By Paula Bostrom on Tue, 10/15/2013
Our iPhones and iPads are capable of amazing things, but most of us only use a small percentage of their abilities. In this weekly column I share tips and tricks for beginners, or anyone who wants to harness the full power of their iDevice. This week, I'm going to give you some tips for the Keyboard.
1. Currency Symbols
For those of us living in the U.S., Apple's iOS Keyboard automatically shows a dollar symbol after tapping the 123 symbol to get to punctuation and numbers. But if, for instance, you need to type in a British Pound, there's also a way to do that. Tapping and holding on the dollar sign will bring up currency symbols for the cent, euro, Yen, and British Pound.
2. Type Faster
Looking for a way to type sentences quicker? If you press the Keyboard's space bar twice after a word it will automatically insert a period and a space to make room for the next sentence.
3. Typing web addresses
You may have noticed that the ".com" key is missing in Safari in iOS 7. To get the shortcut back, if for example you are typing in the Search field, tap and hold the period key, then slide your finger to the ".com" button (or other address field, such as ".org" or ".edu").
4. Using accent symbols
If you happen to write Spanish words often, you want to make sure you have the proper accented characters, as with any other language. To do that, hold the letter you want to type (for example, to type an é, tap and hold the E key). You'll see a pop-up menu with several accented characters to choose from. Just tap on the one you want and it will appear in your typed word.
5. Insert punctuation like a pro
I like to think I've gotten pretty fast while typing on my iPhone, as I use it so often for email, etc. Now I've found an even quicker way to insert punctuation. To insert a question mark or comma, we usually tap the 123 key and then tap the ABC key to get back to the letter keyboard. A faster way to do this is to tap and hold the 123 key. While holding, slide your finger over the punctuation key you need and then release. The keyboard will insert the symbol and automatically switch back to the ABC keyboard so you can keep typing.
One more: Several weeks ago, I showed you another Keyboard trick that's fun for everyone. You can learn how to add emoji characters by clicking here.