Apple is expanding the iPad’s reach globally with international keyboard layouts on the iPad for dozens of languages. To access a keyboard that isn’t customized for Americanized English, tap Settings→General→Keyboard→International Keyboards→Add New Keyboard. Then flick through the list to select any keyboard you want to use. (Alternatively, tap Settings→General→International→Keyboards.)

Up pops the list shown in the figure included here, with custom keyboards for German, Japanese, Portuguese, and so on. Apple even supplies two versions of French (including keyboards geared to Canadian and Swiss customers) and several keyboards for Chinese. Heck, you can even find a U.K. version of English. Withing Settings, you can choose software and hardware keyboard layouts.

Have a multilingual household? You can select as many of these international keyboards as you might need by tapping the language in the list. Of course, you can call upon only one language at a time. So when you’re in an application that summons a keyboard, tap the little International Keyboard button sandwiched between the #+= or 123 key and spacebar until the keyboard you want to call on for the occasion shows up.


Tap again to pick the next keyboard in the corresponding list of international keyboards that you turned on in Settings. If you keep tapping, you come back to your original English keyboard.

To remove a keyboard that you’ve already added to your list, tap the Edit button in the upper-right corner of the screen and then tap the red circle with the white horizontal line that appears next to the language to which you want to say adios.


One more note about the Chinese keyboards: You can use handwriting character recognition for simplified and traditional Chinese, as shown here. Just drag your finger in the box provided. Apologies in advance for not knowing what the displayed characters here mean.