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iPhone: The Missing Manual, 6th Edition by David Pogue

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Chapter 2. Typing, Editing & Searching

As a pocket computer, the iPhone faces a fundamental limitation: It has no real keyboard or mouse. Which might be considered a drawback on a gadget that’s capable of running hundreds of thousands of programs.

Fortunately, where there’s a problem, there’s software that can fix it. The modern iPhone’s virtual keyboard is smart in all kinds of ways—automatically predicting and correcting typos, for example. You can even tap a mistyped word to see some suggestions for fixing it. This chapter covers every aspect of working with text on the iPhone: entering it, fixing it, and searching for it. (Well, almost every aspect. Chapter 4 covers dictating text.)

The Keyboard

Very few iPhone features have triggered as much angst, hope, and criticism as the onscreen keyboard. It’s true, boys and girls: The iPhone has no physical keys. A virtual keyboard, therefore, is the only possible built-in system for typing text. Like it or not, you’ll be doing a lot of typing on glass.

The keyboard appears automatically whenever you tap in a place where typing is possible: in an outgoing email or text message, in the Notes program, in the address bar of the Web browser, and so on.

Just tap the key you want. As your finger taps the glass, a “speech balloon” appears above your finger, showing an enlarged version of the key you actually hit (since your finger is now blocking your view of the keyboard).

In darker gray, surrounding the letters, you’ll find these special keys:

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