Puctuation etc on main keyboard

The iPad keyboards I find the most useful are those where punctuation keys such as apostrophe, open-quote, close-quote, colon, semi-colon and (to a lesser extent) open-bracket and close bracket are on the main keyboard, so you don’t have to change keyboards to find them.

There is an iPad shortcut that lets you get to the apostrophe using the ‘!/,’ key, but its fiddly. Also quite fiddly is the iPad’s magnification feature that helps you reposition the cursor. I like keyboards with keys that let you navigate back and forward from character to character and word to word.

In other threads I’ve held up the iA Writer keyboard as an example of a good one, however, with more keys you end up with a smaller writing area: only six lines in iA Writer in landscape. I contacted the developers of iA and suggested allowing some smaller font sizes to help increase the amount of text visible in landscape. They were reluctant to do this, but said they had another trick up their sleeve that would help increase the size of the writing area in a future version.

As a general observation I tend to do 90% of my writing in landscape mode as I find the portrait keyboard too small for comfort (and I don’t have big hands).

When using Scrivener on my iMac, I spend most of my time in ‘Compose’ mode (I’m using v2.2). I really like Compose and if something similar could be done for the iPad version it would be very appreciated.

Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing the app.

I’ve used iA writer too, certainly more than any other editor on the iPad, although with a bluetooth keyboard for longer sessions and the soft keyboard for quick notes.

Their keyboard additions can be handy though. If we can squeeze it into v1.0 I’d love to see a configurable Keyboard Accessory View (Apple’s terminology) so we’re not limiting the options too much.

It’ll be interesting to see what iA do to increase the writing area. Other than binning Apple’s keyboard and building your own from scratch (and ensuring it works globally) there’s only so much they can do if they’re not talking about adjusting the typeface.

But flexibility in font sizes… I’ve noted that as a feature request for Scrivener.

Another fine example of punctuation marks (or anything you choose) on the main keyboard is Nebulous for iPad. Check it out. I agree that this feature would be key to Scrivener on the iPad.


Maybe you already know about them, but these tips might be useful for people who are not yet aware of these “shortcuts”:

  • for apostrophe, swipe up over the ‘,’;
  • for quotes, swipe up over the “.”;
  • for symbols in a second layer, keep the modifier key pressed down, and only release it after typing the symbol;
  • for accented vocals, swipe in the direction of the accent over the vocal (for example, for ‘è’ swipe up-back over the ‘e’).