Using the Keyboard

Get tips and tricks for using the iPad keyboard in this free lesson.

Using the keyboard

The iPad has a built-in virtual keyboard that you can use to input text on your device. Although you can purchase a physical keyboard to attach to your iPad, the virtual keyboard has everything you need, including convenient shortcuts to make typing easier.

To access the keyboard:

The iPad's virtual keyboard will appear whenever you tap a text field. For example, the keyboard will appear when composing an email, writing a note, or entering a website address.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about using the iPad's virtual keyboard.

edit hotspots

Keyboard features

The iPad's virtual keyboard includes several features that make typing on your device faster and easier.

Suggestions

The iPad will offer suggestions for certain words as you type. When typing, simply tap the spacebar to use a suggestion. In the example below, we used the suggestion to change agreem to agreement. To dismiss a suggestion, just ignore the suggestion and continue typing.

Auto-Correction

The iPad will correct commonly misspelled words automatically. For example, teh will be corrected to the.

While it's a powerful feature, Auto-Correction isn't perfect. And because it happens automatically, you may not always notice when something is changed. You should always review your text to make sure it's correct.

Spell check

In addition to Auto-Correction, the iPad will note spelling errors as you type. Any misspelled words will be underlined in red. To view possible suggestions for a spelling error, tap the word. A list of possible spellings will appear. Simply tap a suggestion to replace the existing word.

Moving the cursor

Sometimes you may find that you want to edit something at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph. Instead of deleting the existing text and starting over, you can move the cursor to the desired location. To move the cursor, simply tap the desired location. If you need more control, press and hold the screen, then (without removing your finger) drag the magnifying glass to choose a location for the cursor.

To copy and paste text:

If you want to move text from one location to another, you can copy and paste it. This is especially helpful if you want to move text between different apps. For example, you might find some useful information in Safari and then copy and paste it into the Notes app.

  1. First, you'll need to select the text you want to copy. Double-tap the screen next to the text you want to select, then drag the selection handles to select the text.
  2. Menu options will appear above the selected text, including Cut, Copy, and Paste. We'll tap Copy.
  3. Double-tap the desired location for the text, then tap Paste.
  4. The copied text will appear.

More keyboard tips

The keyboard has many other features that aren't immediately obvious. We've listed some of the most helpful ones below.

Keyboard settings

If you want even more control over the keyboard, you can customize its settings. To do this, open Settings, then tap Keyboard.

The keyboard settings will appear. From here, you can turn certain keyboard features (like Auto-Correction) on and off, add another keyboard language, create custom text shortcuts, and much more. Take some time to explore these settings to see if any will be helpful for you.