Giving the iPad two fingers when using an external keyboard

12 May 2016, 01:17

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As is fashionable in blogging circles I’ve been investigating the reality of using my iPad Air 2 as a full-time workstation (although I still use my MacBook Pro in the office). It’s going well but key to the operation is an external Bluetooth keyboard – and also this following tip.

It’s been known for a while that if you bunch two fingers together while using the iPad’s on-screen keyboard, and slide them around, then you’ll turn the text cursor into a semi-mouse cursor, allowing you to move it around freely. The keyboard lettering will disappear to create a trackpad area.

Well, when an external keyboard is connected (or attached), you can use the two-finger trick anywhere on-screen to move the cursor around. Give it a try. You don’t have to limit your fingering scope to where the keyboard usually is.

Update: As reader Mayson points out below in the comments, this trick works even if you’re using the on-screen keyboard. I erred in thinking that the two-finger trick only worked if you started the movement within the on-screen keyboard area (and I’m sure this was indeed the case in earlier iOS releases). Arguably, however, this trick is less useful when the on-screen keyboard is visible because there simply isn’t enough space. The cursor seemingly randomly scrolls the text, and switches into highlight/word definition mode.

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In many cases, you can do the same even without an external keyboard.

— Mayson Lancaster · May 15, 03:27 PM · #