How to make typing in macOS like iOS with auto capitalization, double-space periods, and w...

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Apple has always offered assistance to iPhone and iPad users typing on their devices using the onscreen keyboard, automatically fixing some common mistakes and providing spelling and next word suggestions. AppleInsider shows how some of these features are also available to use in macOS.




The typing assistance features in iOS are handy for those wanting to write at speed, especially if you consider that typing on a flat display simply isn't as fast as a proper keyboard. While some of the functions are used practically in all text-editing applications, such as the ubiquitous spelling autocorrection, a few of these handy features in iOS just don't get used as much on macOS.

This guide will explain how to use a few of these features: Auto-capitalization, period insertion, and predictive word suggestions.

Capitalization and Period Insertion

To enable these settings, select the Apple logo in the menu bar, and select System Preferences. Click Keyboard, which will normally be three icons in from the left on the second row, followed by the Text tab within the new window.



On the right-hand side, there are checkboxes for "Capitalize words automatically" and "Add period with double-space." Tick both of these checkboxes.




As an extra option, you could tick the "Correct spelling automatically" if you wish macOS to check and fix words typed in most applications. If you would rather have spellcheck functioning within certain text editors, it's best to keep this turned off and instead look within the editing app itself for a similar correction option.

Once finished, close the Keyboard window.

After the settings are enabled, typing a sentence without a capitalized letter at the start will automatically correct after the first word has completed. Some product names that start with a lower-case letter, such as "iPad" or "iPhone," will not be corrected if they are spelled that way in the macOS dictionary.




The period-adding feature will work once the user taps the spacebar twice in quick succession after a word. Specifically, the double spacebar tap will change the first space into the period while leaving the second space alone, allowing users to type their next word with a single space between the period and the first letter.




The period will not be inserted when the two spaces are tapped slowly, nor will it appear if the spacebar is held down, usually resulting in multiple spaces added to the document.

Word Completion and Prediction

The iOS keyboard offers users suggestions of what it believes the user is trying to type in a row above the keyboard, allowing long and difficult-to-spell words to be typed easily. The feature also attempts to predict the next word the user will need for the sentence, again saving time in some cases.

MacBook Pro owners will already be familiar with this sort of feature, as the Touch Bar offers up similar current and next-word predictions, which can be tapped with a finger. In the unlikely event this should need to be disabled, there is a checkbox in the same Text tab in the Keyboard settings to turn it off.

For other Mac users, there is something similar available to use, but it works in a different way. Unlike the other spelling and punctuation settings, this function is not set up within System Preferences, but is instead automatically offered by the keyboard command Option-Escape.

Pressing this combination mid-word will bring up a list of other words from the macOS dictionary that could be spelled using the letters already typed. To select one of the words from the list, use the arrow keys to go up and down to the correct word then press space, or double click the word.




This function can also be used for predicting the next word. After typing a word and pressing space, use Option-Escape again to bring up the prediction list. As before, double click the word, or highlight it with the arrow keys and press space.


Further Notes

While these functions are handy, they are not necessarily available for use in all apps that involve text entry or editing. Aside from third-party apps, which may ignore Apple's assistance in favor of their own, their usage is also varied across Apple's own apps.

The auto-capitalization and period placement functions works in Pages, but word suggestion using this technique isn't available. In TextEdit, it doesn't allow automatic capitalization of the first word, but the period, word completion, and word prediction functions work fine. Word completion, auto-capped first words, and double-space periods are usable in Mail, but it is not possible to request predictions for the next word.

It is ultimately up to the user to see if these features are available to use in their text-editing app of choice.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    "Add period with double space."  Apple knows what's up: people who add only a single space after a period should be given 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    And how to avoid that if one types in few different langiages than English? It is somewhat useless feature to many like myself. Rules and grammar varies. Words are different and hinting is usless clutter.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    danv2danv2 Posts: 29member
    At the moment the AI autocorrect on iOS is about as accurate as a blindfolded, drunk, Connor McGregor on a bus. It does stupid things, and when it tries to make very sensible changes it in fact worsens a great deal of my sentences. Simple words like “try” or statements like “what of” are altered into other terms. Training it does not help, and thus far, only seem to make it worse. On a very basic level it hasn’t been as helpful as it used to be since iOS 9 or 10 in my mind. Whatever predictive format changes they implemented made me entirely shut it off.

    I think in general though; Apple has to get its AI game together. It will. In both Maps and in autocorrect land it seems to lose its mind and suggest locales in far off places, or sentence strings that would be more more appropriate coming from a 5th grader. New hires seem to be showing some hope, but as it stands I would not want my Mac typing like iOS. Although, I fear that’s and inevitable thing and may likely be a default setting soon.
    petritokyojimu
  • Reply 4 of 26
    "Add period with double space."  Apple knows what's up: people who add only a single space after a period should be given 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
    Except that's not what this does.
    In this case, tying the space bar twice inserts a period and a single space.  If you want two actual spaces, you still have to hit the space bar again.
    king editor the gratepte applebloggerblogjeffharrisgalfridus
  • Reply 5 of 26
    neilmneilm Posts: 634member
    "Add period with double space."  Apple knows what's up: people who add only a single space after a period should be given 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
    Wrong, both in typography and in comprehension of what iOS actually does.

    Rapidly typing two spaces in iOS will add a period followed by a single space, as it should be. Due to the use of monospaced fonts, which benefitted from that additional visual cue, a double space after the period used to be normal practice for material produced on a typewriter. However books, magazines, newspapers and other professionally typeset and printed materials were able to use proportionally spaced typefaces and so didn't need to use the clumsy extra space.

    Following the Desktop Publishing revolution of the 1980's we all use proportionally spaced typefaces for most purposes, and therefore do not and should not double space after periods. 
    edited April 2018 dewmeking editor the graterob53bloggerblogStrangeDaysmanfred zornRayz2016jeffharrisgalfridusjony0
  • Reply 6 of 26
    petripetri Posts: 66member
    danv2 said:
    At the moment the AI autocorrect on iOS is about as accurate as a blindfolded, drunk, Connor McGregor on a bus. It does stupid things, and when it tries to make very sensible changes it in fact worsens a great deal of my sentences. Simple words like “try” or statements like “what of” are altered into other terms. Training it does not help, and thus far, only seem to make it worse. On a very basic level it hasn’t been as helpful as it used to be since iOS 9 or 10 in my mind. Whatever predictive format changes they implemented made me entirely shut it off.

    I think in general though; Apple has to get its AI game together. It will. In both Maps and in autocorrect land it seems to lose its mind and suggest locales in far off places, or sentence strings that would be more more appropriate coming from a 5th grader. New hires seem to be showing some hope, but as it stands I would not want my Mac typing like iOS. Although, I fear that’s and inevitable thing and may likely be a default setting soon.
    Couldn’t agree more - my first thought at reading this headline was please no!!

    It seems like something that is just going unsaid at the moment - iOS autocorrect is just AWFUL and so much worse than it used to be.  The number of times it’s corrected the word “and” to Andrew for me, or randomly capitalised wordsin the middle of a sentence for no conceivable reason, it just constantly gets in the way.  It’s no exaggeration to iPhone OS version one had a better keyboard.
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 7 of 26
    My favorite spell-check incidences from my journalism career of sorts was offering to change Hinterscher to "Hitleresque" in an obituary, and Loudermilk to "Lobsterlike," also in an obit.

    A coupla my favorite typos I've found were "hot god on bun" and "porn and beans."
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    danv2 said:
    At the moment the AI autocorrect on iOS is about as accurate as a blindfolded, drunk, Connor McGregor on a bus. It does stupid things, and when it tries to make very sensible changes it in fact worsens a great deal of my sentences. Simple words like “try” or statements like “what of” are altered into other terms. Training it does not help, and thus far, only seem to make it worse. On a very basic level it hasn’t been as helpful as it used to be since iOS 9 or 10 in my mind. Whatever predictive format changes they implemented made me entirely shut it off.

    I think in general though; Apple has to get its AI game together. It will. In both Maps and in autocorrect land it seems to lose its mind and suggest locales in far off places, or sentence strings that would be more more appropriate coming from a 5th grader. New hires seem to be showing some hope, but as it stands I would not want my Mac typing like iOS. Although, I fear that’s and inevitable thing and may likely be a default setting soon.
    I'd add so is the AI in macOS for me at least.  I am somewhat lysdexic and make many errors in both letter and worse, word order when typing (or writing by hand for that matter).  With AI 'off' on the Mac I see red underlines on letter order issues and can go back and try to see what I did in error.  Sadly there is no grammar correction as such so word order error gets a pass.   With AI on wild guesses change words to gibberish meanings in context and often my word order is still incorrect, so what I write comes out in Klingon lol.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 9 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member

    My favorite spell-check incidences from my journalism career of sorts was offering to change Hinterscher to "Hitleresque" in an obituary, and Loudermilk to "Lobsterlike," also in an obit.

    A coupla my favorite typos I've found were "hot god on bun" and "porn and beans."
    Remember the 'Cupertino effect'?  https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Cupertino-effect
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 10 of 26
    danv2 said:
    At the moment the AI autocorrect on iOS is about as accurate as a blindfolded, drunk, Connor McGregor on a bus. It does stupid things, and when it tries to make very sensible changes it in fact worsens a great deal of my sentences. Simple words like “try” or statements like “what of” are altered into other terms. Training it does not help, and thus far, only seem to make it worse. On a very basic level it hasn’t been as helpful as it used to be since iOS 9 or 10 in my mind. Whatever predictive format changes they implemented made me entirely shut it off.

    I think in general though; Apple has to get its AI game together. It will. In both Maps and in autocorrect land it seems to lose its mind and suggest locales in far off places, or sentence strings that would be more more appropriate coming from a 5th grader. New hires seem to be showing some hope, but as it stands I would not want my Mac typing like iOS. Although, I fear that’s and inevitable thing and may likely be a default setting soon.
    Have you tried any of the swipe keyboards? I find them quite amazing at spotting the word I want and then even predicting what I want to say next.I don't know how anyone tap types on a phone these days.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,186member
    "Add period with double space."  Apple knows what's up: people who add only a single space after a period should be given 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
    It's not the 1950s and you're not using a typewriter. Double spaces after a period isn't just bad form, but indicate a lack of understanding of typography and accepted writing practices. Ultimately, it's your choice (just as you can be one of those people.. that puts two periods.. after every sentence.. or part thereof..  like you're writing a stream of continuous.. without regard for readability..), but if you submit a essay, thesis manuscript, or any other written work to be taken seriously then prepare to get rejected without ever having your work read.

  • Reply 12 of 26
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 75member
    "Add period with double space."  Apple knows what's up: people who add only a single space after a period should be given 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
    Ah, another older from the days of the manual typewriter. There is never any reason, in any computer font, for double spacing for periods. Looks all wrong.
    Soliking editor the grate
  • Reply 13 of 26
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 75member

    petri said:
    danv2 said:
    At the moment the AI autocorrect on iOS is about as accurate as a blindfolded, drunk, Connor McGregor on a bus. It does stupid things, and when it tries to make very sensible changes it in fact worsens a great deal of my sentences. Simple words like “try” or statements like “what of” are altered into other terms. Training it does not help, and thus far, only seem to make it worse. On a very basic level it hasn’t been as helpful as it used to be since iOS 9 or 10 in my mind. Whatever predictive format changes they implemented made me entirely shut it off.

    I think in general though; Apple has to get its AI game together. It will. In both Maps and in autocorrect land it seems to lose its mind and suggest locales in far off places, or sentence strings that would be more more appropriate coming from a 5th grader. New hires seem to be showing some hope, but as it stands I would not want my Mac typing like iOS. Although, I fear that’s and inevitable thing and may likely be a default setting soon.
    Couldn’t agree more - my first thought at reading this headline was please no!!

    It seems like something that is just going unsaid at the moment - iOS autocorrect is just AWFUL and so much worse than it used to be.  The number of times it’s corrected the word “and” to Andrew for me, or randomly capitalised wordsin the middle of a sentence for no conceivable reason, it just constantly gets in the way.  It’s no exaggeration to iPhone OS version one had a better keyboard.
        This "feature" will be useful when all the Websites and Facebook posts featuring iOS bloopers fade from view, because they longer correspond to the reader's experiences. Which is to say, probably not for years yet. Maybe by iOS 20.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 420member
    petri said:
     iOS autocorrect is just AWFUL and so much worse than it used to be.
    Definitely! It overaggressively inserts names of contacts. I had to set up a special shortcut to be able to type Wi-Fi because every time I type "Wi" it gets corrected to "Wu" thanks to my contact Mary Wu. And thanks to Jane Shimatsu, almost any word I type starting with "shi" gets corrected to Shimatsu. Stop it, Apple!

    Then there's the new "feature" of multi-lingual correcting. Just because I sometimes type in Spanish doesn't mean I want random Spanish words inserted in my English text. But there seems to be no way to turn this off short of deleting my Spanish keyboard, which I can't do. 

    Also, it likes to capitalize words that shouldn't be. Sure, I guess I often type "What" at the beginning of a sentence, but autocorrect now wants to capitalize "what" anywhere I use it. Huh? It does this for a multitude of words. 

    It never used to be so bad.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    It is funny to see such disagreement about the use of two spaces after a period.  Just because the Chicago Style Manual or some other manual says it is wrong does not necessarily make it is so.  I have worked for the largest employer in the United States for over 30 years and one of the first things we tell new employees is to throw away their Chicago Style Manual or whatever they used in school.  The U.S. Government has its own manual of style and that includes the use of two spaces after a period.  Every time.  You could probably argue that it is an outdated style developed during the era of the typewriter and should be updated.  I don't argue with that but to say that using two spaces is "not accepted writing practice" is simply not correct.  It may not be accepted where you work but that isn't true everywhere.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 26
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    It is funny to see such disagreement about the use of two spaces after a period.  Just because the Chicago Style Manual or some other manual says it is wrong does not necessarily make it is so.  I have worked for the largest employer in the United States for over 30 years and one of the first things we tell new employees is to throw away their Chicago Style Manual or whatever they used in school.  The U.S. Government has its own manual of style and that includes the use of two spaces after a period.  Every time.  You could probably argue that it is an outdated style developed during the era of the typewriter and should be updated.  I don't argue with that but to say that using two spaces is "not accepted writing practice" is simply not correct.  It may not be accepted where you work but that isn't true everywhere.
    Sorry to hear that the government is behind the times. On this issue.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 18 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,763administrator
    flaneur said:
    It is funny to see such disagreement about the use of two spaces after a period.  Just because the Chicago Style Manual or some other manual says it is wrong does not necessarily make it is so.  I have worked for the largest employer in the United States for over 30 years and one of the first things we tell new employees is to throw away their Chicago Style Manual or whatever they used in school.  The U.S. Government has its own manual of style and that includes the use of two spaces after a period.  Every time.  You could probably argue that it is an outdated style developed during the era of the typewriter and should be updated.  I don't argue with that but to say that using two spaces is "not accepted writing practice" is simply not correct.  It may not be accepted where you work but that isn't true everywhere.
    Sorry to hear that the government is behind the times. On this issue.
    It isn't. At the very least the 2016 guide has one space after a period, and I think it goes back to 2008.

    edited April 2018 Soli
  • Reply 19 of 26
    I was just reminded (by just doing it) about a quirk in double spacing. If I try to search for double spaces in a Pages document and replace with single spaces, it doesn't find any. If I copy-paste double spaces into the search window, it works fine. Pages also doesn't seem to allow searching/replacing of returns, even if they are pasted in. I do that in InDesign, which is a program of wretched dreck.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    apple2capple2c Posts: 33member
    Even with proportional fonts, a single space after a sentence rather than two spaces makes the text harder to read.  It looks run on.  

    The period is a FULL stop, not a quick, breathless rush to the next sentence!

    Far too many text entry dialog boxes take one's nicely formatted text, with two spaces after a period (or question mark) and convert them into only one sentence, thereby, making the comment harder to read!


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