16 iOS Keyboard Shortcuts for iPhone

Since the time Apple introduced iPhone, the basic keyboard appears for the text input box on various applications had undergone many changes. If you spend more time on apps like Pages, Messages, Mail or even Safari, it is necessary to learn some quick iOS keyboard shortcuts which will save you lot of time. Here we will explore iOS keyboard shortcuts for iPhone based on the default Apple keyboard.

Related: Alt code shortcuts for Mac to insert symbols.

Default iOS Keyboard Layout

The keyboard layout on iPhone will change in vertical and horizontal positions. Therefore, you should understand the layout to properly use the shortcuts. Below is the iOS horizontal keyboard layout:

iOS Horizontal Keyboard
iOS Horizontal Keyboard

Here is iOS vertical keyboard layout:

iOS Vertical Keyboard
iOS Vertical Keyboard

Before Using the Shortcuts

  • These shortcuts will work on all Apple apps. However, it may not work on third-party apps and other app specific keyboards.
  • Though iPadOS comes with an enhanced keyboard with different layout than iPhone, most of these shortcuts should also work with iPad.
  • If you have Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro then you can use it like Mac keyboard. Hence, these shortcuts are not much required for iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard.

1. Quickly Typing Website Addresses

iOS has a shortcut to choose the top level domain like .com or .net when typing the site address in Safari. Just press and hold the dot key to see the popular TLDs in the fly out menu and easily choose .com or .net extension without typing it. Based on the additional keyboards added you will also see country specific domains in the list. For example, if you have added Chinese keyboard then you will see something like below:

Type Site Address TLD in iOS
Type Site Address TLD in iOS

2. Adding Additional Keyboard

Add as many as language specific keyboards to your default layout from the “Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard”. You can switch between the languages by pressing the “Globe” button on the keyboard.

Related: Get 600+ alt code shortcuts to insert symbols in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

3. Using Globe Key

Tap and hold the globe key on the keyboard to achieve the followings:

  • Switch languages by choosing it from the fly out menu.
  • Switch to Emoji icons to view and select objects and symbols.

4. Typing Accented Special Characters

If your language has special characters like ę, ą, ś, ć, etc. which are not present in English then just press and hold the corresponding English letter to see the fly out menu appears with these options.

Select Special Characters in iOS
Select Special Characters in iOS

Related: Learn how to type accented letters in Windows and Mac?

5. Typing Single Numbers and Symbols Quickly

To enter a single number, you can tap the number icon on the keyboard to switch to the numeric keyboard with punctuation symbols. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can save some time by pressing and holding the 123 key and swiping to the number you wish to type. After the number is inserted the keyboard will then automatically switch back to the alphabet keyboard saving your time. The same trick works for typing capital letters using shift (up arrow) key and typing symbols using #+= key.

6. Capitalizing Letters

If you want to write text in continuous capital letters, just double tap the shift key and the keyboard will be changed with capital letters. You may not notice the shift key is highlighted with an underscore to indicate caps lock is on.

Just a single tap on shift key will enable first letter typed in capital and the keyboard will then return back to small letter mode.

7. Quick Undo or Redo

Accidently deleted text in Pages or pasted something wrongly in your email? You don’t need to search for undo key anymore!!! Just shake the iPhone and tap ok to undo your last action in iOS. Again shake your phone to view the popup for undo or redo.

Shake iPhone to Redo
Shake iPhone to Redo

8. Double Tap Spacebar

Normally when the sentence ends you need to type a full stop by tapping “123” key and then tap spacebar to comeback to letter keyboard with a space added. You can avoid this long route by double tap the spacebar so that automatically full stop will be added to the end of the word and the next sentence will start after a space.

9. Auto Prediction

Auto prediction is one of the best features to choose the predicted word from the options available just above the keyboard. You can just swipe the bar up / down to view / hide it. Auto prediction is to be enabled by tapping and holding the globe key or from “Settings > General > Keyboard > Predictive”.

View Predictions in iOS Keyboard
View Predictions in iOS Keyboard

10. Auto Capitalization

Auto capitalization allows iPhone to automatically capitalize the first letter of the sentence when enabled under “Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-Capitalization”.

11. Spacebar Confirmation

When the auto prediction is enabled iPhone keyboard will show three suggestions with the first word as same as the typed word in the quick bar. When the letters match more exactly then you will see the accurate prediction is highlighted which is shown in the second (middle) word. Press spacebar to select the highlighted suggestion and the option can be enabled under “Settings > General > Keyboard > Space Confirmation”.

12. Adding Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

The most important shortcut in iOS is that you can add your own short form of words to save time when typing in Messages or Pages. For example, you can define “omw” as “On my way!” and when you type “omw” iPhone will suggest “On my way!” as a top prediction, which can be selected by tapping spacebar.

Adding Custom Keyboard Shortcut Phrase
Adding Custom Keyboard Shortcut Phrase

Set the shortcut phrases under “Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts” by taping “+” option shown in top right corner.

Related: How to create text shortcuts for emojis in iOS?

13. Dictation

Bored with typing? Then the alternate option is to dictate orally. Tap the speaker key and start talking and the words will automatically be typed as text. You may need to practice with your voice to use dictation to match your words. Dictation option can be enabled under “Settings > General > Keyboard > Enable Dictation”.

14. Spelling Correction

Enable “Check Spelling” and “Auto-Correction” options available under “Settings > General > Keyboard” to ensure to highlight the wrongly spelled words when you typing in fast.

15. Disable Keyboard Clicks

Typing in a silent environment may be difficult with the keyboard click sounds. Disable it on your iPhone under “Settings > Sounds > Keyboard Clicks”.

16. Quick Formatting

Press and hold or double tap on a word to see the fly out formatting menu which will vary depending on the app. You will have quick options like cut, copy, delete, highlight, define, etc. based on the app.

iOS Keyboard Quick Menu
iOS Keyboard Quick Menu


We hope above listed methods will help you in quickly typing on smaller iPhone. In addition, you can also try special keyboard apps for changing the default layout and improving your productivity.

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