How to Find the Umlauts, Accents, etc. on your iPhone or iPad keyboard

Over the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

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It might not happen often, but when you need to find an umlaut (or a similar something), you want it NOW. But where is it on your keyboard?

Here is how you find umlauts and accents on your iPad or iPhone keyboard:

Let’s say you want an “e” with a little accent mark above it. Simply hold your finger on the “e” key, and you will see that several “e” choices appear. Want an umlaut? Touch and hold the “u” and it will be right there. Need an “n” with a tilde? Touch and hold the “n” to see your choices.

Try it. Just stroll through the keyboard, touching each key in turn so you can browse the options. Not every letter has options, of course, but I’m sure you’ll find some surprising ones. Some symbols also have options (try the $ sign for example :) )
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Typing in Caps (part of the) Very Beginner Series

Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series. Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 5.55.01 PMOver the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

How to type in Caps:

When you first get your new iPhone or iPad, one of the first things you’ll do is spend some time typing on the keyboard. You’ll quickly learn to tap the up-arrow when you want a capital letter.


But what if you want to type in ALL caps? You do not need to tap the arrow every single time ….

Just DOUBLE-TAP the up-arrow, and it will darken. Now every letter you type will BE A CAPITAL LETTER.


When you are done cap-typing, just touch the up-arrow again, and you’ll turn off your caps.

(remember to use your caps responsibly. It isn’t polite to shout. :) )

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What Model iPad do I have?

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.11.47 AMNow that iPads have been around for a few years, it is easy to forget which model you have. And if you are thinking of upgrading, you will need to know YOUR model so that you can trade it or sell it and get $$$$ that you can use toward your new goodie.

(many options are available for selling your iPad. My experience selling an iPhone was easy and gave me a good stash of cash to use for upgrading my phone. I will certainly do it again when I decide to upgrade my iPad. I used both Gazelle and Amazon, and you can read about my experience both here and here.)

Once you have gathered all your information, you can check with Gazelle and/or Amazon to see what your iPad is worth.

To find out what model of iPad YOU have, you must flip it over (and for many of us, grab a magnifying glass!).

The model number is there, on the bottom-back, with an “A” in front of a 4-digit number.


Once you have the number, just look through these charts to find your model. (Before selling it, you’ll also need to know if you are WiFi only or WiFi + Cellular, and of course, capacity.)

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How to Increase (or Decrease) your Text sizes on your iPhone and/or iPad

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 6.01.26 PMI can read anything on my iPhone. I just got new glasses, and I’m good to go.

However …. recently I tweaked my text size just a bit bigger.

By making my text size just a tad larger, it is now perfect for me and my eyes. :)

Increasing your text size is particularly helpful for those with vision issues.

(Or … perhaps the opposite would be better for you, and you would like to make your text smaller. The process is the same.)

How to make your text larger (or smaller) on your iPhone or iPad:

Go to Settings > General > Text Size

You will see a slider, and you can move that slider so that your text size increases (or decreases).


And if this still isn’t big enough for you?

You can make the text even larger!

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Type

Turn ON “larger dynamic type.”

Once you do that, the slider will arrange itself to allow you to make your text even larger.


Remember, you can also add BOLD to your text as well.

Big and Bold. A winning combination for aging eyes. :)

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Using your iPhone or iPad in the Dark: How to Invert Colors on your Device

When I sit in a movie theatre, I usually spend the “movie-preview” time reading on the Kindle app on my iPhone.  You probably know that within the Kindle app, we have the option to change the screen to black, which works well in a dark theatre.

But did you know that you can invert the colors for your whole iPhone and iPad? (this is NOT just for iOS 7. This feature works on any phone using iOS4 or later)

Inverting colors makes it easier to use your phone in the dark …. especially in a crowded place where the glare of the bright phone might bother others.

It is also helpful for some visual impairments, making the iPhone/iPad screens easier to see.

How to invert the colors on your iPhone:

Setting > General > Accessibility > Invert Colors

Try it! Just tap “invert colors” and watch the screen instantly change. Then just tap again to bring it back to normal. (Someday you’ll be sitting in a dark and crowded place and you’ll be glad you know this.) :)

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iOS 7: Text Time, a Secret Goodie in iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 8.20.36 AMOn this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time. Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

There is a little “secret” buried in the new iOS 7.

And it’s a goodie!

You can now see WHEN a text was sent. This can be very handy ….. Maybe you’ve missed an “I’m on my way” or an apology, or countless other issues. The “when” the text was sent can be quite important….. and now you can see that “when”.

Here is how to see when a text was sent in iOS 7:

This is how you see a typical text.


If you would like to see the TIME this text was sent, you can now do this in iOS 7.

Just put your finger on the text, and slide to the LEFT.

The time the text was sent will appear on your screen from the right side. :)


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How to Lock your Screen Orientation in iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 7.46.47 AMOn this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time.

Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

When you flip your iPhone or iPad from portrait mode (home button on the bottom) to landscape mode (home button) on the right or the left, usually your screen will change with you. (Some apps don’t allow the switch). If you look at a photo, you’ll get a good idea of the flip. Just twist your device and watch the photo change orientation.

Some people prefer using their device one way or the other. (Personally, I prefer to use my iPad in landscape, and my iPhone in portrait. Why? I have no idea. Just do. :lol: )

If you have NOT updated to iOS 7, then you can find your method(s) of locking the screen in this old blog post: Flipping Your iPad: How to Lock Your Screen in Landscape or in Portrait

For those of us who have updated, or perhaps got a brand new iPhone :), iOS 7 has changed the way to access the screen “lock”.

Here is how to LOCK your screen on your iPad or iPhone in iOS 7:

From ANY screen (even if your phone is locked), swipe UP from the bottom.

This is the new Control Center. (More on this, later…)

Tap on the lock screen button. It will be black, but it will turn white once you turn it “on”.



To “undo”, just tap the button, again. Easy, breezy.

For iPad users: you can also use your mute button to lock the screen by going to Settings > General > Lock Rotation

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How to Search your iPhone or iPad in iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-09-29 at 4.07.13 PMOn this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time.

Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

Before iOS 7, if you wanted to search for something on your iPad or iPhone, you merely swiped the screen from left to right, and poof! a search screen.

This is one of the features that has been changed in iOS 7. Now, if you try the left-to-right swipe, you get …… nothing. So where is the search feature, now?

To find “search” on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 7:

Touch anywhere on any screen full of icons and pull down.


After you pull down, you will see the search screen and you can go about finding all the things you need to find. :)


Note: if you reach too high, and pull down from just above your screen, you will bring down your calendar, etc. (Subject of another post. :) ) Remember: to bring up the search screen, just pull down by touching on the screen, itself.

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How to Edit your Question to Siri on your iPhone or iPad

Let’s say you asked Siri a question, but you made a mistake. You could always ask the question again, but there is another way to get the answer you need.

Here is how to correct a question to Siri:

By mistake you ask: “What will the weather be in New York on Wednesday?”

Siri gives you this answer:

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You look and listen to the answer and you say to yourself, “Whoops!! I didn’t mean Wednesday, I meant Thursday!”

Instead of asking the question again, an alternate (often quicker) solution would be to just scroll UP on your screen and tap on your original question. By scrolling UP, you reveal the question you originally asked:

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Tap the box that shows your question. Once you tap, the keyboard will appear, and you can edit your question. After you make your changes, tap on “done”.

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In this example, I changed ‘Wednesday’ to ‘Thursday’. As soon as I made the change, and tapped on “done”, Siri gave me my new information.

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Easy, breezy!

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How to Split your iPad Keyboard (and find Hidden Keys)

As part of my month-long anniversary series, some posts will include information covered previously. Hopefully this way new readers get to see things they missed and older readers might be reminded of things they have forgotten. (This “forgetting” thing happens to me, too!)

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Balancing the iPad while you type can be difficult. Holding it with one hand as you type with the other feels a bit unbalanced and the thought of dropping it is just too costly to even consider.

If you split the keyboard, you can hold the iPad securely, and, yes, type with your thumbs. This might not be your choice for all-the-time, and many people don’t like it at all, but for those who do, you may also be interested in some HIDDEN keys once the keyboard has been split.

Before we find those secret, invisible keys, let’s split your keyboard.

Here is how to split your iPad keyboard:

Bring up an email, or notepad or something else where the keyboard appears.

Look for the key with the picture of the keyboard on it that is next to the 123 button on the lower right side. If you tap on that button, the keyboard disappears. But we don’t want to make the keyboard disappear, we want to split it.

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Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 8.46.11 PMTo split the keyboard, touch and HOLD that button (that looks like a keyboard). You’ll see a little menu appear that gives you two options: undock and split.

Tap on “split” to split your keyboard. As soon as you tap on “split”, you will see the keyboard separate, and rise up into the lower middle area of the iPad screen. It will also get a bit smaller to fit your thumbs.

Now you can hold the iPad securely with two hands while you type. :cool:

The hidden keys are in the blank areas on either side of the keyboard. Just stretch your thumb out a little further beyond the ”t” and you can type a “y”. Tap the blank area next to the “v” and you’ll get a “b”.

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This also works if you split the numbers keyboard. Tap the empty space next to the “5” and get a “6” and so on.

Touch and hold the button again to merge the keyboard and re-dock at the bottom of your screen.

Even though I personally don’t use this feature, I just enjoy doing it occasionally to find those secret, hidden, invisible keys. (Yes, I’m that geeky :) )

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