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10 Useful iPad Keyboard Tricks

April 9, 2012

The iPad’s virtual keyboard contains many features that may not be apparent upon first glance. Check out these 10 tips. You’re going to love them!

  1. Caps Lock - Sure, typing in all caps is the digital equivalent of shouting and is often frowned upon by message recipients. But there are times when you need type an acronym (or emphasize a point for good reason). In those circumstances, simply double tap one of the two arrow keys to place the virtual keyboard in caps lock mode.
  2. Add Diacritics - Want to an acute accent a letter or add a special character, like a circumflex or umlaut? Doing so isn’t very obvious, but it isn’t difficult, either. Press your finger to a letter for a second, and a small menu containing the various diacritical marks mapped to that letter will open. Select a character to place it in the text.
  3. Add Currency Symbols - This tip works in the same fashion as adding accents and special characters. Press and hold the $ (dollar) sign to bring up icons of other world currencies, including the British Pound and Japanese Yen.
  4. Quickly Add a Period - Did you know that you don’t have to tap the period icon in order to place the dot on screen? You can also tap the Space bar with two fingers, which not only drops a period, but adds a space between it and the next word so you don’t break the typing flow. It also conveniently caps the next letter! Note: You can also do this by double-tapping the Space bar.
  5. Insert an Apostrophe - By default, iOS adds apostrophes to certain letter combinations. If you type “thats,” the virtual keyboard will transform it into “that’s.” If you need to place an apostrophe manually, there’s a remarkably simple way of doing it instead of hitting the “.?123” key and selecting the symbol, bring a finger to the exclamation point key and swipe up. (Not too fast, though.)
  6. Choose a Site Extension - “.com” appears on the virtual keyboard when you’re typing within Safari’s address bar, but it isn’t the only website extension available. Tapping and holding that key opens a small menu containing the “.net,” “.org,” “.us,” and “.edu” extensions. Woo hoo!
  7. Choose New Marks - You aren’t limited to the default quotation marks or dashes. If you’d like to use a longer dash or a different set of quotation marks, tap and hold the respective key to open a menu and make your pick.
  8. Add the Degree Symbol - Sometimes you just have to talk temperatures. Hold the zero key to open a menu that contains the degree symbol. Select it to insert the symbol into text.
  9. Choose a Different Keyboard Language - Multilingual readers will appreciate this tip. Tap Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Keyboard to open a list of selectable languages including Chinese, Emoji, Hebrew, and Russian. After you select a language, return to the virtual keyboard and tap the globe icon to the left of the Space bar to cycle between tongues. It even supports right to left typing, depending on the language selected.
  10. Choose a Different Keyboard Layout - QWERTY may be the default keyboard layout, but it certainly isn’t the only format available. If you tap Settings > General > Keyboard, you can select one of two other keyboard layout options: AZERTY and QWERTZ. These option are only available to languages written in the Latin alphabet.

Thanks to Jeffrey L. Wilson!


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