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Tips & Tricks: Two Must–Try Timesavers

You will love AutoText and Voice Dialing

BlackBerry® smartphones are made for people on the move. So it should come as no surprise that your BlackBerry smartphone is packed with built-in tools that save you time while on the go. Here we look at two such timesaving tools that can immediately speed up your BlackBerry smartphone experience: AutoText and Voice Dialing.


Let's face it, typing long, frequently used phrases into your smartphone can be a pain. But there is an easy solution: create AutoText entries for your most commonly used phrases.

AutoText replaces specific text that you type with your preloaded AutoText entries. For example, you might create an AutoText entry that replaces “ttyl” with “talk to you later.” The text changes after you type “ttyl” and then press the space key.

Other examples include:

  • Names (e.g. replace “JW” with “John Wexlerhaven”)
  • Street addresses (e.g. replace “827” with “827 Washington Ave., Apt 22”)
  • City, state, zip (e.g. replace “Phila” with “Philadelphia, PA 19107-2413”)
  • Company names (e.g. replace ”RIM“ with “Research in Motion”)

Try it: Create an AutoText entry for “Roberta Rumpelstiltskin”

The trick is to create an AutoText entry with as few letters as possible (to save you from typing too much) but in a way that does not conflict with other common words.


For example, let's say your name is Roberta Rumpelstiltskin with 23 characters. The best approach is to type something like “rr” (followed by space) to spell out your name. That way you type just two characters while not conflicting with any real words.

  1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
  2. Click AutoText.
  3. Press the Menu key.
  4. Click New.
  5. In the Replace field, type “rr.”
  6. In the With field, type “Roberta Rumpelstiltskin.”
  7. Perform one of the following actions:
    • To capitalize the entry exactly as you typed it, set the Using field to Specified Case.
    • To capitalize the entry according to the context, set the Using field to SmartCase.
  8. Set the language.
  9. Press the Menu key.
  10. Click Save.

Now try it out using MemoPad:

  • On the Home screen or in the Applications folder, click the MemoPad icon.
  • Click Add Memo.
  • In the Title area type rr, followed by a space.

Can you see the time-saving benefits?

Click for more AutoText tips »


Did you know that you can call a contact with your voice? Voice dialing is just one of the voice commands built into your BlackBerry smartphone. Other commands let you check your smartphone's battery level or the signal strength, as examples.


"Call mother, home"

Voice dialing is a huge time saver because you avoid manually searching for contacts. For example, to call the home phone number of a contact called “mother” you can just open the Voice Dialing application, and then say, “Call mother, home.” The system will dial for you—all with your voice.

Note that you can either say just the contact's name, and let Voice Dialing prompt you for which of the contact's numbers to call (home, work, mobile, etc.); or you can tell Voice Dialing as you speak the phone number you wish to use. So in the example above we opted to tell Voice Dialing to call the “mother” contact's home phone number by saying, “Call mother, home.”

Voice dialing is also a safer way to dial your contacts while driving—you do not need to take your eyes off the road to look for a contact. (Always be careful when talking on the phone while driving; and never text while driving. And obey any laws prohibiting talking on the phone and/or texting while driving.)

Try it!

Let's give it a try by calling a friend's mobile phone.

  1. Think of a friend whose mobile number is listed in your contacts.
  2. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Voice Dialing icon.
  3. After the beep, say, “Call <your friend's first and last name>, mobile.”

The system will dial your friend's mobile number.

Tip: How to voice dial to your voice mail

To save even more time, add your voice mail access number and pin to your contacts. That way you can just say, “Call voice mail, mobile.” For this to work, you need to tell the system to pause a few seconds before entering your pin. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Contacts.
  2. Press the Menu key.
  3. Click New Contact.
  4. In the Last field, type “voice mail.”
  5. AutoText
  6. In the Mobile field, type your voice mail access number, followed by two pauses, then followed by your pin and the # symbol. The number should look something like the example in the nearby image.
  7. Press the Menu key.
  8. Click Save.

To try it, just start the Voice Dialing application and say, “Call voice mail, mobile.”

Available voice commands

“Call <contact name or phone number>” Say this voice command to make a call. For example, you could say, “Call Heather Dante.” To perform this task with a Bluetooth®-enabled device, such as a hands-free car kit or wireless headset, the paired Bluetooth-enabled device must support this feature and you must turn on Bluetooth technology. Note: You cannot make calls to emergency numbers using voice commands.
“Call <contact name> <phone number type>” Say this voice command to call a specific phone number for a contact listed in your BlackBerry contact list. For example, if your friend Heather Dante has a work phone number and a mobile phone number, you can say “Call Heather Dante, mobile” to call her mobile phone number.
“Call extension <extension number>” Say this voice command to dial an extension. To perform this task, you must set options for dialing extensions. You can dial extensions only within your company and only if your company has BlackBerry® Mobile Voice System installed.
“Check my phone number” If you have multiple phone numbers associated with your BlackBerry smartphone, say this voice command to check your active phone number.
“Check signal strength” Say this voice command to check your wireless coverage level.
“Check network” Say this voice command to check the wireless network that your device is connected to.
“Check battery” Say this voice command to check the battery power level.
“Cancel” Say this voice command to close the voice dialing application.

Click for more Voice Dial tips »

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