Take your keyboard skills to the next level with these typing tips!
Apple popularized virtual, multitouch keyboards with the original iPhone. Since then, the company has improved text entry with editing and insertion options, and the keyboard itself — with a new, predictive engine, optional custom keyboards, shortcuts on iPad, and even a trackpad mode.
Not every option is available in every app or for every device, and not all of them are obvious at first, but once you learn them, you'll be keyboarding like a champ!
1. Set settings
There are a lot of settings you can toggle for the keyboard, including auto-caps, auto-corrections, spell-check, caps lock, predictions, and more. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard to toggle everything to your liking.
2. Hide QuickType
If you don't want to turn predictions off all the time, but you do want them off some of the time, just touch the prediction area and pull down to hide it. Then touch the bar on top and pull up to show it again.
3. Speedy switches
If you only want to enter one number or symbol, don't tap Number or Symbol button — touch it and slide to the number or symbol you want to enter, and then let go. It'll enter and the keyboard will instantly switch back. The same works for shift and capital letters!
4. CAPS LOCK
When you want to SHOUT AT SOMEONE WHO IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET you don't need to hit the Shift button for each letter. Just tap Shift twice and you'll be in CAPS LOCK mode until you're tap Shift again. YOU'RE WELCOME.
5. Special characters
Typing the letter 'e' is easy as tapping it. Typing 'èéêëēėę' is almost as easy. Just touch and hold down on the letter 'e' and you'll get a popup with all the other options. In Safari, holding down '.' will give you options for .com, .net, and more.
6. Shake to undo
If you type some text, delete some text, or even paste some text and later regret, just shake your iPhone and you'll be given the option to undo what you did, and to redo what you undid.
Yes, you really can Shake, shake, shake it off! (Sorry!)
7. Magnify mistkes
If you type a bunch of text and then notice a mistake, touch the screen and hold down until the magnifying loupe appears. Drag until the cursor is at the mistake, then let go and make your corrections.
8. Cut, copy, and paste
To cut or copy text, double tap on it and drag the handles to select the exact beginning and end points, and the tap Cut or Copy. To paste text, use the magnification loupe to position the cursor, then tap Paste.
9. Quick contractions
Instead of typing we-number-button-apostrophe-ll for we'll, just type "well"l and auto-correct will switch it to "we'll". Weree for we're, helll for he'll and other common contractions work the same.
10. Undo auto-correct
Auto-correct will attempt to fix typing mistakes as you make them. If the correction is wrong, however, just hit the backspace key and iOS will popup what you originally typed. Tap on it, and it'll be un-auto-corrected and restored.
11. Rapid replacements
Misspelled words will be underlined in red. Tap them and iOS will offer a suggested replacement. You can get suggested replacements for any word, however, at any time. Just tap the word, then tap Replace from the popup.
12. Fast formatting
To quickly apply bold, italics, or underline in any app that supports rich text formatting, double tap on it, tap the B/U option in the popup menu, and then choose the formatting.
13. Dictionary defined
If you're not sure whether you're using the right word — cite the site in sight? — you can double tap on it to bring up the popup, tap the arrow on the right for more options, and tap Define to get the dictionary definition. Tap Manage to change or add dictionaries.
14. Attachment insertion
If your typing an email and decide you want to attach an image or document, double tap where you want to insert it and then tap Insert Photo or Attachment from the popup menu.
15. Super shortcuts
If you tap the spacebar twice while typing, iOS will automatically insert a '.' for you and capitalize the next letter. You can set up your own shortcuts as well. It's great for handling common misspellings or inserting anything your type frequently, like 'gml' for your gmail address. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts
16. Enter emoji
Emoji are a special character set used to communicate pictographically. The emoji keyboard should be enabled by default, but if not, go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard > Emoji.
Then smiley face burrito thumbsup sushi cake canadaflag tada!
17. Custom keyboards
You can now get custom keyboards right from the App Store. Download the app, then go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard and choose the keyboard you downloaded. (Yes, the process is way too complicated.)
18. Swift switching
Once you've got a few keyboards installed, paging between them becomes arduous. Instead, touch and hold the Globe/Smily button until the keyboard selector pops up. Then slide up to the keyboard you want to switch to.
As improved as the iPhone keyboard is, sometimes it's still easier to talk than type. Thanks to Siri's new streaming speech-recognition, dictation is better and faster than ever. Just tap the mic button and start talking. You can even say punctuation, line and paragraph breaks. Or say "all caps" and dictate by the letter.
20. Plus power
If you have an iPhone 6 Plus, you can rotate to landscape mode and get access to an extended keyboard that includes editing, formatting, and even arrow keys. It's a lot of keyboard to love, but it can help you power through documents.
21. iPhone 6s trackpad
If you have an iPhone 6s, you can use 3D Touch to transform the keyboard into a trackpad. That makes it easier than ever to move the editing cursor and select text. Press firmly to switch on the trackpad, press firmly again to switch between moving and selecting.
The iPhone supports Bluetooth keyboard just like the iPad. That includes everything from keyboard cases to a full-sized externals, and everything in between. If you want to get physical, you can do it with Bluetooth.
22. Your shortcuts?
Those are some of my favorite keyboard and text-entry shortcuts. They save me a ton of time when I'm typing. I'm always on the lookout for more, however, so if you have any I missed, add them to the comments! Either way, let me know your top tips!