11 essential iOS 9 keyboard tips

Learn these handy keyboard secrets

Apple’siOS 9 keyboard offers more than it seems and while advanced users may already know this, many less experienced iPhone and iPad owners may not yet have learned what it can do.

Quick currency

The numeric keyboard shows the dollar ($) symbol by default, but when you need to type another currency symbol, you only need to hold down the $ key and you’ll see a list of alternative symbols pop-up, slide you finger to the one you need.

Fast text edit with 3D Touch

Editing text is more accurate with a 3D Touch-enabled iPhone: just press hard anywhere on the keyboard and then slide your finger to where you want to insert text.


Apple’s predictive text suggestions can be quite helpful but if you don’t want to see them all the time, or need a little more on-screen space just tap and drag the small predictive text window down until it disappears.


Want to type words in capitals? Easy: tap the Shift button twice to activate the Caps Lock feature, tap it again to turn it off.

Quickly add symbol

To use special symbols like accented vowels and the like simply tap and hold the relevant letter on the keyboard and all available special symbols will appear, just drag your finger to select. This also works for the Shift key – tap and hold it and then slide to the letter to place a character.

Also read: 15 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need

Double tap

So long as you have the Auto-capitalization and Shortcuts options (Settings>General>Keyboard) enabled a double-tap of the Space bar will add a full stop. The next character you write will automatically be capitalized.

Fast punctuation

Here is how we usually type in iOS 9: we write using the character palette and tap the 123 button to access the number and punctuation palette, then tap the key again to return to the default keyboard layout. Save time by tapping and holding the 123 button when you will be able to slide your finger to the number or other symbol you need.

Fast domain

When composing an email tap and hold the period button to access a list of domain endings to place in your document – in Safari you’ll access this list by tapping and holding the .com button, while in Mail you access them using the period button.

Character count

Enable the character count in Messages by enabling it in Settings>Messages>Character Count and toggling this to on. Now you’ll see a running character count to the right of the display, above the send button.

Text Replacement shortcuts

Most people don’t use text expansion shortcuts because they don’t understand how they might be useful, these are useful when:

  • You have multiple email addresses, and want to drop an address into App Store accounts, emails or anything else.
  • You want a quick way to write your phone number or address
  • You frequently use long and complex technical words in messages.

To enable shortcuts

  • Open Settings>General>Text Replacement
  • To create new Shortcuts tap the + button on the top right.
  • Enter what you want the text to be in the Phrase section
  • Enter the shortcut you want to use in the Shortcut box
  • In future when you type the Shortcut the assigned phrase will appear.

Install third party keyboards

Take a look at eight of the best available alternative iOS 9keyboards you can install right here.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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