iPadOS Tips and Tricks: Gestures, Home Screen Tweaks, Keyboard Options, and More

iPadOS, launched last week, offers almost all of the same features as iOS 13, but there are also a handful of new features exclusively designed for the larger screen, which is why Apple split iOS and iPadOS into separate updates.

In our latest YouTube video and in the article below, we go over some must-know iPadOS tips and tricks that are useful to those who have updated to iPadOS and want to get more familiar with the changes.


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iPadOS Tips and Tricks

  • Quick Screenshots - If you swipe up with the Apple Pencil on the iPad's display, you can capture a screenshot that opens right into Markup so you can start editing and annotating it right away.
  • Floating Keyboard - There's a new floating keyboard on the ‌iPad‌ that can be positioned anywhere. To get to it, pinch in on the keyboard until it shrinks down or long press on the keyboard icon to bring up the "floating" option and then tap it. It's a small version of the keyboard that you can put anywhere on the screen, which is ideal for one handed use.
  • QuickPath Keyboard - iPadOS and iOS 13 both have a new native swipe-based keyboard that Apple calls the QuickPath keyboard. Rather than typing, swipe your fingers between letters to spell a word. Hate it? You can turn it off in the Settings app, or just continue to use tap to type, which hasn't gone anywhere.
  • Overhauled Home Screen - You can fit more icons on the ‌iPad‌'s Home screen, and the Today view widget can now be permanently positioned on the Home screen when the ‌iPad‌ is in landscape mode. After installing iPadOS, swipe over to the right and on the widget, select "Add to ‌Home Screen‌." You can also get to the option from the Edit interface of the widget, and if you pin favorites, those widgets will always display first.
  • Selecting Text - There are several new gestures in iOS and iPadOS 13, but most of these are the most useful on the larger screen of an ‌iPad‌. To select text, simply slide your finger over the text to select it. Use a double tap to select a single word, a triple tap to select a sentence, and a quadruple tap to select a paragraph.
  • Scroll Bar Updates - To scroll faster than you can with a swipe, grab the scroll bar with a finger and drag it up or down to get where you want to go on the page.
  • Moving Cursor - Moving the cursor is easier than ever. Stick a finger on it and drag it wherever you want it to go in a note or document.
  • Cut, Copy and Paste - There are new gestures for copying and pasting in iPadOS. Pinch inwards with three fingers until you see the copy icon, pinch outwards with three fingers to paste, and to cut, use the copy gesture two times in a row.
  • Undo/Redo - When you're typing something up, you can use a three finger swipe to the left to undo and a three finger swipe to the right to redo.
  • Multi-Item Select - To select multiple items, such as items in a list, multiple messages, emails, and more, tap and hold with two fingers and then drag downwards.
  • Slide Over Improvements - You can now drag apps into Slide Over on the left or the right side of the screen, and you can open multiple Slide Over apps. Swap between them with a swipe, and swipe up and hold to get to an interface where you can see all of your open Slide Over apps and close the ones you don't need.
  • Multiple Windows - You can now use two windows of the same app side-by-side in multitasking mode, so you can have two Safari web pages open or work on two Pages documents at once.
  • Multitasking Notifications - There's also a neat feature that lets you drag an incoming notification into a Split View window. When you receive a notification from an app like Messages, just drag it over to one side of the screen to open it in Split View.
  • App Exposé - An App Exposé feature shows you all of the open windows you have for a specific app in Slide Over or Split View. To use it, hold down on an icon in the dock and you'll see all of the open windows. You can also long press on an app's icon on the Home screen and choose "Show All Windows."
  • Mouse Support - iPadOS lets you use a mouse with your ‌iPad‌, but it's not a mainline feature -- it's an Accessibility option. If you want to try it out, pair a Bluetooth mouse with your ‌iPad‌ using the Bluetooth settings and then open up the Accessibility settings, choose Touch, and activate Assistive Touch.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new options in iPadOS, know of a tip we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here or leave a comment below.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 months ago


Thanks for providing the documentation that Apple doesn't provide anymore.

They do.

You just need to know the gesture to find it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
I'm curious to know how often users will activate some of these features by accident, now that there are so many possible gestures.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
I'd prefer fewer bugs.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
I wish for scrolling with Magic Mouse etc when used on iPad OS. Not to mention official support as to get it to work you have to add the device a different way then you would normally do a standard Bluetooth mouse.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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