iPad and iPad Pro For Dummies, 12th Edition
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There are so many great things about iPads, and some of them are easy to overlook or forget. Here’s a list of ten of the most favorite hints, tips, and shortcuts to make the most of all your iPad’s features.

Use the iPad’s do not disturb for others

You probably think of the do not disturb (DND) feature as a way of keeping your iPad from bugging you while you are sleeping, in a meeting, or just don't want to be bothered. But DND can also help you be considerate to your family, roommates, or fellow office workers.

If you're going to leave your iPad behind when you go somewhere, activate do not disturb to keep your notifications from bothering everyone else! You can activate DND by swiping down from the upper-right corner of the screen to open Control Center and then tapping the quarter moon icon.

Create a website home screen shortcut on your iPad

You can add any web page as an icon to your Home screen, and then open the icon with a tap, like any app icon. In Safari, pull up the page you want to save to your Home screen, then tap the Share icon on the right side of the screen next to the address bar.

Scroll down if necessary to the add to home screen icon, which is a + inside a square. You'll see a preview of the icon. Tap Add to complete the process. Your Home screen appears, sporting your new shortcut. Tap it any time to open that web page.

Edit your iPad’s today view

We love today view in iPadOS. It's the slide-over view where you can get quick access to recently used apps, see headlines from the News app, see reminders, check out your AirPod battery levels, and more. From the main Home screen, swipe your finger from the left to the right to open today view.

Scroll to the bottom of today view, and then tap the Edit button to display a list of all today view widgets you're using and not using. First, get rid of the widgets you don't use. They don't need to be in your way. Next, add any widgets you think you might like — just don't forget to go back and remove them later if you find you don't want them.

Customize your iPad’s dock with your most used apps

The dock is one of the most used elements of iPadOS. It comes with five apps by default, but you can also add up to 13 apps to the dock.

To add an app to the dock, tap and hold down on the icon on your Home screen, and then drag the icon to the dock. It's that easy! Don't be shy — add your most commonly used apps to the dock for quick access to them from anywhere.

Type on a floating keyboard

Have you ever wanted the virtual keyboard in iPadOS to be smaller? You can do that, and it's easy. In any app that uses the virtual keyboard, just pinch the keyboard using two fingers (or a finger and a thumb), and it will shrink to less than half its normal size. The keyboard will also be set to float, so you can move it anywhere on the screen.

To move your floating keyboard, tap and drag the gray bar at the bottom of the keyboard. To expand the keyboard back to its full size and re-dock it to the bottom of your screen, either unpinch it or drag it to the bottom of your screen. It will automatically expand to its normal dimensions and position.

Look up words on your iPad

To look up a word, tap and hold down on the word to select it. Your word will be highlighted with handles on either end that allow you to adjust the selected word. Tap and drag either handle to reposition it.

Above your selection will be a contextual menu that lets you copy, look up, or share the selection. Tap Look Up to bring up the definition of the word, as well as relevant searches, Siri suggested websites, and more. After you get used to this feature, you'll miss it any time you're reading legacy media, such as printed books, newspapers, or magazines

Find almost anything on your iPad using Spotlight

Spotlight is another feature that can easily be overlooked. If you need to find something on your iPad or do a quick web search without opening Safari first, swipe down from the middle of your Home screen to open Spotlight. Type your search term, and you'll get relevant results from your iPad, apps on your iPad, and Siri suggestions for websites.

Tap and hold down on your iPad’s Home screen icons

You can tap and hold down on any Home screen icon for quick access to actions specific to that app. Some apps will have more — or fewer — actions available. For instance, tapping and holding down on the News app icon will give you quick access to some of the news sites you follow.

Tapping and holding down on the Maps app gives you quick access to marking your location, sharing your location, and searching nearby. Apple's Measure app, on the other hand, has no special actions available, but every app will give you the option to Edit Home Screen or Delete App.

Lock your iPad’s screen rotation

You can unlock and lock your iPad's screen rotation when needed. This feature is handy. For instance, when lying down and reading, you can lock your screen if you don't want your iPad rotating the screen every time you move.

When you are doing many other activities, you might want to be free to rotate the screen at any time. To lock or unlock your screen rotation, swipe down from the upper-right corner and tap the screen rotation lock icon.

Use your iPad’s volume button as a camera shutter

When taking photographs with your iPad, you can use either the volume up or volume down button as a camera shutter button. Many times, you just can't reach the on-screen shutter button, and this handy trick is really helpful.

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Paul McFedries is a true renaissance geek. He has been a programmer, consultant, database developer, and website builder. He's also the author of more than 90 books, including top sellers covering Windows, Office, and macOS.

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