How to Display and Use the iPhone Onscreen Keyboard

The built-in iPhone onscreen keyboard appears whenever you’re in a text-entry location, such as a search field or an e-mail message. You can complete several common tasks by using this onscreen keyboard as you would your computer keyboard. The iPhone keyboard also offers some extra functionality.

1Tap the Notes icon on the Home screen to open this easy-to-use notepad.

Tap the note; the onscreen keyboard appears.


2Type a few words using the keyboard.

To make the keyboard display as wide as possible, rotate your iPhone to landscape (horizontal) orientation.

3Press the Delete key (it’s in the bottom corner, with the little x on it) to delete text to the left of the insertion point.

If you make a mistake while using the keyboard — and you will, when you first use it — the Delete key will come in handy.

4To create a new paragraph, press the Return button.

This is just as you would do on a regular computer keyboard.

5To type numbers and symbols, press the number key (labeled .?123) on the left side of the spacebar.

The characters on the keyboard change. If you type a number and then tap the spacebar, the keyboard returns to the letter keyboard automatically. To return to the letter keyboard at any time, simply tap one of the letter keys (labeled ABC) on the left side of the spacebar.

6Use the Shift buttons to type uppercase letters or alternate characters.

This is just as you would do on a regular keyboard.

7Double-tap the Shift key to turn on the Caps Lock feature; tap the Shift key once to turn off Caps Lock.

You can control whether this feature is available in iPhone General Settings under Keyboard.


8To type a variation on a symbol, hold down the key; a set of alternate symbols appears.

For example, when you press and hold the dollar sign on the number keyboard, you see alternate currency symbols. Note that this trick works with only certain symbols.

9Tap the Home button to return to the Home screen.

Note that the small globe symbol you see on the keyboard will only appear if you’ve enabled multi-language functionality in iPhone settings.