Text on Nine Keys

What Does Text on Nine Keys Mean?

Text on nine keys (T9) is a predictive text technology mostly used in mobile phones and other devices with standard nine-key keypads. This input technology helps in allowing words to be entered with only a few keystrokes or key presses. Text on nine keys helps in easier typing of messages as well as faster typing.


Techopedia Explains Text on Nine Keys

Text on nine keys technology works with a combination of the group of letters entered with keystrokes and quick access to a dictionary. Unlike the multi-tap approach used in conventional keyboard text entry, words are entered with a single press of each key representing a letter. The technology searches the dictionary for possible words corresponding to the sequence of keys entered and frequency of usage. In other words, words are predicted with fewer key presses and the user does not need to type out the whole word. Words which are frequently used but not listed in the dictionary can be added to the dictionary database. The choice of words and the process becomes faster the more it is used, as text on nine keys gains familiarity with the user’s commonly used phrases and words.

Text on nine keys helps in reducing the number of key presses and keystrokes to get the required word. This in turn leads to faster typing and often one-handed typing. Text on nine keys technology can also aid as an assistive technology for people with disabilities.

Text on nine keys is most often used in short message service and in wireless application protocol.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.