Using Your Keyboard as a Trackpad in iOS 9

A new feature in iOS 9 for the iPad is the ability to use the onscreen keyboard as a trackpad. If you tap the keyboard with two fingers you can drag the cursor around the screen to easily place it in text. You can also tap, wait, and then drag to select text. Other similar gestures allow you to select a word, sentence or paragraph. Using this feature is tricky and can take some practice.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Using Your Keyboard as a Trackpad in iOS 9”

    scott
    4 years ago

    I upgrade to IOS 9 last night. I have tried and tried this and it does;t work. It will not make the keyboard disappear, instead it just inserts two letters that the two fingers happened to have hit when I tried tapping the keyboard simultaneously with 2 fingers. Perhaps there is some setting in iOS to engage this feature?

      4 years ago

      Which device are you using? It works on all iPads. But only the new iPhones. Hopefully Apple will put this on some more iPhones at some point.

        Carl Hammel
        4 years ago

        Gary,
        One of the single most annoying things to users is to be told about a new trick like this, then spend 10 minutes getting it to work, falling, and ONLY THEN reading the comments to find out that it only works on new iPhone. For heaven’s sake man, PREFACE your instructions with the notification that it only works, in this instance, on new iPhones.

          4 years ago

          Sorry about that. It was widely reported that this would be available on the iPhone when iOS 9 launched. All those reports were wrong. I only mention in the video that it works on iPads because I was skeptical of those reports.

    scott
    4 years ago

    OHHHH , that answers it. I tried on an iPhone 6. Thanks!

    Sherif
    4 years ago

    I’m trying it on the iPad Air but switching to a trackpad doesn’t work.

      4 years ago

      Should definitely work on all iPad models. I even used it on an old iPad 2. Are you sure you have upgraded to the new iOS 9?

    John Carter
    4 years ago

    I do not see the extra keyboard icons you show in the video. Do they only appear in certain apps? In Mail and Notes on my iPhone, I cannot get the two finger slide to work, but it works on my iPad. All devices are updated to 9.0.

      4 years ago

      Perhaps they have me condensed on your keyboard. Do you see a thin thin line with a white dash you can drag up? As for the trackpad, it doesn’t work in older iPhones.

    Ray
    4 years ago

    Just found the thin thin line you mention… so now not only can I tap as you suggest but I have found predictive text and shortcuts. Many thanks, Gary.

    Wendy Farkas
    4 years ago

    You mentioned “undo” near the end of your video. Is that available to iPhone users or only iPad? How do you access it – I’ve been wanting this functionality for a long time, ’cause my fingers make so many mistakes. Thanks, Gary.

      4 years ago

      You’ve had Undo on the iPhone for a long time — many years. Just shake. Works in most apps where you type text. Oh, and on the iPhone 6 plus (maybe other models too) you can turn your iPhone horizontal for an extended keyboard that shows cut, copy, paste and undo buttons on the left.

    Mike Atkins
    4 years ago

    When I tried the two finger tap and delay to go into selection mode in Pages and Word it didn’t appear to work but it was just that the selection handles don’t appear until I start to drag. In Notes the drag handles appear before I drag. The quick two finger tap and lift worked fine in both

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