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Five iPad 2 Tips in Five Days: Tip 5 - iPad Keyboard Tips Your Mother Never Taught You

By  Jul 22, 2011

Topics: Apple, iPad

Most iPad owners discover fairly rapidly that tapping the space bar on the onscreen keyboard twice automatically inserts a period, a space, and then capitalizes the next letter you type (as long as you've got these preferences enabled in the General section of your iPad's Preferences). But there are other keyboard shortcuts hidden in the iPad's digital keyboard.

  • Most of the time, the auto correct feature does a good job of inserting apostrophes in contractions like can't and won't. But for those times when you want an apostrophe, or single quotation marks, tap the comma key, and hold it just a second longer, until you see the apostrophe key; slide up and lift your finger and you've got an apostrophe. With practice, you can accomplish the same thing with a single swipe-and-lift gesture.
  • The most commonly used accented characters like the é, è and û of Crème Brûlée work in a similar fashion; tap the e key and hold for a fraction of a second, then select the accented version you want (or the a, i,o, u keys).
  • When you need to type an uppercase letter in the middle of a sentence, say for someone's name, instead of tapping the Shift key, and the letter, tap and hold the Shift key, and slide your finger to the letter you want. When you release the letter, you're still in lowercase, but you've entered the single uppercase letter you wanted.
  • If you just want to insert a single number in text, instead of tapping the Symbol/Number key, tapping the number, then tapping the Alphabet key to get the letter keyboard back, try sliding instead: tap and hold the Symbol/Numbers key, then slide your finger to number key you want, wait for the key to highlight, then release. The number appears and so does the letter keyboard.
  • When you're typing a URL in the address bar of Safari, that .com key is awfully convenient. But if you tap and hold the .com key, you can choose .net, .org, .edu, or .us instead.
  • Want an ellipses character? Tap and hold the . key; slide your finger up to select an ellipses character.
  • How about dashes and underlines? On the number keyboard, tap and hold the - key to see these other symbols.