Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bluetooth Keyboard Shortcuts That Work with iPad/iPhone Devices

If you use an iPad for any type of writing or journaling, you probably use Apple's wireless bluetooth keyboard.  I decided to post a list of some of the keyboard shortcuts that work with the keyboard bluetoothed with an iPad or iPad 2 or even your iPhone.

To pair your keyboard with your device, select General>Bluetooth in the Settings options.  Turn bluetooth ON and also turn on your bluetooth keyboard by pushing in the button on the keyboard that is located on the upper right-hand side of the physical keyboard.  Your mobile device will try to discover the bluetooth keyboard and once that it finds the keyboard, a dialog box requesting you to enter a PIN number on your keyboard will appear on the screen.  Once the PIN has been entered, be sure to hit the return or enter key.  You should then be connected and can start typing away.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Controlling Device Settings:
F1 - decreases the brightness on the device screen
F2 - increases the brightness on the device screen
Space Bar -  when your screen has gone to sleep will wake it up.

If you want to play some iPod app music in the background while you type
F8 - play or pause media
F9 - navigate forwards for media playing, next song
F7 - navigate backwards for media playing, previous song
F10 - mutes the media
F11 - decrease the volume for the media playing
F12 - increase the volume for the media playing
Option (or Cmd or Shift or Cntrl) + F9 - skips to the next album
Option (or Cmd or Shift or Cntrl)+ F7 - returns to the previous album

Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Text or Moving within text paragraph or document:
Cmd A - Select All
Cmd C - Copy Text
Cmd X - Cut
Cmd V - Paste
Option + Delete - delete entire words one at a time to the left of the cursor
Cmd Z - Undo
Shift + Cmd + Z - redo

Shift + Right Arrow - selects/deselects letter by letter moving to the right
Shift + Left Arrow - selects/deselects letter by letter moving to the left
Shift + Up Arrow - selects/deselects text when moving up
Shift + Down Arrow - selects/deselects text when moving down

Option + Shift + Right Arrow - allows you to select/deselect text word by word when moving right
Option + Shift + Left Arrow - allows you to select/deselect text word by word when moving left
Option + Shift + Up Arrow - allows you to select/deselect text line by line when moving up
Option + Shift + Down Arrow - allows you to select/deselect text line by line when moving down

Cmd + Up Arrow -  move the cursor to the beginning of document
Cmd + Down Arrow - move the cursor to the end of document (also works with Cntrl)
Cmd + Right Arrow - move the cursor to the end of the line  (also works with Cntrl)
Cmd + Left Arrow - move to the beginning of the line

Tab  - indents the text
Right, Left, Up and Down Arrows - will move the cursor in the body of the text
Eject Button (top row right-hand side of keyboard) - disconnects bluetooth keyboard to allow accessing the virtual keyboard on the device
Cmd + Spacebar - select a different (International) keyboard if one has been added to the list of available keyboards in the General Settings for the device.

Keyboard Shortcuts to Yield Special Symbols - Using option key and letters/numbers yields special symbols, and using option shift and a letter/numbers produces some additional symbols.  Option w - yields the symbol ∑
Option r - yields the registered trademark symbol ®
Option d - yields the symbol sigma ∂
Option p -  yields the symbol for pi  π
Option g - yields the symbol for copyright ©
Option 2 - yields the symbol for trademark ™
Option x - yields the symbol for approximately equal to ≈
Option v - yields the square root symbol √
Option k - yields the degree symbol ˚
Option 4 - yields the cent symbol ¢
Option j - yields the delta symbol ∆
Option , - yields the lesson than and equal to symbol ≤
Option . - yields the greater than and equal to symbol ≥
Option / - yields the division symbol ÷
Option n + (then release option key) followed by letter n - yields the ñ
Option e = (then release option key) followed by letter e - yields é
Option ` = (then release option key) followed by a or e or i- yields à and è and ì
Option 5 - yields the infinity sign ∞
Option 8 - yields the bolded bullet •
Option ; - yields the ellipse symbol (3 dots in a row) …
Option b - yields the integral symbol ∫
Option 1 - yields the upside down exclamation point ¡

There are also a number of symbols that can be typed when using the shift key along with the option key and a letter/number
Option + Shift + k - yields the apple symbol 
Option + Shift + 3 - yields the less than symbol ‹
Option + Shift + 4 - yields the greater than symbol ›
Option + Shift + letter o - yields the null symbol Ø
Option + Shift + 2 - yields the Euro symbol €
Option + Shift + equals symbol = - yields the ± symbol
Option + Shift + left bracket [ - yields the right double quotes ”
Option + left bracket [- yields the left double quotes “
Option + Shift + right bracket ]- yields the right single quote ’
Option + right bracket ] - yields the left single quote ‘
Option + Shift + front slash / symbol - yields the upside down question mark used in Spanish ¿

Presently, not all keyboard shortcuts work with the iPad and iPhone, such as some important ones for bold, italics and other text formatting within apps.  Not all apps will allow using the keyboard shortcuts.  The trick of hitting the space bar twice to add a period and start a new sentence  does not work. 


Niller said...

Thanks for the list, specially for the for the cmd + spacebar for the language selection and the eject button for switching between the on screen keyboard and the bluethooth keyboard.


Hammy Havoc said...

This is incredibly useful; Just hooked up my Apple keyboard to my iPad 2 and think it is great how I can even use the eject key to hide the keyboard to get more screen space. They've thought of everything!

Mike Kustreba said...

Thanks Granny Joan, this is a great help.

I am hoping you have one more trick up your sleave. Everything works for me except the Function keys. They don't respond at all - the keyboard is brand new.

Any ideas?

Granny Joan said...

The function keys don't work, but I am hoping they will be active when the new system update comes out. Crossing my fingers. Sorry no help on that one.

Bill said...

Very helpful. The people at the apple store said that there were no shortcuts for the wireless keyboard.

sfitzjohn said...

Thanks, great list. One more shortcut I'd love to find - how to turn on the on-screen keyboard when the bluetooth keyboard is still the recognized keyboard but not within reach. I know you can use the eject key on the BT keyboard to activate the on-screen keyboard and, if the BT keyboard is out of range, the on-screen keyboard will pop up. But sometimes, the BT keyboard is in the next room and I'm holding the iPad wanting to type in a word and the only solution is to walk to the next room. If I turn off BT then the keyboard appears but it seems like an ugly work-around. I've searched for solutions to no avail. Thanks.

Andy Levy said...

This is an excellent post! Any idea if there is a shortcut for the browser back button?

Peruco said...

Hi. Thanks for the tips! I was wondering if there is a way to use the keyboard for tabbing through the entire input option of a browser toolbar till the website input fields. And about changing the browser opened windows. It would be perfect if we could actually navigate on the ipad the exctally way we do on a laptop. Hope Apple could upgrade how we use the keyboard with the ipad without having to touch the screen. I use my ipad connected to my tv and it's not comfortable standing up everytime to touch the screen just to change from the address bar to sign inpu fields on my gmail sign in page, for example!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, I agree that Apple should make more keyboard shortcuts for ipad such as scrolling, multitasking, exit app, control for games, etc.

Anonymous said...

great guide, thanks. one question.. when im typing in Messages, is there a shortcut to send? a bit weird having to touch 'send' on screen if im active on a keyboard.


Granny Joan said...


Check out this link to article that might work - http://decadentwaste.net/2011/03/navigate-using-a-bluetooth-keyboard-on-your-ios-device/

I'm currently traveling and not able to try this, but might be a solution. Let me know if it works for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much! I particularly love the command space bar shortcut as I use diff languages on the iPad. I didn't want to have to change to whole os language system so as to be able to use another language. thanks again.

~Carla~ said...

I realize this post is old, but wow, thaks all the same!! SO helpful!! :)

Chris said...

Ditto! As per Anonymous-san, the language-change shortcut is soooo useful. Thankyou! ありがとうございます!:)

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സഞ്ചാരി @ സഞ്ചാരി said...

Thanks a lot for your valuable help

John Mirando said...

Any chance there is a way to return to your "home screen" showing the apps? The apple dock keyboard has a dedicated key, was optimistic there may be a shortcut on the BT keyboard to accomplish the same...

admin said...

Thank you for this list! I have just got a keyboard for my iPad, and have been trying to figure out the shortcuts for myself. This list is gold!

Unknown said...

Thanks...I too just got my keyboard for my new iPad---Now, How do I check the Battery Status of my keyboard? Thanks!

AdMin said...

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Lisa said...

Hi and thanks for the list--I've already used a couple of the commands! It's almost two years since your blog post, and I'm looking for a keyboard command (Apple bt) for sending text messages from my iPhone. It's great typing the message on the keyboard, but clumsy having to push the send button on the display. Are you aware of a shortcut? (Thanks!)

Unknown said...

Any idea if Apple will add more of these simple shortcuts? I am quite annoyed that I can not close a tab with cmd+W and the like.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you ! :)

HK said...

Thanks for being a persistent support!
Is there any possibility to use
the external keyboard as a remote
control, i.e. to open a
presentation and then to tick
forward or backward?
I would appreciate your comment.

Granny Joan said...

HK, not sure if the bluetooth keyboard would handle that request, but there are several ipad and iphone apps that work as a device for viewing presentations made using keynote and powerpoint that are pretty reasonably priced. I would think that would be a great solution.

Granny Joan

HK said...

I will have a look.
Thank you !

Anonymous said...

I have an imac G4, and would like to restore it to its original settings like when you first got it.
Does any know how to do this?
F.Y.I. - I don't have the OSX discs so is there a way to do this without the discs?

aifaz said...

My ipad is connected to an external keyboard. Guess the kids fiddled with it, that any charaacter input turns out to be a symbol. Is there any solution to change the keys back to 'characters'. Kindly help....

Granny Joan said...


Try using The standard shortcuts (command + space, shift + command + space)to switch to different language layouts.

iphone 4 ucuz said...

Nice post with great details. I really appreciate your info. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your instructions. I will make a notice next time.

Ashish Murugan said...

Great website. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious.

And certainly, thank you for your effort!
With thanks,

Unknown said...

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