Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Typing tips, part of iPad Tips and Tricks.
- As you know, the iPad, like almost all tablets and smart phones these days, has no physical keyboard. You accomplish all text entry by typing with a virtual keyboard that appears on-screen any time you need to enter text. And you could get by simply by pecking out letters, but here are a couple of tips for becoming a more proficient typist on the iPad. First of all, due to it having a larger screen than the iPhone, typing with multiple fingers is much easier on the iPad, especially if you rotate your iPad to landscape orientation. However, that does make the keyboard take up a larger portion of your screen, leaving you less room to see what you're typing.
If you prefer to keep the iPad in the vertical orientation, you can thumb type, but if you have shorter thumbs you might have trouble reaching the keys in the center of the keyboard. Fortunately, on iPads you can split the keyboard by placing both thumbs on the keyboard and then dragging them away from each other. That makes it much easier to type with your thumbs. You can also reposition the keyboard by holding down on the button that hides the keyboard, and dragging it up and down the screen. This can be useful if the size of your hands and your grip make it difficult to type with the keyboard at the bottom of the screen. You can also move the keyboard around when it's not split.
Now I'll just dock it back down at the bottom of the screen here. Now when it comes to actually typing, one key technique is to not worry too much about mistakes as you're writing out words and sentences. As long as you're getting close to the correct letters, in many cases, mistakes will be auto-corrected. For example, I'll type, The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, and I'm gonna type it relatively quickly. Ok, so you might have noticed that I mistyped the word over, but as soon as I tapped the space bar, it was automatically corrected for me.
And here, I typed dog incorrectly, and iOS 8 is suggesting the correct spelling here. Again, if I want to accept this fix, I can just press the space bar, and it's automatically corrected. Another shortcut that you should be aware of, is that to place a period at the end of a sentence, just tap the space bar twice. So I'm gonna delete and type "dog" again, but this time I'll press the space bar two times, and that automatically adds a period. Which can be much faster than hunting and aiming for the actual period button down here. I'll press return twice to go down a couple of lines. Now as you probably know, when you start a new sentence, the first letter of the first word is automatically capitalized.
Notice the shift keys are black arrows right now, indicating that the next letter I type will be upper case. And then the rest of the word will be lower case. If you wanna use caps lock to keep typing in upper case, you can double-tap the shift key, and type. Just tap the shift key again to turn off caps lock. Next, to type number and characters, you need to tap this button in the lower left-hand corner. And this is where you'll find digits and characters like parentheses, dollar signs, and so on. But if you're using the letter keyboard, and you only need to type one special character, or number before continuing typing letters, instead of tapping the button to switch to the keyboard, press and hold on that button, and then slide over to the character or digit you need.
And when you lift your finger, the keyboard will switch back and you can continue typing. Now I should mention here that many of these tips I've been showing you in this movie rely on having some default settings enabled. So if you've been trying any of these techniques and they're not working for you, go to your iPad Settings, to General, and then Keyboard. And here you'll find the switches to enable Auto-Capitalization, Auto-Correction, Spellchecking, Caps Lock, the Predictive feature, the Split Keyboard, and the shortcut for adding periods. This Predictive feature has to do with the bar of suggested text that appears above the keyboard.
As you type, it tries to predict the word you're trying to spell. If the one you want appears, you can just tap it to complete the word. Even when you're between words, it tries to predict the next word you might want to type. If you don't see the one you want, you can just keep typing normally, and select the correct words when they pop up. The Predictive text bar also comes in handy when you're not sure how to spell a word. You can type the first few letters, and if the proper spelling shows up, you can select it.
But if you want to hide this bar you can just drag it down. You can also permanently switch it off under Keyboard Options, here under Settings. I generally don't mind it being enabled on the iPad though, since it doesn't take up much space, but I usually disable this option on my iPhone. Lastly, if typing on the iPad is difficult for you, you can also try dictating your words instead. Make sure that Enable Dictation is activated here, and with that enabled, you'll see this microphone button next to the space bar on the keyboard. In order to use dictation, you need to be connected to the Internet because your words will be sent to Apple's servers, where they'll be transcribed and sent back to your iPad within seconds.
You should also make sure you're in a relatively quiet environment. Also bear in mind that, while you can dictate simple words and phrases, you can also speak punctuation and paragraph breaks if you wanna dictate complete thoughts or longer lines of text. So, for example, Hi Steve, comma, new paragraph. I'll be in the I-T department from about three o'clock to five o'clock this afternoon, if you wanna pop in with your computer, period. They should be able to fix the keyboard problem you're having, period. New paragraph.
See you then, comma, new line, Garrick. Now in this case, it pretty much got everything right except my name, so I'm gonna have to fix that, but with a little practice, dictating text can be much faster than typing. As you just saw, if any mistakes appear in the transcription you can go back and fix 'em individually, but again, as long as you have an Internet connection and speak clearly in a relatively quiet place, dictation works pretty well on the iPad. Alright, so there you have some basic tips and tricks for typing on your iPad.
We'll look at some more options in the next movie.
- Using iPad-specific gestures
- Typing tips
- Syncing media and other files
- Wireless syncing
- Receiving and organizing email
- Chatting with Messages
- Installing apps
- Browsing the web
- Connecting to an external display
- Using productivity software
- Playing audio and video files