Monday, January 24, 2011

5 tips and tricks for typing on an iPad

As I continue to use my Apple iPad, I seem to be picking up new typing tricks that are helping me type more efficiently and accurately. Here are 5 tips I'd like to highlight based on my personal experiences:

1. I can type more accurately if I use 4 fingers on each hand instead of all five. Depending on the size of your hands, you may notice the same thing. If you have smaller fingers, then you may type just fine using all five fingers (ok, the thumb isn't a finger). I mainly type using my index, middle, and ring fingers. I also use my thumb, but I do not regularly use my pinkie.

2. Do you know how to highlight sections of a paragraph? First, double tap at the beginning of the section. Then, hold that second tap and drag and select the section you would like to highlight. When you let go, you will have the option to copy or cut that section.

3. Get used to the auto capitalization of the first letter of sentence. If you do not like that feature, you can disable that in the Settings under General-> Keyboard. Speaking of capitalization: the screen is multi-touch, so you can hold the Shift key with one finger and press several other keys using your other finger if you need a series of CAPS. You can also double tap the Shift key to get CAPS LOCK.

4. Are you looking for the arrow keys? Up, Down, Left, Right? You won't find them on the keyboard. I hope that Apple adds the arrow keys in future versions of iOS. Until we get arrow keys, you need to get used to tapping and holding until a magnifying view appears. Keep your fingers on the screen until you have moved the cursor where you need it to go. If that ends up being a frustrating experience, then pinch to zoom and make the letters bigger so that you can place the cursor at the right position.

5. Finally, keep your fingernails short. The iPad uses a capacitive touch screen, so passive objects like fingernails will not register on the device. Plus, long fingernails will make typing more difficult on this type of gadget.

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