Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bottom line: Unleash your iPad keyboard by turning off the iPad auto-correct, using keyboard shortcuts, and entering characters from other languages (including greek symbols).

Details: Typing on the iPad isn't as easy as on a laptop, but there are several features that can be tweaked to make it a much more pleasant experience. First of all, you may have noticed that the iPad tries to correct your typing. I was disappointed when I discovered this, as it called back unpleasant Microsoft Word memories. Especially when typing lots of medical terms, you may want to chuck this feature. There is an easy way to do this:

1. Tap on the "Settings" app, then tap on "General"
2. Scroll down to near the bottom, and tap on "Keyboard"
3. Voila! Turn off that pesky "Auto-correct" feature (the 2nd switch)

While you're in this same menu, take a look at a couple of the other neat features with the keyboard. At the bottom you'll notice a sample keyboard shortcut. When you enter in the key letters ("omw") in other apps, the iPad will convert it ("On my way!"). You can add your own shortcuts for anything you type often.

Finally, you may find it useful to include characters from other languages like the Spanish ñ or Greek letters (useful when typing notes in class, like in Aδ nociceptive fibers). In that same keyboard menu we've been working in, tap on "International Keyboards," then "Add new keyboard." Choose any language you might want to use. Then in some other app, you'll notice when you bring up the keyboard a new button shows up in the lower left, with a little globe on it. Tap on that, and your keyboard will switch between languages.

That's it! There are more fun features to look at in the keyboard menu that you should fiddle with when you have the time. Happy typing!

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