Apple popularized virtual, multitouch keyboards with the original iPhone and the brilliant work of the engineer who created it. Since then they've improved text entry with editing and insertion options, and the keyboard itself with a new, predictive engine. They've also added the option for custom keyboards. Yet not everyone knows every feature hidden in the keyboard and text editing controls. Once you learn them, however, your typing really starts to fly!
Note: Not every option is available in every app, and while the iPad contains all the iPhone shortcuts, it also contains additional features like the split keyboard and and flick quote.
1. Toggle your 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.
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.
7. 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.
8. Quick contractions
Instead of typing we-number-button-apostrophe-ll for we'll, just type welll and auto-correct will switch it to we'll. Weree for we're, helll for he'll and other common contractions work the same.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
If your typing a note or email and decide you want to insert an image, double tap where you want to insert it and then tap Insert Photo from the popup menu. It's not full-on file attachment, but it's something.
14. 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
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.)
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 tap 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, , and more!
19. iPhone 6 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.
20. Bluetooth bonus
The iPhone supports Bluetooth keyboard just like the iPad. That includes everything from the Typo2 case to a full-sized Apple external, and everything in between. If you want to get physical, you can do it with Bluetooth.
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!