. Current I can only remove ones I added or ones in English only

Posted via CB10

I wonder how BlackBerry could incorporate word sub. into auto predict? #stupidpost? I love this feature bigtime. Anyone having trouble with love changing to live with autopredict on virKeyboard?

LTE ya you know me! #Bellbaby! Q10

How about thoese %D/p/P shortcuts which are like variables. Are there more of those?

Posted via CB10

I love word substitution. I started with simple substitution like "zt" for "Zed Ten." Now I'm up to a couple letters substituting a sentence or two.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 using pure energy

I like to put my home address. So when I type :myhome, it will automatically replace with my home address.. I have my office address, also in there..

Thanks a lot for the article. I've been looking for the term "Auto Text" in my Z10, it's name in the old BlackBerry OS. It is really a helpful way to speed up typing. I've use it a long time, since 2004. Now I have BlackBerry Bold 9800, Curve 8520, Pearl 8100, PlayBook, and Z10. More power and thanks mucho to CrackBerry Team! Keep the fire burning for us BlackBerry addicts!

Posted via CB10

I'm not following what this has to do with Ver. 10.2.1. The feature has been present.


Tombstone - Combat Vets Motorcycle Assn - WWW.CVMAFLORIDA.ORG

The BACKSPACE or DELETE functions (%B and %b) do not work as it did in OS7 and prior. I can't eliminate a prior space.