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Glossary definition of T9

Glossary definition of T9

Also known as: Predictive Text Input

T9 (Predictive Text Input) is a system designed by Tegic Communications Inc. (a subsidiary of America Online Inc.) to make text message writing faster and easier.

Also called Text on 9 Keys, T9 is a software application that allows text to be typed in using the limited keyboard of fixed and mobile phones, by pressing just one key for each letter instead of the multi-tapping alternative of scrolling through the letters. Each key can represent 3 or 4 letters, and as the words are keyed in, the T9 dictionary recognises (or predicts) the most likely word that the user intended. In the cases where the prediction is wrong, or the word is not in the dictionary, the user can change the word manually, and the new word can be stored for future use.

T9 Predictive Text Input is now available in over 40 world languages. A mobile phone with T9 includes a database dictionary pre-loaded with thousands of the most commonly used words, chat slang, proper names, abbreviations, emoticons, and punctuation. As text is entered, the software decodes the keystrokes and scans the internal dictionary for matching words. The T9 database can learn the user's own words and slang, so customising the database to the user's personality.

T9 also supports mixed alphanumerics and symbols, and a user can store their personal chat phrases, emoticons, email addresses, and URLs.

Because T9 Speeds up text messaging by automatically recognising and finishing commonly used words as they are typed, it is often used in combination with the Short Message Service (SMS). Tegic Communications has licensed T9 to many mobile phone manufacturers, and so the system is generally used in phones worldwide.

Tegic Communications Inc. have a website at