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How to Create Text Shortcuts in Google Docs

As you write, you may find yourself having to type out the same long string of characters over and over again. Fortunately, Google Docs lets users create their own expandable text shortcuts, so you can write a long email address or product name just by entering a couple of characters. 

There are some caveats, though. Your shortcut can't have spaces in it, so it needs to be one word. There are also some catches if you want to expand a complicated phrase, as you can only expand phrases with the first letter or all letters capitalized, and you do so by capitalizing the first or all letters in your shortcut. 

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1. Click Tools.

2. Select Preferences.

3. Click the field under Replace and type the shortcut. Choose a string of characters that you wouldn't regularly use.

4. Click the field under With and type the phrase the shortcut should expand to. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary.

5. Click OK.

6. Type your shortcut.

7. Click the Space bar to expand your phrase.

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After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.