iPad Tips and Tricks (2010)
Illustration by Neil Webb

Using the virtual keyboard


iPad Tips and Tricks (2010)

with Christopher Breen

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Video: Using the virtual keyboard

Now, let's take a look at the iPad's virtual keyboard. As you're undoubtedly aware, the iPad has a keyboard, a virtual keyboard, rather than a physical one. The look of the keyboard changes depending on the iPad's orientation. I have launched the Notes app, and I am going to invoke the keyboard simply by tapping in the note. In portrait orientation, when the iPad is longways up, the keyboard takes up about a quarter of the screen, and the keys are on the small side. Rotate the iPad 90 degrees and you entered landscape orientation, where the keyboard takes up nearly half the screen and the keys become much larger.
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  1. 1m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
  2. 23m 31s
    1. Taking advantage of Siri
      5m 42s
    2. Syncing photos with Photo Stream
      7m 54s
    3. Finding the way with Apple Maps
      9m 55s
  3. 1h 12m
    1. Touching the iPad
      8m 39s
    2. Setting the rotation lock/mute toggle switch
      1m 40s
    3. Multitasking
      2m 42s
    4. Using the virtual keyboard
      11m 53s
    5. Using gestures to work faster
      1m 43s
    6. Understanding iTunes and the iPad
      6m 31s
    7. Syncing info to the iPad
      3m 31s
    8. Wireless updating and syncing
      2m 24s
    9. Syncing media files to the iPad
      5m 28s
    10. Syncing data with iCloud
      9m 8s
    11. Using iTunes Match to keep music updated on multiple devices
      6m 43s
    12. Troubleshooting
      6m 29s
    13. Using Notification Center
      6m 7s
  4. 15m 12s
    1. Using the App Store to download apps
      9m 56s
    2. Managing apps
      5m 16s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Configuring peripherals
      6m 43s
    2. Printing with an iPad
      1m 48s
    3. Understanding accessibility on the iPad
      7m 3s
    4. Childproofing the iPad
      5m 39s
    5. Managing Location Services
      5m 30s
  6. 28m 59s
    1. Configuring email accounts
      9m 5s
    2. Organizing email
      3m 44s
    3. Dealing with spam
      6m 34s
    4. iMessage
      5m 32s
    5. Configuring Twitter and sending Twitter updates from multiple apps
      4m 4s
  7. 39m 49s
    1. Connecting an iPad to an external display
      3m 32s
    2. Creating iPad presentations with Keynote
      8m 37s
    3. Creating iPad presentations with third-party apps
      6m 45s
    4. Controlling a computer remotely with an iPad
      8m 7s
    5. Keeping to-do lists synchronized
      4m 5s
    6. Managing and editing files with third-party apps
      8m 43s
  8. 16m 38s
    1. Taking pictures and movies
      3m 50s
    2. Editing and sharing movies
      6m 3s
    3. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      4m 33s
    4. Taking fun pictures with Photo Booth
      2m 12s
  9. 32m 17s
    1. Preparing audio and video files for the iPad
      7m 28s
    2. Using AirPlay to stream video and audio wirelessly to an external display
      3m 29s
    3. Using Home Sharing
      2m 18s
    4. Streaming media to an iPad
      7m 5s
    5. Copying media from an iPad to a computer
      5m 15s
    6. Importing and editing photos
      6m 42s
  10. 39s
    1. Conclusion

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iPad Tutorials | Tips and Tricks 2010
4h 17m Appropriate for all Aug 04, 2010 Updated Feb 21, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In iPad Tips and Tricks, author Christopher Breen provides expert tips for getting the most out of the Apple iPad (first generation) and iPad 2, including gesturing, typing, and adding content, as well as troubleshooting common device issues. The course explains how to download and manage apps, configure email accounts, create presentations, and set up videoconferences. The course also demonstrates both built-in and third-party solutions for opening and editing files, streaming video and audio wirelessly, and troubleshooting common device issues.

Topics include:
  • Working with the iPad touchscreen
  • Printing with an iPad
  • Syncing data with iCloud
  • Using iTunes Match to update media on multiple devices
  • Dealing with spam
  • Sending Twitter updates from multiple apps
  • Connecting an iPad to an external display
  • Controlling a computer remotely with an iPad
  • Keeping to-do lists synchronized
  • Taking pictures and movies
  • Preparing audio and video files for the iPad
Business Education + Elearning
Christopher Breen

Using the virtual keyboard

Now, let's take a look at the iPad's virtual keyboard. As you're undoubtedly aware, the iPad has a keyboard, a virtual keyboard, rather than a physical one. The look of the keyboard changes depending on the iPad's orientation. I have launched the Notes app, and I am going to invoke the keyboard simply by tapping in the note. In portrait orientation, when the iPad is longways up, the keyboard takes up about a quarter of the screen, and the keys are on the small side. Rotate the iPad 90 degrees and you entered landscape orientation, where the keyboard takes up nearly half the screen and the keys become much larger.

The keyboard layouts are exactly the same, regardless of the iPad's orientation. We have a note open that has some text in it, and we will use that to see what the keys do. By default, you see the QWERTY keyboard, the one with letters and little punctuation on it. Tap the .?123 key and you see a keyboard that contains numbers as well as punctuation, and a couple of common symbols, such as the Dollar sign and ampersand. Tap the #+= key and you see a collection of less common symbols.

To return to the QWERTY keyboard, just tap the ABC key. Now, let's look at a couple of features on the QWERTY keyboard. The upward-pointing key is the Shift key. At the beginning of a sentence, it's active by default, and you can tell it is by its blue outline. When it's in this state, tap a key and the first letter will be capitalized. If it's not active--you're in the middle of a sentence, for example--just tap it to invoke it for one keystroke. So again, I will tap it. You see the blue symbol, and that indicates that the Shift key is on.

Once again, I tap that one time, and then the Shift key turns off. When you double-tap it, you switch on the iPad's Caps Lock feature, where everything you type will be in capital letters until you tap the key again to switch off Caps Lock. And now we will turn it off by tapping the Shift key once. The left-pointing black key with the x in the middle of it is the Delete key. Tap it to delete the character to the left of the cursor. Or if there's no character there, jump back a space or a line.

So, I am going to tap the Return key a couple of times. I jump back to the end of this line, and now I will tap it again to remove single characters. If you tap and hold on it, it will first delete individual characters, but as you continue to hold, it will delete words. So, I am tapping and holding, and now we are jumping backwards. The Return key, as I've shown, does just what it does on your computer keyboard; it moves the cursor down a line. And you tap the Keyboard key at the very bottom of the keyboard to make the keyboard disappear.

To make it reappear, simply tap in the document. If you need to create letters that carry diacritical marks used in non-English languages--and that would be an umlaut or an accent, for example-- you can do so simply by tapping and holding on a letter over which you wish the mark to appear. For example, tap and hold on the letter O and you see a number of options you can choose. Just slide your finger to the character you want. So, I am going to add an umlaut. I choose that symbol, let go, and there we have an O with an umlaut over it. Here's another tip.

It's a pain to dash between the QWERTY and number keyboard to insert a single bit of punctuation. You don't have to. Just tap and hold on the Number key and while holding it, select the character that you're after. So, for example, let's say I want to type the number 1. I tap on .?123. I slide to 1, I let go and we return to the QWERTY keyboard. Here's one more tip. A key that a lot of people miss is the Apostrophe key. You needn't move to the number keyboard to get to it; just tap and hold on the Comma key and flick upwards, and I will show you how that's done.

So, I will type my name. I want to add an apostrophe, and I simply flick up on the Comma and Exclamation Point key. You can also do this if you want to add quotation marks. So, on the Period key, flick up, and you have got a quote. We will close that quote by flicking again. There is one more option. I have already shown you that if you tap and hold on certain keys, you get extra characters. You can do this with the apostrophe and quotes as well.

So, rather than flicking, if you tap and hold on the Comma key, you'll see that you have the option to insert an apostrophe. Same idea with the Period key. Tap and hold. There are your quotes, and you can add them that way as well. I think flicking is cooler, but what the heck. If you want to do it this way by tapping and holding, more power to you. You won't see the same keyboard layout in every application. For example, in those applications where you will type an email and web address, the keyboard is modified to make entering that information easier. So let's illustrate that concept with the Contacts app.

Launch Contacts and now I am going to press the Plus button to create a new contact. When you tap in the First, Last, or Company fields, you'll continue to see the normal QWERTY keyboard. But if you tap in the iPhone field, you move to the number keyboard. Now, let's tap in the Email field. You see some changes at the bottom of the keyboard. The @ and Period keys appear and below you see the Underscore and Dash keys. The @ symbol is helpful for creating email addresses of course, but check out the Period key.

If you tap and hold on it, you see that you have the option to enter .edu, .us, .net, .com, or .org. Now, if you tap on the Dash key, you see that you have a bullet, dash, or an em dash character, which is something that you might use in an email address. Now, let's tap on the home page field. The keyboard changes yet again, including colon, slash, underscore, dash, and .com-- pretty much all the symbols you need when entering a web address.

Tap and hold on the Period key and you find the option to add an ellipsis. Before we leave the iPad's text-entry capabilities, here are a handful of tips, and to demonstrate them, we will go back to the Notes app. To easily insert a period at the end of a sentence, just double-tap the spacebar. The iPad has a feature called Predictive Typing built in. What this means is that the iPad, like the iPhone and the iPod touch, makes its best guess as to what you mean to type rather than what you did type.

This makes typing on a virtual keyboard much more accurate. But in order for it to work, when typing, you must keep going, even though you make mistakes. If you make quick corrections every time you make a mistake on your iPad, you will find working with it frustrating. However, keep going, and there is a very good chance that the iPad will correct your mistakes for you. Predictive Typing is particularly helpful for typing contractions. Although 'Cant' is a real word, if you type it on your iPad, as I will do now, the iPad will automatically add an apostrophe between the N and the T. Just tap space and it fills in correctly.

But what if the iPad makes a suggestion that you don't want? For example, when you type 'its', the iPad invariably suggests 'it's' by default. When it offers a suggestion, the suggestion appears in a bubble near the cursor. To reject that suggestion, just tap it. If you don't and then tap the spacebar, the iPad will automatically insert the suggestion. You can instruct the iPad to not autocorrect your typing. To do that, launch Settings, select the General setting, tap the Keyboard option, and switch off Auto-Correction.

At the same time, it will also turn off Check Spelling. For now, we will turn that back on, we'll turn on Check Spelling, and we will return to Notes. Entering text with a keyboard is most of the battle, but to get the full picture, you also need to know how to select, cut, copy, and paste. The Notes app can help us with this too. We will create a new note by tapping the Plus button, and I will type, "I love my dog Rover," because I do. When I tap, hold, and place the cursor before dog and release, a bubble appears that contains the word 'Select, Select All', and if there's something stored in the iPad's clipboard, which is an invisible area that contains items you've copied or cut, you will also see a Paste command.

In this case, there's nothing in the clipboard, so Paste doesn't appear. When I tap Select, the word 'dog' is selected and three new commands appear: Cut, Copy, and Replace. Again, if there was something in the clipboard, we would also see Paste. As you likely know from working with your computer, Cut removes a selected item and places it in the clipboard, while Copy leaves the item where it is but places a copy in the clipboard. We will tap Copy to copy the dog into the clipboard. Now, let's tap Return twice to move farther down the page and tap the cursor.

Once again, we see Select, Select All, and this time Paste. Tap Paste and the word 'dog' appears at the insertion point. Now, let's look at Select All. If I tap and hold on 'dog' and tap Select All, everything on the page is selected. Those blue dots at the beginning and end of the selection are handles that allow me to adjust the selection. I can tap and drag on the end handle and bring it up to the end of the sentence to shorten the selection.

I can also shorten the selection even more by dragging the front handle so that just the words 'my dog Rover' are selected. Regardless of what I selected, the Cut, Copy, and in this case, Paste options appear again. I can also replace a selected word with a word that has a similar spelling. For example, if I tap and hold on 'love', tap Select, I have the option to replace. I will tap Replace, and see that I have three words that I could substitute: live, Love, and lobe.

I really, really love my dog Rover, so I am going to make that Love, so everyone knows how much I love my dog. Just as with your computer, any item that you've cut or copied remains in the clipboard until you replace it with a different item. This means that you can copy text or graphics in one application and paste it into a different application. You can also copy graphics files. So let's launch Safari to see how this works. Tap on the Tours page on this Safari page, and I have a graphic here of California's flag.

I can copy that by tapping and holding on it, and I have two options: one is Save Image and the other one is Copy. Right now, we are going to choose Copy. Now I am going to launch the Pages app, which is Apple's $10 word processing application that you can purchase from the App Store, and we will just search for it. There it is, tap Pages, and it opens. I am now going to create a new document by tapping the Plus button. Don't worry about this if you haven't seen this before. We are going to talk about pages in another movie. Now, we have a blank Pages document.

I am going to paste that graphic into it by tapping on the insertion point and tapping Paste, and there is our image. Now, let's return to Safari. I will tap and hold on that again, and this time we're going to look at Save Image. I have selected it. Where did the image go? Come back to the home screen, go to Photos, select Albums, and I will look at my Camera Roll, and there is my image. So when you choose Save Image, the image will end up in your Camera Roll inside your Photos app.

At this point, you can then copy it again and put it into any document you like that supports graphics files. These are the basics of text entry and select, cut, copy, and paste. You will find that these techniques work throughout many Apple and third-party applications.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about iPad Tips and Tricks (2010) .

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Q: This course was updated on 02/21/2013. What changed?
A: We added three new movies that cover the best features in iOS 6, including new Siri behaviors and responses, Photostream syncing, and changes to Apple Maps. Look for a whole new version of this course later this year.
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