Open a Blank Note and Enter Text in the iPad Notes App

Notes is the bundled app for your iPad that you can use to do everything from jotting down notes at meetings to keeping to-do lists.

It isn’t a robust word processor (such as Apple Pages or Microsoft Word) by any means, but for taking notes on the fly, jotting down to-do lists, or dictating a poem with the Dictation feature while you sit and sip a cup of tea on your deck, it’s a useful option.

  1. To get started with Notes, tap the Notes app on the Home screen.

    If you’ve never used Notes, it opens with a blank notes list displayed. (If you’ve used Notes, it opens to the last note you were working on. If that’s the case, tap the New Note button in the top-right corner to create a new, blank note.) Depending on how your iPad is oriented, you see one of the screens shown.

    Landscape orientation of the Notes screen.
    Landscape orientation of the Notes screen.
    Portrait orientation of the Notes screen.
    Portrait orientation of the Notes screen.
  2. Tap the blank page. The onscreen keyboard appears.

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  3. Tap keys on the keyboard to enter text (or tap the Dictation key to speak your text).

  4. If you want to enter numbers or symbols, tap either of the keys labeled .?123 on the keyboard.

    The numerical keyboard appears. Whenever you want to return to the alphabetic keyboard, tap either of the keys labeled ABC.

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  5. To capitalize a letter, tap a Shift key (one with the upward-pointing arrow on it) at the same time as you tap the letter.

    If you activate the Enable Caps Lock feature at Settings→General→Keyboard, you can also turn Caps Lock on by double-tapping the Shift key; tap the Shift key once again to turn the feature off.

  6. When you want to start a new paragraph or a new item in a list, tap the Return key.

  7. To edit text, tap to the right of the text you want to edit and then either use the Delete key to delete text to the left of the cursor or enter new text.

    If you use the Dictation feature, everything you say is sent to Apple to be converted into text. If you’re not comfortable with that, you may want to disable the Dictation feature.

    When you have the numerical keyboard displayed, you can tap either of the keys labeled #+= to access more symbols, such as the percentage sign or the euro symbol, or additional bracket styles. Pressing and holding certain keys displays alternative characters.

There’s no need to save a note; it’s kept automatically until you delete it.