Monday, September 12, 2016

iOS Keyboard Shortcuts

Do you find yourself typing the same long word or phrase into your iPhone or iPad over and over (ex: your e-mail address)? If so, it might be time to create some keyboard shortcuts! Click here to watch a 6-second video that illustrates how iOS keyboard shortcuts can save you time or watch the clip below:
Pretty handy, huh? 
You can create keyboard shortcuts for anything you want, but it's obviously most helpful to create shortcuts for things you type fairly often. 

On personal devices, that might mean you create shortcuts for various e-mail addresses you have, a long word or phrase you use often, your full name {to be used as a signature or when filling out forms}, etc. 

On student devices, it might look a little different. For instance, if you use utilize Read Naturally, you may have noticed that the latest update doesn't save the 8-digit access code students have to use to get in the program. If you're okay with students seeing {and potentially memorizing} that number and you want to save a little time during the login process, you may consider creating a keyboard shortcut for that 8-digit access code. Or if, for instance, your very young learners {who tend to take several minutes to type one word} all have the same password, maybe you want to create a keyboard shortcut for that password. 

{Note: I don't recommend using keyboard shortcuts for passwords for anyone other than very young learners. Even then, it is purely in the interest of time so that you regain as many instructional minutes as possible!}

If you're interested in setting up your own shortcuts on iOS devices, follow the directions in the screenshots below:

The previously-existing shortcuts on that device will be listed on this screen in alphabetical order. You can see that, on my school iPad, I have 3 keyboard shortcuts already entered. If I wanted to edit any of them, I could just tap the entry I want to edit on this screen. 

After you click "save" in the upper right corner, you'll be free to use your iOS keyboard shortcut.

To test it, go into the "Notes" app and type the shortcut you specified earlier. The phrase should automatically pop up, as it did in my example video. 

Happy typing! 

Note: iOS keyboard shortcuts work in almost any app and in almost any web form, but please be aware that there are a select few applications the shortcuts are not compatible with.

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