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I am someone that is pretty forgetful and have the tendency to not remember exact sentences that trigger automations on the Shortcuts App.

This leads to me having to open the app every time I want to trigger an automation to see what's its name. Since I have to open the app and see the actual sentence, I often just click it instead of just telling Siri the sentence.

I would like to set several sentences as the triggers for Shortcuts actions so that I can associate more generic sentences to the correct action.

Example:

I want to preheat the car.

- "Hey Siri, preheat the car."
- "Hey Siri, warmup the car."
- "Hey Siri, I'm going to drive."
- "Hey Siri, heat the car."
- "Hey Siri, cooldown the car."

All of those sentences should trigger the same action. So can I define several sentences as a trigger for the shortcuts when interacting with Siri?

Or, is the only input going to be exactly what you type in the name of the shortcut action?

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3 Answers 3

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No such options, only work arounds as of iOS 16.4

There is no direct, dedicated option to do that out of the box, nor is there any jailbreak tweaks that would amend the OS so that it have.

Work around (confirmed from iOS 14.3 through iOS 16.4)

One not-great work around is duplicating the Shortcut and renaming it as the title is equal to the trigger sequence required to be told to Siri.

Step by step guide:

  1. Create the desired Shortcut.
  2. Long press on its tile or icon until it swells up, and the menu bar comes up;
  3. Choose “Duplicate”;
  4. On the top right corner of the duplicate, tap on the triple-dot menu;
  5. Once in the shortcut, tap yet again on a triple-dot menu around the top right corner area of the screen;
  6. Tap in the text field of the Shortcut title, and provide with an alternative trigger by re-titling it.
  7. Repeat 1-6 as many times as new triggers is required.

This likely works with all iOS 14.x.x. versions, and potentially earlier.

Minimizing prompt entry labor (required Jailbreak, tested on iOS 14.3)

This needs AutoTouch, preferably a paid license, the free trial does all sorts of errors.

Enter all your possible prompts for a short cut in different lines in the Notes app then record the cresting of one duplicate of a shortcut you previously put in a shortcut album of the original.

Start recording the AutoTouch sequence, and move the new duplicate in the first shortcut tile position.

Go to the Notes app, select the top line of text so that it will delete the next-line character too and move the next line of prompt one line up in one swoop.

Back to the Shortcuts app, paste the name in the duplicate, and stop recording.

Now, setting the repeats of the replay of AutoTouch, set the number to be equal to the lines of prompts in Notes, and start.

Leave the phone be for a bit until it finishes, and you will have a shortcut with all the prompts you wanted.

Once you have the AutoTouch recorded sequence, you will only have to give the alternative prompts in Notes in different lines for a single shortcut, and just run it similarly.

Basically, this allows you to use the notes app as the entry interface of the alternative prompts, and the AutoTouch will take care of the rest.

This is not a bullet proof automation, however, AutoTouch can screw up repeating the exact location of the touch, unfortunately.

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As of iOS 16, there is no facility to allow for synonyms that Siri can activate a Shortcut as you describe. However, with a little creative use of Shortcuts’ Lists action and Voice Dictation, we can make this work.

I’ve made the template available for download: My Car Template. This will need to be edited to launch your existing shortcut, otherwise it will only play a sound or output a “Huh?” notification banner.

Create a Voice Wrapper Shortcut

This Shortcut is going to accept additional voice dictation as input for processing. You’re going to want to call this something simple like “My Car” so you can by saying something like: “Hey Siri…My Car” and go from there. Obviously, you can change the name of the wrapper to fit your needs when identifying it with “Hey Siri…”

Create a List of Items

For this example, I created two entires: “Start car” and “Warm car”. See below. It is important that the list items be in Sentence Case as this is how Dictation is going to capture your voice. Create as many of these entries as you like to meet your needs; I created two for this example.

My Car Template — List View

Accept Dictated Text and Assign to Variable

In this step, I assign the output from Dictation to the variable VPrompt. This will be used in the main logic of the script later.

My Car Template — Dictate Text & VAR

Dictation is set to stop listening after a pause; the default setting. Expand the Dictation settings to modify this if needed.

Main Logic - Check Dictated Text Against List Items

This is where the magic happens. Here we have a Repeat Loop that will go through each element in the List that was defined earlier.

If VPrompt is equal to the RepeatItem then it will will execute an action and stop processing more items. Here I have it set to Play a Sound (a placeholder) for example purposes, but this is where you would run your “Start Car Shortcut” that you’ve already created.

Main Logic

It’s also super important to note that the If Statement does nothing else — remove the Else and Otherwise conditions. We want this to continue looping until it either finds a match or runs out of items.

What happens when it runs out of items?

This is the EndRepeat portion of the loop. When the logic exits this part of the loop it means it couldn’t match your dictated text with anything on the list which then prompts the “Huh?” notification to appear indicating it didn’t understand you. You can modify this to play a sound/alert or give you a different notification. This is just a placeholder for a custom action.

TL;DR

While not the ideal solution of allowing Siri to respond to synonyms to launch the same Shortcut, a little creative use of Lists, Dictation, and IF/THEN logic we can get close by Using “Hey Siri” to launch a wrapper that listens for additional commands. Download the My Car Template (fully functional, but not practical) to get started

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You could try System Preferences / Keyboard / Text. Click + below to add a new text shortcut. Choose something short and easy to remember. Then define the longer, full version. perhaps you could somehow trigger the shorter version with Siri (one that's easy to remember), and that would trigger the longer, full version.

You might be able to set this up using Soundflow (automation platform that works with all apps, not just music), or Keyboard Maestro.

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    I feel like I expressed myself wrongly when asking the question, I was asking how to add more than a trigger for an action on the shortcuts app, not on the keyboard. :) Feb 23, 2021 at 9:36

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