Having gone into every subtle detail, I’ve compiled the most extensive list of the coolest keyboard tips and tricks for iPhone and iPad. Get the most out of these smart hacks to boost your typing speed!
Every smartphone user depends highly on a software keyboard; especially now when most of our days are spent typing emails, messages, comments, tweets, captions, etc. Even if you have a great external keyboard for your device, mastering these iOS keyboard shortcuts for iPhone and iPad will enhance your experience.
Not just you, very few enjoy dealing with the software keyboard. But thankfully Apple has incorporated various features in its default keyboard to make typing user-friendly. Notably, if you have upgraded to iOS 16 and iPadOS, you are also privy to QuickPath swipe keyboard and custom fonts.
What makes these tricks so handy is that they get rid of the unnecessary taps. In addition, they can drastically switch up your typing speed, after a bit of learning curve.
Enhance your typing experience with iOS keyboard Shortcuts
1. QuickPath swipe keyboard
Earlier you had to download third-party keyboard apps to use a swipe keyboard feature on your iOS devices. However, iOS 13 has changed the scenario by incorporating a QuickPath keyboard. So, now instead of tapping on each letter, you can simply swipe your fingers across the letters and the keyboard will recognize the word.
As always, this might need a bit of practice, but once mastered you would only prefer this style for typing on your handheld devices. For further details about enabling QuickPath swipe keyboard on your iPhone and iPad, check out this article.
2. Install Custom Fonts
Now, that your keypad has been updated to a brand new swipe keyboard, it’s time to add some custom fonts. Usually, a reader guesses your mood by the tone of the message or the emoji you might have added. Now, they can know if you are happy, angry, serious or joking by not just the words but by the font you used.
Whether you are looking for something that is vintage or modern, elaborate or formal, you can add and use these fonts to your keypads. For a detailed tutorial check out our post on how to install and use custom fonts in iOS 13 on iPhone or iPad.
3. Add Numbers or Symbols
Unless you know how to enter numbers or symbols swiftly, your typing will continue to be a bumpy ride. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to enter them thanks to a swipe gesture.
To add a specific number or symbol, touch the (123) number button, swipe to the key you want to enter and then release the finger. The best thing about this gesture is that the keyboard automatically switches back to the QWERTY layout. So, your typing remains smooth sailing!
4. Quickly Enter Capital Letter
Generally, what do we do to enter a capital letter when using the keyboard on iPhone or iPad? Hit the Shift key and then tap on the specific letter. It not just brings our typing to a halt but also takes away the momentum. No longer bear with this productivity killer!
To enter a capital letter more smartly, touch the Shift key and then swipe to the letter you want to add and then release the finger. It’s that simple.
5. Add Accented Special Characters
Typing ‘e’ is quite easy but what about typing ‘é’ or any such accented special character that is not just a tap away? Well, this iPhone keyboard shortcut on iOS 13 makes the feature just a tap away, just a long tap away. That’s right, all you have to do is tap and hold the letter, for instance, ‘e.’
A pop up will offer you alternatives, slide over the character you want and enter. This is also applicable for currency signs; head over to the numeric keyboard (123), tap and hold the $. The pop up will show signs for Euro, Pounds, Yen, Rupees and other common currencies.
6. Disable Pop-up Character Preview
By now you must be quite familiar with the QuickType keyboard’s tiny popup that shows the letter you are about to type. Dubbed as the Character Preview, this feature provides great ease by the sort of zooming in on the letters selected. However, some might not enjoy the feature and think that it’s distracting.
So, you can disable the pop-up character preview from the Settings → General → Keyboard menu; Disable Pop up character preview for a detailed step-by-step tutorial. Notably, this action would not affect the accented special character feature in any way.
7. Switch Language
You are typing a message in English. But suddenly a hilarious joke comes to your mind, and you think that it can be expressed in a better way in your mother tongue or another language of your choice. Your trusty Apple keyboard understands the need and hence supports keyboard layout for most languages.
To add support for the desired language, you will firstly need to enable its keyboard layout. Once done, just touch and hold the globe key and then swipe to the desired language. Alternatively, you can also tap on the same key to jump to the preferred option.
8. Insert Tab Character
As you might have observed that the software keyboard on your device does not have a Tab key, making inserting a tab character on the iPhone or iPad a little tricky. Though not that tricky as you can use the dictation(mic icon) or use text replacement on your iPhone or Mac. Check out this post for the exact procedure.
9. Access Keyboard Settings In A Jiffy
Imagine a situation where you are writing a note on your iPhone. Midway, you think that the predictive feature is kind of hindering you from typing smoothly. What would you generally do? Open the Settings app and then go to the Keyboard preference pane to turn off Predictive. It wouldn’t be great either for your time or productivity!
The better way to get it done is to touch and hold the globe key and then hit the Keyboard Settings. It will directly take you into the keyboard preference.
10. iPadOS 13 Keyboard Shortcuts
Apple has recently introduced an operating system specifically for iPad’s. The iPadOS considerations the screen size and power of the device and serves features and applications accordingly. Enhancing its interface further, iPad has incorporated some noteworthy new keyboard shortcuts. Check out our dedicated post on the matter for detailed listings of these shortcuts and how to use them.
11. Use Nifty Key Flick Feature on iPad
In iOS 11, Apple introduced a super handy feature called “Key Flicks.” What makes it such a good tool is the ability to enter numbers or symbols quickly without having to switch back and forth.
To enter a number or a specific symbol, all you need to do is pull down a key. To discover more about this feature, jump over here.
12. Turn Keyboard into Trackpad to Move the Cursor Easily
This one has been my favorite feature in iOS keyboard app. Times when I want to edit text with ease, it becomes the need of the hour.
Earlier this feature was available only on iPad and 3D Touch supported iPhone. However, Apple has made it available across the devices that can run iOS 12 or later.
To turn the keyboard into a trackpad, simply touch and hold your finger on the space bar. Then, drag your finger to move the cursor.
On your 3D Touch supported device, touch and hold anywhere on the keyboard to invoke trackpad.
13. Select Text Using Keyboard as Trackpad
Aside from letting you move cursor swiftly, “Trackpad” can also help you select text with ease. Though this handy feature works perfectly on the 3D Touch supported iPhone, it can get your work done on any iOS 12 supported devices.
First off, enter the trackpad mode by pressing the space bar or touching and holding the keyboard. Then, use the cursor to jump to the specific spot. Next, slightly lighten the touch and press the grayed out screen to move the cursor to select the text.
14. Shake to Undo
The option to redo/undo an action offers more flexibility and also saves plenty of your time. Guess what? You can use this functionality on your iPhone and iPad as well. But to get it done, you have to give your device a quick shake. Yeah, it sounds a little crazy but gets the job done effectively.
Note: Ensure that it is turned on. Settings → Accessibility → Touch → switch on the toggle ON Next to Shake to Undo.
Say you have written something and wanted to undo it. Shake your device and then tap on Undo in the popup. And if you want to redo it, shake your device again. Then, hit Redo Tying.
15. Save Time with Text Replacement
There are some phrases or sentences that we often use in our life. Instead of typing those oft-repeated sentences time and time again, you can create shortcuts for them.
So, when you want to type your favorite phrase, all you need to do is just enter the custom shortcut, and the keyboard will automatically pop it up. Select it, and you are ready to go!
To create a text shortcut, open Settings → General → Keyboard → Text Replacement.
Tap on the “+” button → enter the phrase like “See you soon.” → enter shortcut like “SY.” → tap on Save. To find out more about this hack, head over to this post.
16. Enter the Domain Address Faster
As impressive as it sounds, you can type out a domain address with utmost ease. Whether you want to enter a site name fast while searching in a web browser or insert it in your story, this hack can indeed speed up the task for you.
To put your hands on this trick, open a web browser and then tap on the URL bar to access the keyboard. Next, enter the initial name of the site. Next up, touch and hold the period button. Now, a menu will show up with several options like .com, .edu, .org and more. Swipe to the desired TLD, and you are done!
17. Use One-Handed Keyboard Mode on iPhone
There are times when you want to type out messages or send one-liner comment with just one hand or rather your thumb. Save this trick for those special times when you prefer comfort to anything else.
To invoke the one-handed typing mode, touch and hold the globe icon. Then, you have two options: Left and right handy typing modes. Hit the preferred option and then go ahead with the typing as usual. To put the keyboard to its normal position, tap on the arrow sign.
18. Undock Keyboard on iPad
When you access the keyboard, it shows up at the bottom of the screen. However, you can move it anywhere on the screen. It’s really nice and can bring not just the flexibility but also a fun element to your experiment.
To undock the keyboard, touch and hold the small keyboard icon. Then, swipe to Undock in the menu. Next, use this very icon to drag the keyboard at the desired place.
When you want to dock the keyboard, touch and hold the keyboard icon. Then, swipe to Dock.
19. Split Keyboard on iPad
Did you know that you could split the iPad keyboard? If you don’t want to engage both your hands or wish to type using your thumb, this tip can be your thing.
To bring this feature into action, touch and hold the keyboard button at the bottom right. Next, swipe to Split in the tiny menu that pops up.
When you want to bring the keyboard to its normal position, touch and hold the same icon again. Then, swipe to Dock and Merge.
20. Hide Keyboard on iPad and iPhone
Let’s say, you have written a long note and now want to hide the keyboard so that you can check the whole story more conveniently. Pretty simple!
On your iPad, Tap on the keyboard button at the bottom right to hide it instantly.
It’s just as straightforward on iPhone. You just need to swipe down from the middle of the screen to put the keyboard out of the sight. And when you want to show up the keyboard again, just tap anywhere on the screen.
21. Quickly Enter the Period
If you don’t know this nifty little trick, you may be hitting the number keyboard and then tapping the period (aka full stop) key to enter it. To say the least; it’s rather inconvenient and definitely not great for your productivity.
The next time, you want to enter a full stop at the end of a sentence, just double tap the space bar. Moreover, the period will be followed by a space ensuring you can write the next sentence.
22. Use Dictation to Convert Speech into Text
Supposing you are on the go and suddenly a unique idea strikes your mind. Though you want to note it down, you don’t feel convenient to type. This is where the “Dictation” feature would come into play really well!
Simply, bring up the keyboard and hit the tiny microphone icon. Then, speak your mind. It will be converted into text. At the end of a sentence, speak the suitable punctuation. Like, “Where is your brother question mark”.
To return to the main screen, hit the keyboard icon. You can change the Dictation language or set a specific language as a default option by going to the Keyboard Settings. Settings → General → Keyboard → Dictation language.
Though quite smooth and seamless in usage, this feature is currently being scrutinized because of the recent privacy breach incidences. Thus to keep safety first, you might want to forgo the ease and remove the mic icon from iPhone or iPad Keyboard. Don’t worry we have got you covered there as well.
23. Check the Definition of A Word
Slightly hidden under the wrap is the option to check the definition of a word. And it can be done with utmost ease. Simply touch the word and hit Select in the popup window. Then, tap on Look Up. On the next screen, you should see the definition of the word.
24. What If the keyboard goes missing?
While all these iPhone keyboard shortcuts on iOS 13 are great, but what should you do when the keyboard completely disappears. Though this does not happen so frequently, why should you or your work suffer due to this issue? Especially, when I am here to help you out. I have compiled a list of basic troubleshooting tips and tricks on the issue, hope they can help.
That’s pretty much it!
Video: iPhone or iPad Keyboard Tips and Tricks
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Now that all the smart tricks are on your radar, boost your typing so that it becomes a pleasing experience. Or at least, your fingers no longer find it inconvenient to deal with the keys. Though you might find this list of iPad and iPhone keyboard shortcuts quite extensive and long, I assure you each shortcut is going to help you in the long run.
You’d like to catch up with these equally interesting stories:
- Best iOS 13 Siri Shortcuts for iPhone and iPad
- iOS 13 Siri Shortcuts for Productivity
- Best iOS 13 Siri Shortcuts for Apple Music
Have got any nice keyboard tricks? Do not forget to share them with us.
The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.
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Great article. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..
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