PadGadget’s iPad Tips: Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts Main

If you thought you knew everything there is to know about your iPad, you are probably wrong. Apple’s tablet has a lot of features that aren’t obvious and sometimes need to be pointed out in order for you to realize they are there. Last week, we told you some of the tricks for moving around on your iPad using multi touch gestures. Did you know that you could split your virtual keyboard in half by pinching open? That is just one of many things we are going to tell you about today in our iPad Tips series.

First lets start with some very simple shortcuts that you probably already know, but we want to cover the basics.

As mentioned above, you can split your keyboard screen in half. If you prefer having left and right keys, leaving the middle open for viewing, just use the pinch-to-open gesture while you are touching the keyboard. To put it back together again, pinch to close.

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If you want to add a period to the end of a word, all you have to do is tap the space bar twice. The iPad will also automatically capitalize the next letter for you.

Instead of switching back and forth between the letter keyboard and number keyboard by tapping the numbers section [.?123] key, you can grab a number by holding down the numbers section key and then dragging your finger to which every number (or symbol) you want. When you let go, the iPad will automatically revert to the letter keyboard again.

Did you know that your iPad includes emoticons? If you tap the key that looks like a globe, you’ll bring up Apple’s included “Emoji” keyboard.

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Now, lets get into some of the more secretive features.

The iPad’s keyboard has a lot of alternative keys. You just need to know where to look. Below is a list of many keys that, when you touch and hold, will bring up alternative letters and symbols. Once the list appears, simply drag your finger to the desired option and then let go.

While using the letters section of the keyboard:

The question mark/period key brings up double quotation marks.

The exclamation point/comma brings up single quotes.

Touching and holding the capitalization arrow activates Caps Lock (tap the arrow again to unlock capitalization).

The letter “n” brings up ñ and ń.

The letter “c” brings up ç, ć, and č.

You get the idea.

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While using the numbers section of the keyboard:

The period brings up an ellipsis.

The question mark brings up an inverted question mark.

The exclamation point brings up an inverted exclamation point.

The single quote brings up three different types of single quote options.

The double quote brings up five different double quote options, including the double left and right arrows: << and >>

The dollar sign brings up a monetary symbol for five different countries.

The dash brings up short dash, long dash, and a solid bullet point.

The zero brings up the degree symbol.

As you can see, touching and holding different keys on your iPad’s keyboard will bring up a lot of alternative keys you never knew you had.

If you don’t touch type on the iPad (who can, right?) and want to be sure you are alerted whenever the iPad autocorrects you, turn on Speak Auto-text to hear the corrected word. Go to your settings app and select “General,” and then “Accessibility.” In this section, you’ll see the vision accessibility features. Toggle the “Speak Auto-text” feature on and every time you misspell a word, the correction will be spoken aloud to you.

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The best part of keyboard shortcuts is that you can create your own. Apple makes it easy to let you turn phrases you regularly use into acronyms by customizing shortcut keys. For example, you can turn “idk” into “I don’t know” by adding the shortcut to your keyboard options.

Go to your settings app, and select “General,” and then “Keyboard.” In the keyboard section, tap the “Add New Shortcut…” tab and enter a phrase that you know you’ll write a lot. For example, if you tend to write, “You think your funny, but you’re not.” You can shorten the writing time by creating the shortcut, “yt.”

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That’s it for this week’s iPad tips. We hope you know a little more about your iPad’s keyboard now. Happy typing.


About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik