4/20/12

MacMost Now 699: Ten iPad Typing Tips

There are many tips and tricks you can use to make it easier to type on the iPad. You can hold down keys to bring up special characters, ignore apostrophes and learn to tap-hold-release to get to some characters with less effort. Also learn about splitting and undocking the keyboard on the iPad.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now, on today's episode let me show you ten tips for typing on the iPad. So the first technique I want to show you is the ability to tap and hold a character to bring up other characters. So, for instance, I'm going to tap and hold 'E' and you can see it brings up all sorts of different 'E's with different accent marks over them and I can simply drag my finger and select one. Other characters like 'O' and 'I' have these as well just as you would expect. In addition, you can go throughout your keyboard and look for them. So, for instance, here the dollar sign, can bring up different currencies, um, some of these characters can be brought up like whereas other characters don't have anything. You tap and hold and nothing comes up. So you want to experiment throughout the keyboard and see which characters have something that you commonly use and get to it a little easier this way. Now another thing, when you're typing a document and you're typing full sentences, you don't need to press the period and then space to start a new sentence. Instead, you can simply double tap the space bar, that will insert both the period and the space and then also notice, of course, when you start a new sentence after a period the shift key is automatically lit up because the first letter is always capitalized and you don't have to, hit the shift key to start capitalizing on a new sentence. Now if you wanna go and type a special character, say you wanna type just a simple number you would normally tap the bottom left hand corner, it changes to the numeric keyboard, you tap the character and then you have to switch back. There, that's 3 taps. But, you can do that with one tap by simply tapping on the lower left hand corner, drag to the number and release and the keyboard automatically snaps back so you can quickly type different characters just by tap, drag, and release. Now, typing apostrophes is, something that it's tough to do. You type that, go to the other keyboard, type the apostrophe, and finish typing like that. However, you can do it quicker in one of two ways. First is you can simply, for an apostrophe, tap and hold the exclamation mark, or the comma, key there to get, get it. Or, you can ignore it and substitution will automatically put the most common contractions and such, with the apostrophe in them and you can just skip typing that character all together. Then one of the cool things you can do on the iPad it works best if we go over to portrait mode, we can then split the keyboard. I gonna tap the bottom right hand corner, hold it down and I hit split. I can split the keyboard and then I can also tap on the bottom right corner and drag up and down and position the keyboard where I want and be able to type with, basically, my thumbs. Another thing, if you're going to use this, is that notice that if you wanted to type say the letter 'y' with your left thumb, you could do it. The key is there, it's just a phantom key. You can see how I typed it there and you didn't see the 'y' over here light up. Um, so there are phantom keys for each one of these, the 'y', 'h', and 'b' on this side. The 't', 'g', and 'v' on the other side. You can also simply move the keyboard by undocking it like that and you can drag it up and down so if it's more comfortable to type with the keyboard at the top or somewhere in the middle or not quite at the bottom, maybe the way you're holding it. Then you can position it where you want and it will stay there until you drag it back down to the bottom or, select and hold dock and merge. Now I've got two tips for typing capital letters. The first is, if you wanna go all caps, double tap on the shift key and you can see it turns all blue there and now you can type in all caps. Tap the shift key for it to go away. The other thing is you can also use the shift drag, or the tap drag, to type a capital letter. So, for instance, if I wanted to capitalize this next word I can tap on the shift key, drag over to the letter and release. Like that. So you can kind of do a capital letter very quickly that way. Now if you wanna undo something you can give your iPad a little shake and I find that this doesn't work all the time. Instead you can go to the alternate keyboards and you've got an undo key there that you can use. And if you go to the special symbols key, keyboard you've got a redo button. Course in pages here you also have the ability to undo and redo here from the toolbar, but that's not in all apps. Now positioning the cursor can be tricky because there's no arrow keys on the iPad keyboard, so what you wanna do is you wanna tap and hold and you get this little magnifier here and that allows you to place the cursor, exactly where you want it. Release and then continue typing from there. Now one of the best typing tips you'll find if you go into the preferences, and go into general, then keyboard and here you'll find, first of all, the settings for a lot of the different things we just talked about. For instance, enabling caps lock or the period shortcut of double having the spacebar, so you wanna make sure they're turned else some of those may not work, same thing with split keyboard there. Um, also, you've got short cuts. Now look at episode number 624 for details about shortcuts, but basically, you can go and create cool shortcuts for something, for anything. Say for your name or a common email address or anything else you type and if you type those characters, you can then get that full thing. So, or instance, I just did that with 'ay' will bring up the word 'anything', um, and now if I jump to pages and type 'ay' you can see it substitutes that word for me. There's 10 tips that will make typing on the iPad a little easier and of course most of those work on other iOS devices, like the iPod touch and the iPhone as well. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

8 Responses to “MacMost Now 699: Ten iPad Typing Tips”

  1. Elaine says:

    Wow – thanks Gary!

  2. Marcia says:

    THANK YOU! I am wondering though, why on my keyboard it doesn’t have the speaker key on the left side of the space bar???

    • That’s the dictation button. It is only on the iPhone 4S and new iPad. Even if you have one of those, you have to turn on dictation in the Settings.

  3. Kris says:

    Gary, I have the iPad2 and I am not able to move the keyboard. I have tapped the hide keyboard key, but it doesn’t move. It will split and move, but I cannot move it up and down. Any ideas as to why this may be happening? Thanks.

    BTW, I love your videos. Very informative.

  4. Bob says:

    Gary, thanks for these tips! Great to find out easier ways to do things especially when you type just about everyday. Thanks for all the information you provide.

  5. Julie says:

    Thanks for the tips. Now I just have to remember them.

  6. Lloyd says:

    I could not get the tap, drag and release of the numbers to work.

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