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So let's begin by taking a look at the basics of typing with the screen-based keyboard. For this example, I'm going to use the included Notes app. I will press the plus symbol to create a new note, and now I'm looking at a new blank note, and the keyboard has appeared at the bottom half of the screen. The keyboard will show up anytime you tap into a field where you're supposed to type. To type, just tap the letters. Notice that while you are tapping up here above your finger in a nice, large size, so you can visually confirm that you are on the letter you want. The enlarged version of the letter will stay there until your finger breaks contact from the screen.
That is probably one of the most fundamental things to know about typing on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Characters you type are not entered until your finger leaves the screen. This means that if I touched the wrong letter, I can just slide over to the correct one, and then release. If I do enter the wrong letter by accident, I can just tap the Delete key to delete the letter or words are I need to get rid of. And then continue typing. Now let's say I want to add a colon here. Special characters and numbers are accessed by tapping this button in the lower left-hand corner. And now I can enter the colon, and I will tap Return to go down one line.
Now here's a tip directly related to what I was saying about characters not appearing until you left your finger from the screen. Let's say I want to put a parenthesis at the beginning of this line. I can see the open and close parenthesis characters when I tap the characters button, but a quick way to access the special characters from the letter keyboard is to touch to the characters button and then slide my finger over to the character I want, before I release my finger, and then release. The character is added to my note, and the keyboard instantly reverts to the letter keyboard, and I can continue typing without having to tap to return to the letter keyboard.
So that's the basics of working with the keyless keyboard, and it will definitely some practice and getting used to it, if you are new to it. Keep in the mind that most Apps that use the keyboard will allow you to rotate the phone to Landscape mode, which makes the keys slightly larger and easier to hit. Once you get better, you should be able to type quickly, in both Portrait and Landscape mode. In the rest of this chapter, we will look at the most important techniques and tips for becoming an efficient iPhone or iPod Touch typist.
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