5/6/229:00 am Get the Most From Your iPhone Virtual Keyboard The iPhone onscreen keyboard is something you probably use often, but do you know all of its time-saving features? Learn how to swipe-type, access character variations, use predictive text, access the hidden trackpad and more. Video Transcript: Hi. This is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's take a look at the features of your iPhone's virtual keyboard. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So whenever you're typing on your iPhone, whether it's in Notes, Mail, a form of Safari, or perhaps writing in Pages, you're going to be using a virtual keyboard at the bottom of the screen. There's a lot you can do with this virtual keyboard besides just typing the standard characters. Let's take a look at all the different features so you can get the most out of it. First, when you're typing you will, of course, tap each key to enter a letter. But what happens if the exact letter you want isn't on the keyboard. Say you want a letter with an accent mark. Well in most cases you can get it by simply tapping and holding a letter and you're going to get variations for that character. For instance accent marks and other things. Then you can just key holding and move your finger over the one that you want and release. Now you've got that variation right there. This also works for some symbols. For instance if I go to the Numbers and Symbols keyboard. Here I can tap and hold some keys to see variations like that or like that or like that. Now when you go to another keyboard, like the Numbers and Symbols keys there, you would usually do that single tap here and select the character that you want and then tap here again to go back to the letters. But you can do that all in one motion. Just tap and hold, drag your finger to the character you want, release and it types the character and the keyboard returns to the previous mode. Now sometimes you'll have slight variations on keyboards in different apps and you'll be able to actually do even more with some keys. In this case if I'm typing a URL in Safari there's a period here that appears next to the space because a period is something you're going to need when typing a URL. But not only is there a period here but you don't even have to type out something like dot com. You can tap and hold the period and then you'll get suggestions like dot com, dot net, dot edu and so on. Just release over the one you want and it types out all those characters. So you can get dot com with one tap and release rather than having to type four different characters. Now notice when you're typing at the beginning of a sentence it automatically has the Shift key down so that anything you type will be capitalized because it's at the beginning of a sentence. Well, if you want to capitalize something else you would have to tap the Shift key and then tap the letter and then it will type that letter capitalized and then the Shift key is released. But if you want to type in all caps for a little while you can double tap the Shift key and now you could see it's locked down. So I can type something in all caps and then tap the Shift key to release it. Now when you're at the end of a sentence you may want to put a period there. That would mean tapping here, then tapping the period, then space. Now you can notice how it returns you to the regular keyboard which is handy. But there's an even quicker way to do that. Instead at the end of a sentence just tap space twice and it will know that you mean period space, not two spaces. Now take a look at the little smiley face button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. There's actually two different things that could appear there. Either that face or a globe. Which one depends on how many keyboards you have added. In this case I just have one keyboard, the US English keyboard, and the emoji keyboard, of course. Now if you tap that it switches to the emoji keyboard and I could tap there again and it says ABC to go back to the regular keyboard. But if I tap and hold I will get a List here. I can go to Keyboard Settings or I could choose one of the two keyboards here. There's also some other things which we'll look at in a minute. Now if I go to Keyboard Settings here this is a quick way for me to get to Settings, General, Keyboard. I don't have to go out of the app and into the Settings App. I could jump right here. You're going to notice a lot of switches here. These switches control some of the things I've already talked about and some things I'm going to be talking about shortly. So, for instance, if you find that tapping the space twice doesn't give you period and a space it may be because you've got it switched off here. Other things like Auto Capitalization of the first word that is here. Auto Correction is here and there are a ton more. Now if you go to keyboards here and you add another keyboard you're going to get a list here that will show third party keyboards, something I'll talk about later, but also different languages here. So we can go in and select another keyboard, let's select Japanese and now I have three keyboards here. Now notice that I have the Globe here at the bottom rather than the little happy face. But the face is now here, it's now a key, taking up half the space that was used by the 1,2,3 key there. I could tap this to switch to the emoji viewer and then there's ABC to switch back. Now if I want to switch keyboards, because I've got US and Japanese, I can tap here and it will switch between them. Notice at the bottom briefly indicates which keyboard you are at. Then that goes away. So this will just switch between all the different keyboards I've got. I can still tap and hold and I can get back to keyboard settings or switch to one of these three keyboards. If I had a lot of keyboards, like seven or ten, this might be a quicker way to get to the one that I want. I'll go back into Keyboard Settings here. I can go into Keyboards and let me get rid of this keyboard for now. Now you can see I'm back with just the face here at the bottom left. Now the other thing you can do here, if you tap and hold, is you could switch to one of these one handed keyboards. You've got the left side or right side. So switch to this and it pushes the entire keyboard to one side making it easier to hold the iPhone with one hand and type with your thumb. To get rid of it you can tap here and then go to the other side or the regular keyboard or you can just tap this button right here to expand the keyboard to the regular mode. Notice at the top of the keyboard you've got predictive text here. So as you start typing something it's going to try to predict what it is you're typing. Instead of having to type all of the letters of the word you can skip it and just tap the word there. It types it for you. It even puts a space afterward. The space will actually go away if you decide that's the end of the sentence. I'll put an exclamation point here and see how it replaces the space with that. It's smart enough to know I don't want space and then punctuation. Now notice another thing in the predictions here. The first one is in quotes and it's always exactly what you typed. So here if I were to type space it may autocorrect this to something I don't want. If I want it to be exactly what I've typed so far I can tap here and it will use just that. Another interesting feature of the keyboard is that if you tap a letter and hold it notice that the letter appears above. This is because your finger is covering the key and this way you can see the letter to confirm it's the one that you want. But if you'd rather have that off you can go into Keyboard Settings and it's right here called Character Preview. Now if you want to type an emoji you tap here and you can scroll through all the different emoji. You can tap at the bottom to jump to different categories. But most of the time you're just going to want to search. So you just tap here and then you type what you want to search for. Now note you're going to get different results for different words. So don't assume just because if you typed something like smile and you don't find what it is you're looking for that you're not going to find it if you try a different but similar word like that. The search terms are taken from the definitions of those emoji characters. Sometimes those definitions don't have all of the different key words that you would expect in a search. Also note that predictive text will help you with emoji. You type something like that you're going to see an emoji sometimes appear right there and you can just tap it to select that emoji instead of using a word. One way to quickly type large pieces of text that you use all the time is to go into Keyboard Settings and go to Text Replacement. Here you can add something that uses a shortcut. So some short little set of characters you wouldn't normally type. Then it replaces it with a phrase and it could be a very long phrase. So here, for example, I setup the two characters E7, something I normally wouldn't type to automatically be replaced with a longer email address. Now I just type E7 and then you could see it actually comes up as one of the suggestions up here. I can tap that or just space and it will replace it with that. You could make these really long. They could be a sentence, several sentences, several paragraphs. So you could use them, say, in an email message if you're always responding to the people with the same few paragraphs of help text. You could make that something in predictive text, type a few characters and then it will replace those few characters with that entire long passage. Now one problem a lot of people have when they are editing text is trying to be able to tap in just the right space to put the cursor exactly where they want. It can be difficult. But you can actually use the keyboard down here as a trackpad. If you tap and hold the Spacebar and wait you'll see that all the letters on the keys go away and now you can drag your finger around on the keyboard and the cursor will move like you're using a trackpad on the Mac. So you could position the cursor exactly where you want, release, and it will place it there. Probably the best way to speed up typing on the virtual keyboard is to use Swipe to Type. This is also called Swipe typing or Quick Path. The idea is that instead of taping out each letter you tap the the first letter and hold and then move your finger over to the other letters of that word. Your iPhone will take the path you're using to move your finger and try to predict what word it is that you've typed. It won't always get it perfectly right but you don't have to actually go exactly to every letter for it to figure things out. So let's try it here. I'll tap on t. Move to h. Move to e and release. You could see it got that word right. Now I can try some other words. You can usually go a lot faster than this. You can see when it gets it wrong, in this case it capitalized fox for some reason you can usually find the correct one right here. You can also, instead of selecting this one, hit the Delete key and it will delete the entire last word. So you can try again. With a little practice you can do it pretty quickly and figure out that you don't really need to be that precise when doing it to get good results. Of course an even faster way to type is not to type at all but use Dictation which is this little microphone here. This works great if you're in a quiet place but, of course, if there are other people around or a lot of noise then you're going to have to just use the keyboard. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog period. Tap that keyboard there and it will dismiss dictation and go right back into regular mode. Another thing to know about keyboards is that apps can have their own. We already say that a little bit with Safari. But here you can see Numbers has a very different looking keyboard. As a matter of fact the keyboard will change based on the format of the cell. Here's a number formatted cell and it has got this keyboard. But I could switch to the regular typing keyboard to enter text. There's the keyboard for Calendar dates. There a keyboard for Durations. There's even a special keyboard for entering formulas here with math symbols at the top. Quick access to formulas and functions in that button there. Now if you're ever typing and you want to dismiss the keyboard, maybe because you're actually reading a note, you're not actually adding anything new to it, the way to dismiss the keyboard is to do a quick little swipe down in the middle of the screen. Not over the keyboard at all. So a quick swipe like that and you can see the keyboard is dismissed. Just tap anywhere in the text and a cursor will appear again and the keyboard will come up. Now another thing I should mention about keyboards is if you want a larger keyboard, of course, turn your iPhone horizontally. This, of course, won't work in all apps. The app has to support horizontal mode. But something like Notes does and you may find it easier to type on a larger keyboard like this. In some apps, like Messages, you may actually get additional features. For instance Messages has a special key at the bottom right. You tap that and now you can actually handwrite text and send that as a message. The key only appears if you put your keyboard in horizontal mode. Now I mentioned third party keyboards before. You get those in the Mac App Store. They actually come as Apps and the Apps add those third party keyboards. So search for Keyboards in the App Store and then scroll through and see what comes up. Some of these are really useful for major companies. Like there is one for Goggle. There's one for Microsoft. Others are just more of a design choice. They are basically the same keyboard but you can use different colors or background images behind them. Some have really special features like Grammar Tools and all sorts of different things. Being able to find different animated GIF's to put into messages. There are lots of different third party keyboards. You don't really need to have a third party keyboard for anything but you may find one of these useful for what you do. Then when you add an app that includes a third party keyboard you would go in here and you would see them listed here as third party keyboards and you could just add them to the currently active keyboards. So they don't appear by default. You have to go into settings and add them. I hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: iPhone (299 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 2 Responses to “Get the Most From Your iPhone Virtual Keyboard” Claudio 2 years ago Awesome concise work... Love it... I now found an Egyptian Heiroglyph Unicode... Wondering if there is a way to get them into a keyboard? Radha 2 years ago Thank you! What a useful video. I learned a lot! Comments Closed.