Keyboard: Advanced Features

Typing on the iPad is relatively straightforward, especially if you’re mainly writing short messages or searches. However, for those that use the iPad to write lists, articles, letters, and other long-form documents, there a few hidden keyboard features that are incredibly useful.

Key Flicks

You do not need to switch keyboards to insert numbers or punctuation marks. You can use keyboard flicks to insert secondary characters from the primary keyboard.

Each key on the primary keyboard displays a secondary character above in light grey. To select a secondary character, place your finger on the key and slide down.

Turn the Keyboard into a Trackpad

When writing, we often need to reposition the cursor to revise text. Previously, repositioning the cursor required placing your finger directly on the text (so that the magnifying glass displays) and sliding it to the desired location.

However, there is an easier way to reposition the cursor on the iPad - turn the keyboard into a trackpad. Simply place two fingers on the keyboard at the same time and slide them to move the cursor to desired location.

Keyboard - Trackpad Mode.gif

Selecting Text: the Traditional Method

Cut, copy, and paste are familiar tools for anyone that regularly writes on a computer. To use these tools on an iPad, you must first select text.

The traditional method for selecting text involves a few steps:

  1. Tap and hold your finger on the desired text until the menu display
  2. Tap the Select button
  3. Place your find on a drag point and slide to adjust selection
  4. Choose the option for cut, copy, or paste
Keyboard---Select-Tradation (1).gif

Using the Trackpad to Select Text

You can also select text using the trackpad:

  1. Move the cursor to the desired location. 
  2. Next, place two fingers on the keyboard to activate trackpad mode, but do not move them until the drag points display. 
  3. Once the drag points appear, slide your fingers to highlight text. 
  4. Tap on the highlighted text and options for cut, copy, and paster will display.

Generation Connect is a technology training company that develops tutorials, videos, and printed guides. Learn more about our Beyond the Basics iPad eBook.