6 Favorite iPhone Email Tricks

The other day I stumbled upon an iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad) feature I had no idea existed. It was a shortcut for forwarding only a portion of an email message. I’m sharing that tip and five others in my list of my six favorite iPhone email tricks.

iPhone e-mail trick #1: Highlight and Forward

This was the feature I discovered by accident last week. If you’re viewing a message and want to forward only a portion of the text to someone, highlight the text BEFORE you press the forward button. When the screen opens with your new message, the body will contain only the text that was highlighted.

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iPhone E-mail Trick #2: MeMail

My neighbor David Yellin created this app because he has a habit of e-mailing short notes to himself as reminders. He decided it was a hassle to repeatedly create a new message, type a few letters of his home e-mail address, confirm the auto-complete, create a subject line and type a message. So he created an app to take you directly to the “type a message” part.

You put the MeMail icon on your desktop. One click puts you into the body of a message that already has the e-mail address and subject line of your choosing.

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I was a skeptic at first, (“How many keystrokes does that really save?) but now I’ve adapted it to my own world. I have it set up with my wife’s email address to kick start messages about school pickup, dinner plans, errands, etc. I think of it now as a 99 cent insurance policy to ensure that my “buy milk on the way home” message doesn’t end up in the mailbox of one of the 51 Time Warner Cable employees who share the name Dawn.

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iPhone E-mail Trick #3: Send multiple photos

I used to send iPhone photos one at a time because that was the only technique I knew. But then I learned about the “Select Items” feature in the photo gallery. When you’re viewing photos in the thumbnail mode, the little box with an arrow appears in the lower left corner. In this context, it’s the “Select Items” button. Tap up to 5 thumbnails, then click the SHARE button on the bottom of the screen. This leads you to an e-mail message populated with your selected photos.

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iPhone E-mail Trick #4: Swipe to Delete

I probably should have known this one long ago. When you’re viewing the list of messages in an e-mail folder and you see one you’re ready to delete, you don’t have to open it. Just swipe across the preview text from left to right (or right to left) and you’ll get an instant DELETE button.

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iPhone E-mail Trick #5:  Copy a link

If you see a link in a message that you want to forward to someone, don’t tap it. Instead, touch it and hold for about two seconds. Then you’ll get an option to copy the link.

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iPhone E-mail Trick #6:  Edit User Dictionary

I am so tired of telling my iPhone’s auto-correct keyboard that my name is Pat. It has been convinced for years that my name is “Pay.” No matter how many times I sign off my e-mail with “Pat” it decides to helpfully change my typing to “Pay.” This process is a bit of a mystery to me, but if you have a similar auto-correct frustration, try to add the troubled word to your phone’s user dictionary.

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Of course, you may have to find this bizarrely-hidden feature. Apparently it’s only available when you have a Chinese or Japanese keyboard enabled. Here’s how I did that:

- Go to SETTINGS—> GENERAL—> KEYBOARD
- add the Japanese Ten Key as a second keyboard
- now on the KEYBOARD screen you should see “Edit User Dictionary” as an option. Click there.
- hit the + symbol and add your English word next to “Word”  (ignore “Yomi” - that’s part of your trick Japanese keyboard.)

Return to your e-mail and you should find that your iPhone believes you the next time you type your troubled word.

Hope you find these tips helpful. Please share yours in the comment section.

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