Send text messages

Table of contents:

Send text messages
Send text messages

Texting from your mobile is a quick and easy way to keep in touch. Anyone can learn how to send a text message from their mobile, with a little patience and practice. Ultimately, this will feel as natural as sending an email or making a phone call. Keep reading for more specific information.


Method 1 of 3: Sending text messages with a smartphone

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Step 1. Select "Messages" from the main menu

On Apple devices, this icon looks like a cartoon speech bubble. On the Samsung Galaxy and other phones, the icon looks like an open envelope.

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Step 2. Create a new message

On the phone, an icon appears in the top right corner of the Messages menu, and it looks like a pen and tablet. This will open a new message window. For example, on other phones, you can choose "Create a new message" from a menu.

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Step #3. Add a contact to the message

You can either choose a contact from your contacts list, or enter a new phone number and add it to your contacts if necessary. You can also choose to send the message to multiple people.

  • When you start typing the name of the person you want to message, you should be presented with a number of options that automatically put the phone number in the "To" field.
  • Alternatively, you can also select someone from Contacts to send a message. If you click on a name in the list, simply select "Send Message" (or something similar) from the list of available options and the phone will open the appropriate window.
  • If you've messaged someone before, a window with active or open conversations will open when you select "Messages" from the main menu. Scroll through the list and select the conversation you want to reopen.
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Step 4. Write your message

If you select the blinking cursor in the message box, a keyboard will appear on the screen. Use the keyboard to type the message you want to send.

  • Alternatively, you can also select the microphone icon located near the keyboard on the iPhone to send a voice message. After selecting this icon, speak your message as clearly as possible. This is useful if your typing skills are not that strong, or if you want to make the message more personal.
  • Check your typing for errors. If you make a spelling mistake while typing the text, some phones try to guess the correct word and give you an alternative to choose from. If you want to use the substitute, type a space and the word will be added automatically. If you don't want to use the word, click the cross next to the alternative word to cancel.
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Step 5. Send your message

When the message is ready, click send. Most smartphones will display the conversation in a comic-style "speech bubble". That way you can watch the conversation again, or refer to it later.

The iPhone and other smartphones show ellipses in a speech bubble when the other person is typing. It may take a few minutes for the message to arrive, so if you see this icon, you can wait until the other person is ready before responding again. This helps to keep the conversation flowing

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Step 6. Send a photo or video if you want

To send a picture message, select the Camera icon to the left of the message field on an Apple product, or select "Send Image" under your messaging options on another phone. You can select a photo you've already taken on your phone, or take a new photo to send. Once you've selected the photo, click 'Use' and 'Send'.

Alternatively, you can also use a photo from your photo album. Under options you can select 'Messages' and then a contact person to send the image

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Step 7. Adjust the text message options

Familiarize yourself with the options for sending text messages with your mobile, which will make this a lot more fun. You can adjust notification settings, specify whether or not your phone vibrates or makes a specific sound when you receive or send text messages.

In message settings (go to Settings > Send text messages) you can toggle between turning "Send Read Receipts" on or off. This will notify the person you're messaging that you've opened the message as soon as they send the text. This is useful if you're sending time-sensitive messages, such as directions, or if you're trying to secretly message someone. Then they don't have to click "ok" because you already know they've seen the message

Method 2 of 3: Send text messages on older phones

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Step 1. Select Messages, Text, or an SMS icon from the main menu

SMS stands for Short Messaging Service. The naming changes by phone. Scroll to the icon and press the Select or Enter button.

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Step 2. Select the option to create a new message

You will see a blank text screen.

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Step 3. Enter the recipient in the address bar

This is either a phone number or the first letter of the person in your contact list. You can also browse the list and select the correct person.

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Step 4. Start typing your message by using the keys

Each number on a key corresponds to the indicated letters. By pressing a key one or more times, you select one of the letters indicated on that key. For example, "2" stands for the letters A, B and C, so clicking the 2 once will select the letter A. To type a B or C, enter the 2 twice or thrice, respectively.

For example, if you want to type "Hi," press the 4 twice in quick succession, then the same key three times in quick succession. The pauses take a while to get used to, so practice before trying to type faster. If you made a mistake, erase the letters you mistyped and start over

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Step 5. Use predictive text if necessary

T9 is a tool for guessing words you are trying to spell as you type, so you only have to type each key once, per letter. This is the default on some older phones and can be confusing for first-time text messaging users. Once you've got the hang of it, this feature can make sending messages a lot faster and easier.

  • To type "Hi," just press 4 twice. T9 processes the possible letters (GHI) and guesses that you are trying to type "Hi".
  • If you choose to use this, make sure your phone is set to "T9 mode." You have to switch this on/off with the hash or with the asterisk on your phone.
  • Make sure that T9 indicates the correct word. "Good", "home", and "disappeared" can all be spelled by pressing 4663, so make sure the word displayed is the one you want. On most phones, you press the asterisk key to display another word.
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Step 6. Add a space after you finish a word

This is usually done by pressing 0. Then you can type a new word.

Inserting a space resets T9 so you can enter a new set of letters from the next word

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Step 7. Add punctuation marks with the 1

You may have noticed that the 1 does not stand for a letter, but can instead be used to enter all kinds of punctuation marks.

Pressing the 1 shows a period, and a comma twice in quick succession. Keep pressing the 1 quickly until you find the desired punctuation mark

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Step 8. To send your message, go to "Options" and select "Send


If you are asked for the phone number of the person you want to send the message to, type the number directly, or look it up in your mobile phone book

Method 3 of 3: The basic text messaging etiquette

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Step 1. Use text lingo and abbreviations sparingly

"LOL" and "BRB" are abbreviations that most people have come across somewhere. Still, overusing abbreviations like omitting letters and using acronyms in your text messages can make them harder to read for some people and make you seem immature. Use whole words and sentences whenever possible, and use punctuation marks.

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Step 2. Check the tone of your text

As you get used to sending text messages, your texts may sound nastier than they're meant to be. Try using words like "please" and "thanks" to soften the tone of your messages.

  • "Come and pick me up" sounds pretty rude compared to "Will you pick me up in a minute? Thanks!"
  • Never try to give bad news or express frustration through a text message. Save this for calls over the phone.
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Step #3. Try to handle text messages well

Increasingly, people are using text messaging as the first choice in communication. When you're first getting started with this, it can be difficult to determine when, how, and if you should respond. A quick "Okay" or "Thank you" to let people know you've received and read the message is often greatly appreciated. You can of course also give us a call if you prefer.

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Step 4. Put personal conversations over playing with your phone

Situations where it is inappropriate to start a phone call are often inappropriate to start writing text messages. No one likes to sit at the table with someone who is constantly checking their phone for new messages.

If you're sending text messages in a quiet and quiet place, such as the library or a movie theater, make sure all sounds and notifications are turned off. The ringtones you love are just as annoying during a movie as they are during a conversation

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Step 5. Get to the point

Text messages are most effective when written succinctly. Be sensible and save dramatic pauses and intricate details of a story for moments when you are talking to someone. Likewise, don't get frustrated if you message someone with just "hi" and they don't reply back in an IM chat way.

Try asking specific questions or offer direct information. Instead of "How's it going" ask a friend you want to hang out with, "Shall we go get some sushi?" If you want to talk to them longer, give them a call


  • Cell phones come in many different styles. The two main types are the keypad and the keyboard. The keyboard contains numbers and letters on the keys. The keyboard resembles a full QWERTY keyboard that would be used for a computer.
  • On most phones, the OK or middle button can also send a message, instead of going to options all the time.
  • You can also use a website like,, or to send text messages from computers to phones.
  • Make sure you send the message to the correct recipient. There is nothing more terrible than a message that ends up in the wrong place.
  • Familiarize yourself with where the “Select” key is located and learn how to quickly access your phone book. If you have trouble with this, check your phone's manual to find these features of your phone.

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