How to Use Predictive Typing on Your Surface - dummies

How to Use Predictive Typing on Your Surface

By Andy Rathbone

As you type in some apps on your Surface, Windows watches over your shoulder and tries to predict your next word. If Windows feels particularly prescient, it lists words beneath your cursor.


If Windows has guessed correctly, tap the word, and Windows quickly finishes typing it. If you notice that Windows has guessed incorrectly, simply ignore it and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that computers won’t be smart enough to overthrow civilization within our lifetimes.

The prediction accuracy rate differs for different people; teenagers type more predictably than scientists, for example. Your Surface will never guess correctly 100 percent of the time. But when Windows offers to fill in the word serendipity after you type seren, the help is quite welcome, especially when you’re typing directly onto the screen.

The Windows keyboard also changes its key layout as you type in different situations, adding particularly handy keys:

  • When you begin typing a web address into Internet Explorer, a .COM key appears to the right of the spacebar. Tap that to insert .COM, saving you from typing in those four characters. (A backslash key appears right next to it, handy when typing long web addresses.)

  • Tap and hold the .COM key, and a pop-up menu appears, letting you choose to insert the .us, .net, or .org characters, instead.

  • When you type an e-mail address into the Mail app, the keyboard sprouts the .COM key, as well as the @ key, speeding up your e-mail address entry.

  • Typing a logon password? If strangers are nearby, tap the keyboard’s Hide Keypress key that appears just to the left of the spacebar. That prevents the keys from lighting up when tapped, protecting your password from prying eyes.