I say shit a lot. Probably too much. Shit is four letters. That’s four characters I can’t use in a text message. The emoji icon for poop is one character, and instead of offending people with a written word, I can now offend them with an icon of poop that’s also smiling at them. It’s win-win-win.

Did you know that you can set up shortcuts that will take words or phrases and turn them into emoji? It’s not always ideal, but there’s probably a few phrases that you use that you may like to turn into little pictographs.

Most people use keyboard shortcuts to expand text like omw to On My Way!. I prefer to use emoji. It usually lightens the mood. It’s worth playing with. Better yet, it’s worth screwing your friends over with. Open up their phone, have words change to funny pictures. They’ll be pissed.

Here’s how you set up an emoji keyboard shortcut.

  1. On your iPhone, open Settings, then General, then Keyboard.
  2. Click Add New Shortcut…
  3. In the Phrase field ad the emoji you want to have replace text. You can add one, or a bunch. It’s up to you.
  4. In the Shortcut field you add the letters you want to trigger your new replacement.
  5. Boom. Done.

How can you screw with your friends? Well, maybe start with changing the word the into something like a giant paragraph from Shakespeare, or have the nice little example in our header image popup every single time they use the word you.

Or, don’t be a dick, and just use them to save yourself some time and character space in your text messages. It’s really up to you to determine if you’re going to use your new powers for good or for evil.