Just like a Mac computer, an iPad also supports keyboard shortcuts to greatly improve productivity. Here are some of the most useful ones.
When Apple added keyboard support to the iPad, it instantly became much more like a computer, enabling some Mac-like features such as keyboard shortcuts. Using a keyboard with an iPad gives users more screen space since the on-screen keyboard is hidden. It also allows the hands to face downward during use, an ergonomic benefit. If swiping and tapping are required, however, that reduces the advantage, which is why using keyboard shortcuts along with a trackpad or mouse can increase productivity.
Keyboard shortcuts have been included on the Mac and MacBook computers from the beginning. While Windows computers use combinations of the Control key plus a letter key, the Mac requires users to hold down the Command key and tap a letter or number key to trigger an action. One of the most commonly used shortcuts is copying with the Command+C combination, and pasting with Command+V. In macOS, keyboard shortcuts can be learned over time by looking for the key combination that appears on the right of many menu commands.
An iPad keyboard shortcut works similarly to the way it does on a Mac, by holding the Command key and tapping another key. There are a few different combinations, however, such as Globe+H to go to the Home Screen. The method of learning shortcuts is a bit different on an iPad since doesn’t have menus like a Mac. However, they can be revealed by pressing and holding the Command key for a couple of seconds, which displays a panel of menus near the bottom of the screen. These vary depending on which app is being used. When on the Home Screen several more Globe key shortcuts are shown that can be used from any app. Globe+M will reveal these combinations from within an app.
Best iPad Keyboard Shortcuts
Some of the best iPad keyboard shortcuts are used for text editing. Command+A selects the entire contents of a document, while Shift plus an arrow key selects text while moving in the direction of the arrow. Shift+Option+Arrow highlights an entire word, and Shift+Command+Arrow selects an entire line. Movement of the text cursor is accomplished with the same arrow key combinations without holding Shift. The Command key combined with ‘B,’ ‘I,’ or ‘U’ styles the selected text as bold, italics, or underlined, respectively.
Some iPad keyboard shortcuts can be customized to use a key combination that is more memorable. The list is somewhat short, but keyboard-friendly apps often allow customization as well. To customize system shortcuts, open the Accessibility tab in the Settings app, then navigate to Full Keyboard Access / Commands to make changes. The method within an app varies but should be somewhere in the app’s preferences. Other useful built-in shortcuts include Command+Space to open a Spotlight Search from the Home Screen or within an app, Command+Tab to switch between apps, and Command+N to create a new blank document. With keyboard shortcuts like these, it’s easy to get more done without lifting one’s hands from the iPad’s keyboard, greatly improving productivity.
Next: Apple’s Smart Folio Vs. Magic: Which iPad Keyboard To Buy?
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