For some, the default iOS keyboard is lacking in the bells and whistles department, but we’re willing to bet there are a few secrets lurking below its surface that will blow your mind.
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iOS 7 Keyboard Tips & Tricks

ios-7-keaybord

Many people knock the iPhone for its limited selection of keyboard applications. And when we say limited, we really mean no selection at all. You get one keyboard — the default iOS keyboard. For some, this software keyboard is lacking in the bells and whistles department. We’re willing to bet there are a few secrets lurking below its surface that will blow your mind.

Whether you’re looking to improve your typing proficiency or simply want to spruce up the content of your messages, here are a few iOS 7 keyboard tips and tricks to set you on your path. Once you see what you have been missing, you will never understood how you typed without them.

Insert punctuation marks

insert-punctuation

Aside from a few instances when additional punctuation and special character keys are presented in a contextual manner, adding punctuation in iOS 7 means jumping to the keyboard’s second (and sometimes third) page of input options by tapping the ‘123’ key in the lower lefthand corner. There is, however, a more efficient way to add periods, question marks, and more.

Instead of tapping the ‘123’ key, simply long-press it, sliding your finger to the character you want when the second page of input options appears, and releasing. The punctuation mark will be entered and you will be returned to the main keyboard character set.

Double-tap spacebar to add a period

double-tap-period

For one case in particular, punctuation can be added even quicker (provided the setting is enabled). Double-tapping the spacebar after a word will automatically insert a period.

To enable this setting, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard. Enable “.” Shortcut.

Turn on caps lock

iOS 7’s keyboard makes it easy to quickly one letter or all of a word (even an entire message, if you feel so inclined). Tapping the shift key (upwards pointing arrow) once will capitalize the next letter you enter. Alternatively, you can hold the shift key while typing. All letters typed while the shift key is pressed will be capitalized.

cap-lock

If you want to free up both fingers for typing, you can enable caps lock. Do so by double-tapping the shift key. Double-tap again to disable caps lock.

In order for caps lock to work, make sure the option is enabled. Do so by navigating to Settings > General > Keyboard. Switch on Enable Caps Lock.

Backspace through entire words

backspace

Typed a long message, email, or other bit of text but decided you want to scrap the whole thing? iOS 7’s keyboard allows you to delete entered text quickly and easily. Simply long-press the backspace key. At first this will backspace through individual letters. Hold long enough and it will switch over to deleting entire words at a time.

Quickly complete URLs in Safari

url-complete

iOS 7’s keyboard is contextual. You may have noticed the available input options shift depending on the app. In the case of Safari, the ‘.’ key appears to the right of the spacebar, useful for filling out URLs when surfing the web. Did you know it gets even easier than that?

Long-pressing the ‘.’ key brings up a sub-menu of URL suffixes, including ‘.com,’ ‘.net,’ and  ‘.edu.’ Simply slide your finger over the one you need to complete your URL in one motion. No need to type it all out.

Depending on your language and location preferences, the available auto-complete URLs will change, catering to regional addresses like ‘.co.uk.’

Access special characters with ease (great for Spanish speakers)

special characters

For text messaging and email, the standard character set of the iOS 7 keyboard is sufficient enough. Below its face, however, lurks a robust selection of special characters of particular use to speakers of languages other than English. A number of special punctuation marks can also be found.

Simply long-press the character’s key to reveal sub-menu offering variations on that particular letter or punctuation mark. The most typical examples add accents and other modifiers to standard letters like ‘A’ and ‘E,’ typical of Spanish. A variety of Spanish-oriented punctuation marks can also be accessed by long-pressing on the quotation mark, exclamation point, and question mark keys.

Add message shortcuts

keyboard-shortcuts

Say what you mean and say it quickly with message shortcuts. Apple’s iOS 7 keyboard allows for the creation of custom shortcuts that will expand common abbreviations into full text or sentences. An example would be having the shortcut “LOL” automatically enter as “laughing out loud” when typed.

To create a message shortcut, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard. Scroll down to SHORTCUTS and tap Add New Shortcut. On the next screen, enter the phrase you wish the shortcut to trigger followed by the shortcut text. Tap Save and the shortcut should be automatically enabled.


See? The iOS 7 keyboard isn’t so limited after all. Once you get the hang of these secrets and shortcuts, you will be a texting expert. For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out our guide to iOS 7 gestures and shortcuts.

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  • My brain just melted. Thanks, Kevin.

  • I think it would look better if the letters on every key also goes small as well while you’re in small caps. Anyway its better than the old keyboard, the auto correct is still annoying though.

    • yeah would be nice to get a better indication of when caps are on/off.