Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Type, select, and modify text, part of iOS 11: iPhone and iPad Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Now, let's take a closer look at working with text and the on-screen keyboard on iOS 11. iOS 11 can assist you with the inevitable typos that will occur when you're using the keyboard. I'm going to use the notes app for this example, and I'll create a new note. I'll start typing a note of things to do today. And maybe I'll tap the one two three button here in the lower left hand corner to get the numbers and special characters keyboard to pop up, and I'll just add a dash here.
Then I can tap to bring back the alphabetic keyboard, and I'll press return to go down to the next line. Now before I continue, let's go over to settings, to General, Keyboard, and here I'm going to turn off predictive text. Now we'll go back to notes. So what I did was hide the bar of word suggestions that appear above the keyboard. We'll get back to that momentarily, but I want to first look at how to work with text without that and then you can decide whether you prefer to keep that on or off. Now on this line, I'm going to start typing the phrase in no particular order.
Notice here that the iPhone has offered a suggestion. I've typed enough of the word particular that the iPhone is guessing what I mean to type here. If the suggestion is correct, as it is here, I just tap space, and the word is completed for me. If that wasn't the word I wanted, I could have just continued typing and ignored the suggestion. But if you did accept the suggestion by accident or you change your mind, tap the delete button, and the previous version of the word you typed will appear. If that's the word you want, just tap it, but in this case, I do want the word particular, so I'll leave it as is and finish typing this line.
So the iPhone's suggestions and corrections are one of the key factors in being a fast and efficient typist on its keyboard. Even if you have misspelled a word, the iPhone can usually figure out which word you meant based on the letters near the ones you typed. So I'll press return here, and if I type something like pick up laundry, but I misspell the word laundry, notice it immediately suggests the correct spelling of laundry, and I just tap space, and the change is instantly made. It's important to remember that pressing space is telling the iPhone that its suggestion is correct.
If the suggestion is not correct, tap the suggestion to remove it. Also, iOS 11 has a universal spell checker. So in most apps, misspelled words will be underlined with red, dotted lines like you see in many word processors. So for example, if I tap delete and deliberately misspell the word laundry again, I see the correction that it wants to make. I'll tap it to close that and press space, and notice the word gets underlined. And when I tap that, a suggestion for the properly spelled version appears, which I can then tap to correct my spelling.
Also note that your device will remember which suggestions you've ignored, and it will also learn the words you use most often that it doesn't recognize and add them to its internal dictionary. So after time, it'll stop trying to correct the words that you've told it are not typos. Now, don't take this to mean that once you get good at this, your device will catch every typo you make. You're going to leave plenty of typos behind as you type, so it's important to pay attention to what you're typing. All right, so that's pretty much how typing and auto-correction have worked in iOS since the beginning, but now let's go back to settings and turn predictive text back on.
And you can see this places that bar back above the keyboard. I'll type return, and you can see the predictive text bar already has some suggestions in it for how I might want to start my next line of text. Now on one hand this system, referred to as QuickType, works much like an alternate version of what we just did. It'll offer suggestions for words you're in the process of typing or possibly misspelling, but it's coolest ability is to predict the next word you're going to type before you even start typing it. So for example, I'll delete this line again, and I'll start typing it again.
Pick space. So after typing the word pick, notice there are three suggestions here. Up, me, and a. In this case, I want the word up, so just tap that, and it's instantly added to my text. QuickType then immediately offers suggestions for the next word after I press space. The, your, and a. None of these are what I want, so I just keep typing. Now in this case, I had to type L-A-U-N before the correct word popped up as a suggestion. So I can tap that, and it completes the word for me.
QuickType also learns the way you write and the words you use most frequently. So as you continue to use it, the words you most commonly use will start to pop up more frequently and more quickly as you type. QuickType will also fix obvious, or what it thinks are obvious misspellings, right away as you type. For example, on the next line, I'll type email writing samples to Steve, but I'm going to skip a letter in the word writing. Notice the correctly spelled version of the word is highlighted in the QuickType bar. Tapping space auto-corrects that word. Now if you wanted to leave a word spelled exactly the way as you typed it, for example, if I finished typing the sentence...
Well let's say I want to leave Steve spelled with a lowercase letter, notice it wants to correct it with an uppercase letter, and because the suggestion is highlighted, if I press space, it will be auto-corrected. If I instead wanted to stay as is, I tap the version here on the left that's in quotes, and that leaves it the way it is. Now predictive text isn't just for correcting spelling or guessing the word you're going to type next. It can also base its suggestions on the context of what you're typing and the information found in other areas of your device. For example, maybe I'm chatting with someone in the Messages app, and they ask me for my friend Nick's email address.
Now, I'm just going to stay in notes here, but you can see how this works if I type Nick's email, notice it corrects the horrible spelling of email there. Nick's email is, I press space, and instantly I see suggestions for the email addresses I have for Nick in my contacts. And I can just tap one to automatically place it. And you'll see other things like that pop up from time to time when you're doing things like planning a meeting or letting someone know where you are. All right, so that's how to work with text with and without predictive text on.
Now of course, there are times when you'll want to make manual edits or corrections to your text, and you do so by selecting the text you want to change. If you just want to select a single word, just double tap the word. For instance, I just double tapped writing, and it gets selected, and if I want to change the word, it's already selected, so I can just start typing. So this is pretty much how a regular word processor works. Another way to select text and the method you use if you need to select more than one word or if you're trying to select non-editable text like some words in your web browser for example is to hold down on a word until you see a magnifying glass appear, and then you can let go.
That gives you the cut, copy, and paste menu options above. Now if I only wanted to place my cursor somewhere in that text, I can just tap that word. And if I do a slight hold and release, notice that gives me the select and select all menu. So select all selects everything on the page, which is great if you just want to copy everything for example or you can tap select to select just the word you held down on, and then you get these two handles above and below your selection. Drag the handles to select any adjoining words you want to include in your selection.
And then you get the cut and copy menu. So if I wanted to copy this text to paste it into its own note or elsewhere, I would choose copy. I'll just tap to place my cursor down here for this example, and then I'll tap, I'll select paste, and there's the copy. And of course, you can paste into other apps as well. Now if you have a phone with 3D touch, like the iPhone 6s or later, you can use 3D touch to make text selections. Press down on the keyboard to put it into trackpad mode, and then you can release the pressure but keep your finger on the screen to move the cursor around.
If you want to select text place your cursor where you want it and press down again, and then you'll be able to drag your selection. This is a lot easier and faster than using the selection handles, so make sure you take advantage of this feature if you have 3D touch on your device. All right, so that's how to select and copy text. Now there are some important settings to understand in case typing and editing aren't working the way you expect. Let's go back to settings, to the keyboard settings. Again, you'll go to settings, General, Keyboard, and this is where you'll find the controls for auto-correction, and all of these are on by default.
Auto-capitalization is why my iPhone capitalized the first letter of each line. Auto-correction is the feature that automatically corrects spelling errors, as we've been seeing. If for some reason you don't want your device to do that, you can turn that off here. That works in conjunction with check spelling, which can also be enabled or disabled here. We also have enable caps lock, and with that on, a quick double tap of the shift key on the keyboard locks all the letters to all caps. So I just double tap shift here. You can see it now has the caps lock symbol on it, and any text that I type remains in capital letters.
Now tap to turn that off. We've already seen what predictive text does. Smart punctuation is a new feature of iOS 11. It's on by default, and it simply makes certain characters look more typographically correct, meaning things like quotation marks instead of being straight will be curly or angled depending on the font you're using. If that bugs you, you can disable it here. Character preview is the option that lets you see a larger version of the key you're pressing appear. So when I type a letter, I can't see the letter because my finger is pressing down on it.
The character preview lets me see that letter. That helps me make sure I'm pressing the correct key. This period shortcut is found here as well. With that on, typing two spaces inserts a period, so you don't have to hunt for the period button. Now one last thing I want to mention here, earlier I was saying how iOS 11 will learn words it doesn't recognize so it doesn't constantly try to correct words that you've previously told it not to. Now there may be times when you've typed words in by accident that are clearly misspelled that the iPhone then tries to suggest since you've misspelled them several times.
If that happens, go back to settings, to General. Scroll down and find reset, and here you can set Reset Keyboard Dictionary, which you can see will delete all the custom words the dictionary has learned from you, but be aware that this means the dictionary will also have to relearn all the legitimate custom words you've created too. So don't reset your dictionary unless you really have to. Also, iOS 11 will actually notice if you haven't used a custom word in a while and remove it from the dictionary after some time.
So if you can live with an occasional invalid correction from the dictionary, eventually the misspelled word will be deleted by your device, and you won't be bothered by it again.
Garrick shows how to use Siri, the iOS digital assistant, and demonstrates how to use all the core features of iOS, such as emailing, browsing the web with Safari, getting directions from Maps, taking notes, shooting photos, watching videos, and listening to music. Plus, discover how to extend the functionality of your iPhone or iPad by installing one of the 2 million+ apps available in the App Store. The course wraps up with some essential tips to help you customize your device, protect your privacy, and troubleshoot your iPhone or iPad if you encounter a problem.
- Using gestures and 3D Touch
- Backing up and syncing music, photos, contacts, and more
- Making video calls with FaceTime
- Playing music
- Shooting photos and video
- Getting directions from Maps
- Adding events to your calendar
- Using the built-in apps
- Setting important privacy and usage options
- Controlling your device with Siri
- Troubleshooting your iOS 11 device
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 01/30/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover how to use the iPhone X with this course, and how to send and receive money with Apple Pay Cash.