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iPad_April24_CThe iPad is widely considered to be the most popular tablet, even for business. A common reason for this is because it allows business users to be more productive and take the office with them when they leave. A downside of the iPad, and indeed most tablets, is the keyboard, which can often hinder productivity. There is a feature that helps negate this factor however.

Here’s a tip on how you can improve typing on your iPad through the use of keyboard shortcuts.

What are they?
Keyboard shortcuts are a built-in feature of iOS that allow you to type in a few letters and have your iPad input full sentences or words. This is similar to a Web browser’s autocomplete feature which will fill in forms when you enter a few letters or even a word.

How it works
Keyboard shortcuts require manual setup, you will have to set a phrase, sentence, word, etc. as well as the letters that will input the phrase. For example you can set the letters ‘beml’ to be a shortcut for your business email; when you type ‘beml’, your iPad will input your email address.

These shortcuts could be quite useful, especially if you find yourself continually entering the same word or sentence. This will make you more productive and, as long as you have the correct information, will ensure that there are no typos in important words or phrases.

How to set it keyboard shortcuts

Taking the business email example from above, here’s how you can set keyboard shortcuts. Note: These instructions relate to iOS 6.1 (the latest version of the operating system.)

  1. Open the Settings app (gray box with three cogs).
  2. Select General followed by Keyboard.
  3. Scroll down and select Add New Shortcut.
  4. Enter the full word/phrase/sentence in the Phrase section. In this case you would enter your full email address.
  5. Enter the shortcut letters that will be related to the Phrase. In this case you would enter beml.
  6. Tap Save in the top-right of the window.

When entering shortcuts, it is a good idea to not use common letters or combinations that make up words. For example if you set a shortcut as ‘mai’, everytime you type ‘mai’, the phrase will be entered. To come up with a good shortcut, try using the first letter of the first word, a middle letter and the last. Or, you could enter three consonants or vowels in a row e.g., ‘eee’.

How to edit keyboard shortcuts
You may notice that when you navigate to the Keyboard section in the Settings app, there is a number of existing shortcuts. You can edit these by:

  1. Opening the Settings app (gray box with three cogs).
  2. Selecting General followed by Keyboard.
  3. Tapping Edit and selecting the shortcut to edit from the Shortcuts box.
  4. Editing the phrase and shortcut associated to it in the window that opens.
  5. Pressing Save in the top-right of the window.

The next time you need to enter a phrase that you have setup a shortcut for, try entering the shortcut. This should make typing on the iPad a bit more efficient and save you time.

If you are looking to learn more about the iPad, or how using one can help improve your productivity at work, please contact us today.

Published on 25th April 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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