How to create text shortcuts in OS X 10.9 Mavericks

OS X Mavericks introduces the familiar text shortcuts iOS users have known and loved. Here's what you need to know.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani

Jason Cipriani/CNET

On Tuesday Apple announced it was releasing OS X Mavericks for free to all Mac users. This update, while a new OS version, isn't heavy on features, with most of the changes being performance-related, but it does offer a few gems.

One of those gems is the ability to sync your iOS text shortcuts with your Mac, or vice versa, using iCloud. If you already have some text shortcuts set up on your iOS device, and you use the same iCloud account on your Mac running Mavericks, go ahead and try typing one. Pretty cool, huh?

In order to edit or create new text shortcuts on your Mac, download and install OS X Mavericks from the App Store. Before installing the update, check Topher's tips to make sure your Mac is ready.

  • Once you're on Mavericks, to access text shortcuts, launch System Preferences from your Applications folder.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

  • Select the Keyboard option, followed by Text.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

  • Once you've navigated to this section of System Preferences, you'll find your current iOS text shortcuts listed, with a few example shortcuts already populated for you.
  • To add a shortcut click on the "+" sign in the lower-left corner, and enter the abbreviation you'll use, followed by the text you want to replace it with.

To view the new shortcuts, or simply verify they are indeed syncing via iCloud, you can read through this post to get the rundown of text shortcuts on iOS.