How to Create Keyboard Shortcuts on iPad for Typing Faster

We’re always looking for ways to make our life easier. When most people buy an iPad, they aim to improve their productivity. Typing is no exception to it. How many times did you type out emails and feel that you were typing similar information over and over again, so much so that you thought a shortcut could’ve saved you a lot of time and effort?

If you’re in this situation, look no further. Today we’ll look at all the new shortcuts that come with the latest iPadOS iteration and how you can further add shortcuts to improve your iPad experience. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.

iPad’s new universal keyboard shortcuts

iPadOS 15 comes with a lot of new features, and one of these is the inclusion of new universal keyboard shortcuts that brings a lot of quality of life features. These shortcuts are:

  • Go to Home Screen: Globe + H
  • Siri: Globe + S
  • Search:Command + Space
  • Show Dock:Globe + A
  • Switch App:Command + Right Arrow
  • Show App Library: Shift + Globe + A
  • Quick Note:Globe + Q
  • Tile Window Left:Control + Globe + Left Arrow
  • Tile Window Right:Control + Globe + Right Arrow
  • Notification Center:Globe + N
  • Control Center:Globe + C
  • App Switcher:Globe + Up Arrow
  • Next App:Globe + Left Arrow
  • Show Keyboard Shortcuts:Globe + M (or just hold down Globe)
  • Show Slide Over:Globe + Backslash (\)
  • Move to Right Slide Over:Option + Globe + Right Arrow
  • Move to Left Slide Over:Option + Globe + Left Arrow

How to create keyboard shortcuts on iPad

You can also create keyboard shortcuts on your iPad, the process is super simple, and you can create shortcuts in minutes. Just follow the process below:

  • Go to the Settings app.
  • Tap on “General” and then on “Keyboard”.
  • Next, tap on the “Text Replacement” button.
  • Tap on the “+” icon in the top right corner.
  • Now, create the shortcut. For example, you could enter your email address in the “Phrase” box and then enter “email” in the “Shortcut” box. So, when you type “email”, it”ll auto expand to your full email address.
  • Finally, tap on the “Save” button.

How to customize shortcuts with text expander app

TextExpander is an application that will serve as a shortcut, and it will allow you to create shortcuts for texting on your iPad so that you need not type the repeating information over and over again.

E.g., if you need to re-write your contact details repeatedly for your mails, you can create a shortcut for them. So, for instance, you may make a shortcut wherein if you type ‘;cd’, your contact details will automatically get pasted over ‘;cd’. It’s a small and easy feature that can make a world of difference.(Also quite tempting to use once you get the hang of it)

Let’s walk through a step-by-step guide to use this feature of TextExpander on iPad. We can divide the whole process into two parts – setting up the app and adding keyboard shortcuts.

Installing TextExpander and setting up the keyboard
  1. Go to the TextExpander website to create an account. You would be asked to fill in some basic information to sign up. You will also be asked a few questions to customize the app to best suit your needs.
  2. Once you’re done setting up your account, you need to install the app on your iPad. For this, head to the App Store on your iPad and search for the TextExpander app there, and you should be able to locate it there.
  3. Once you’re done installing it, open the app, and sign in to the account you just created on their website from the first step. With this, the application is now ready to use.
Steps to add keyboard shortcuts
  1. Click on the icon of the TextExpander app on your iPad screen.
  2. On the left-hand side, you’ll see many options/groups available to you. Click on the snippets group.
  3. Once you click on it, the snippets window should appear. At the bottom, there will be a ‘+’ button on the screen. Click on it to create a new snippet. The ‘Add a Snippet’ panel will open up.
  4. The first thing you’d need to fill in will be ‘Content’. This will justify the type of snippet you’ll use. There are many options to choose from, such as JavaScript, plain text, and formatted text and pictures.

Note: Ideally, you can choose from any of these options, depending on the type of snippet you’re aiming for. Since we are dealing with keyboard shortcuts to type faster, choose the ‘plaintext’ option.

  • You will also notice a blank white space in the middle. This is the space where you fill in the information or the data you aim to create a shortcut. The type of data you fill in here will depend on what you specified in the ‘Content’ panel. Since we’ve selected ‘plain text’, you can type out the lengthy and complicated text for which you are creating this shortcut.
  • Close to the bottom of your iPad screen, there will be a ‘Label’ Panel. You need to decide and fill in a name for your snippet. This name would appear as a heading to your snippet and show on the left side under the snippets section. This name helps you identify the snippet if you want to delete it or make some changes.
  • Below the label, you need to fill in the Abbreviation panel. There you are required to put the abbreviation that will summon the full-fledged text or media that you want. E.g., ‘;cd’ command pasting contact details.
  • Once you’re done, click on the ‘Done’ button. The changes will be instantly saved, and you can start using the abbreviation you just created.

Note: If you want to edit the snippet, open the snippet again from the snippets group and make the desired changes. Click on ‘done’, and you’re good to go.

Pricing and availability

TextExpander is not a free application to use. While you would get a free 30-day trial to test the app, you need to pay to use it after that period. The cost of TextExpander would entirely depend on which kind of package you choose, and hence, the price may vary.

Currently, the cost stands at $3.33/month for the Individual pack, $8.33/month for the Business pack, and $10.83/month for the Growth pack. If you are buying TextExpander for an enterprise (more than 50 users), your pricing can be customized by talking to a consultant. In this case, the cost would depend on your needs and features usage.


How do I make keyboard shortcuts for typing?

To create keyboard shortcuts, you can use an external keyboard app like TextExpander.This application is compatible with several devices and does the job perfectly. With this app, you can set up typing shortcuts by going to the snippets group and setting up your snippets as needed. The shortcut becomes active the moment you save the snippet.

How do you speed up typing on the iPad?

There are many ways to increase your typing speed on your iPad. While a good typing speed builds up with practice and time, below are a few ways to help you through the track –

  • You can achieve a better typing speed by setting up keyboard shortcuts. With the help of applications like TextExpander, you can set up your personalized shortcuts for texting. For instance, you may use a short form such as ‘;em’ to easily paste your email when texting instead of going through the hassle of typing it and re-checking it every time you send it out.
  • Another way to increase your typing speed on iPad if you’re writing a small brief text is through QuickPath. When using QuickPath, you don’t have to tap on the screen while texting or even bother pressing the spacebar. You can drag your finger over the keyboard as you type, which saves a lot of time.
Does iPad have keyboard shortcuts?

iPad does have a few built-in keyboard shortcuts. One example of such a shortcut is how double-tapping on the spacebar enters a period automatically. If you use an external keyboard like TextExpander, you can add your customized keyboard shortcuts to do your work easier.

To sum up

In a world where much of the work is done virtually, a good typing speed and strategy can help you save a lot of time. It’s pretty amusing how a simple application can make our lives efficient. But don’t forget that this isn’t the only feature offered by this application. The app provides a plethora of features for a very reasonable price.

You can not only create such snippets but also create keyboard shortcuts for yourself. Its flexibility in creating shortcuts for different media files and JavaScript make it a powerful tool. You can expand your text snippets in Mail, Messages, Safari, and everywhere else. More than anything, we hope using typing shortcuts helps you increase your productivity and thrive.

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