What Does Autocomplete Mean?

Autocomplete technology is a design where a given autocomplete feature takes partial user input and predicts the final result. This allows for various kinds of efficiency and speedier use of various technologies.


Techopedia Explains Autocomplete

Perhaps the most common and prominent example of autocomplete is in text messaging or smartphone messaging apps. These autocomplete features help with the inherent problem of putting together words and sentences through a touchscreen keypad, which is a labor-intensive task. Autocomplete helps to expedite the entry of long or complex words through using sophisticated NLP (natural language processing) algorithms to predict what a user will need.

Although autocomplete is extremely familiar to most users in the smartphone environment, it plays a role in many other contexts as well. From desktop document editing to critical command line functionality, autocomplete is one of those predictive technologies that assist in decision-support and enhances human user control.


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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.