How to use Word Substitution on BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 Word Substitution
By Adam Zeis on 6 Feb 2013 04:35 pm EST

Don't worry -- Word Substitution (aka AutoText) is still with us in BlackBerry 10. It's a bit harder to find now, and honestly, I looked for a while and then wrote it off as being a feature that went to the wind.

Thankfully it turned up and it's still hanging out in the settings waiting for your fancy strings of added words. 

Word substitution is a great feature that lets you create auto text entries for common phrases. Use "ilu" for "I love you" or "omw" for "on my way".

You can put in pretty much anything you want. Take a stroll with us after the break and we'll see just how to get up and running with word substitution on BlackBerry 10.

  • Tap the Settings icon
  • Tap Language and Input
  • Scroll down and tap Automated Assistance
 BlackBerry 10 Word Substitution
  • Tap Word Substitution
  • Make sure the toggle is set to On. You'll see a bunch of preset phrases already added, but here you can enter your own as you see fit.
  • To add a new phrase, tap the Add Shortcut icon on the bottom bar.
  • Enter the original word in the box (ilu) then the phrase you want it replaced with (I love you).

BlackBerry 10 Word Substitution BlackBerry 10 Word Substitution

Click Save and you're done. Repeat the process for adding as many words as you want. 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How to use Word Substitution on BlackBerry 10


Hi Adam, this was one of my biggest worries. Very happy to know it's still there, as I am many custom entries.

I've heard there's an issue with multi-line custom entries. i.e. if there's an ENTER in there to go down to next line.
Know what I mean?

yeah, seems like ENTER is missing. i used to use "aaa" = my full signature for work... easy to add a nice professional signature.

i can't find a way to get the carriage return in there.

Would it work to type out your multi-line signature somewhere else on the phone, COPY it, and then PASTE it in when setting up your Auto-text? That way you wouldn't have to hit Enter.

This is killing me! I certainly hope it's just a bug. Word Substitution (or Autotext) without carriage returns is pretty useless in my opinion. I used it for signatures, my address, etc...

What do they have against Carriage return? this worked in previous versions of BB10. Why has it been removed?
Someone sack the person the the dev team removing all the carriage return options!

Go into your hub, and bring up the BlackBerry Hub Settings. Click on Text Messages, and the 3rd option is "Enable Word Substitution" and it's Off by default. Just turn that On and it should work.

Why is it off by default?--I think because they assume you want the short version for character-limited texts. For example, if you had a word substitution for "atm" to "at the moment", you might still want your text messages to say "i'm busy atm" instead of "i'm busy at the moment". I don't agree with it, but I can see why they did that I guess. I turned mine on right away.


Nice catch.. Mine was actually turned on by default, and even with it on, its still not working. Works in everything else... Hmmm, funny..

Glad to see that BlackBerry still has this. This is the secret to half of my typing speed on the BlackBerry...

Does it still include standard conversions? like MYVER to get the OS version number, or MYPIN to display the device pin?

This is mentioned in the shortcuts but when I tried it on mine it didn't seem to work (I even made sure it was on!).

The funny thing is it works on mine to the point where I see 'Pin:....' and then my PIN where the dots are on my spacebar, so it backfills when I hit space next. Could just be the build. I know PIN messaging can't be replied to or forwarded, just received in the launch build but it's coming in 10.1 or 10.2 in terms of support for replying, forwarding and composing.

no go for me either, its turned on everywhere but wont seem to work. anybody have some tips?

Doesn't seem as full featured as before. I can't find a way to get the carriage return in there for multi-line entries. I've even tried copy-paste to try and trick it, but it doesn't recognize the carriage return as a valid character and just takes it out.


There seems to be no way, currently, to import all my word substitutions from BB7 to BB10 during the transfer process (using Link). Has anyone else run into this at all?

Is there any workaround to import a large number of substitution pairs (about 20 that I don't want to type in again).

Thanks, all.


Same question. Do I have to type all my word substations out again or is there a way to import them from BB6 or BB7?

IPhone copied Blackberry on that use of shortcuts. I have a long list of word substitution and it'll be a strong reason to forget about Q10 if I have to remake totally my list because I cannot import them from my bold. Thanks

There's no way to import them from your legacy BBOS device to your new BB10 device.

But after that, they are backed up and restored properly between BB10 devices going forward.
So you'll have to do it again, but consider it a one-time setup.

Do not delete any autotext that default from the Os, cause you may not be able to use any custome autotext anymore.

Just a cent

I'm looking for an app to backup my Word Substitution.
Maybe someone know such a thing?
V. G. der Vati

Does word subsitution work with specific letters contained in a word? I'm considering buying a Q10 and will want to use the Danish characters Æ, Ø and Å. We're used to 'ae' = 'æ', 'oe' = 'ø' and 'aa' = å. So, if I'd set them up in the settings would it automatically change 'laese' to 'læse'?

I think you might have problems with single character targets within a word. Traditionally word substiution has been applied to the whole word when triggered by the space bar following the word, so you would need to enter every individual word where a change is required - that's too many entries for real practicality. However the capabilities of BB10 are only partly known, so it would be worth getting hold of a real device and seeing for yourself how Danish characters are handled.