How do I make text entry easier with keyboard shortcuts?

iPhone KeyboardThe iOS device keyboard has some very useful features that make text entry easy and fast. For example, if you reach for a key and press the wrong one, keep your finger on the key, slide it to the correct key, and lift up. The correct character is entered. Here are some of the more common features of the keyboard and some neat shortcuts.

Type different versions of each letter and symbol by tapping and holding each character.

  • To type an uppercase letter: Tap the shift key before typing the letter. You can also hold down on the shift key, slide your finger to the letter you want capitalized, and lift up.

  • To delete a previous character: Tap the delete key. (If you are holding down on a key and decide not to enter it, you can slide your finger off the keyboard to cancel it.)

  • To turn caps lock on: Double Tap the shift key. Tap it again to turn caps lock off. This feature is activated in Settings> General> Keyboard.

  • To type a period and space automatically: Double-tap the space bar. This feature is activated in Settings> General> Keyboard.

  • To show numbers, symbols and punctuation: Tap the Number key (.?123) in the lower left corner of the keypad. For additional symbols, tap the extra symbols key (#+=) in the lower left of the numbers keyboard.

  • To type letters and symbols that aren't on the keyboard: Tap and hold down a character to see similar characters or additional options. For example, if you hold down the "e" key, variations of the letter with different accent marks will be displayed. Slide your finger to the desired variation to enter it. Note that alternate symbols are found on both the letter and number/symbol keyboards. However, not all keys offer alternates.

Explore your keyboard to unleash its full potential.

May-June 2011
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