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Keyboard and Input

The core idea of iA Writer is to write without taking your hands off the keys. Knowing how to use the keyboard efficiently greatly improves your performance with iA Writer.

On Screen Keyboard

iA Writer 6 puts even more power at your fingertips than previous versions. With Quick Search and the new Lightning menu or Command Keyboard, you never have to leave the keyboard.

Quick Search

Tap the Search icon in the keyboard bar—or anywhere in the app—to show the Quick Search dialog. From here you can search for files or actions to perform. e.g., “To Do List” or “Export as PDF…”. Type “?” or “help” for a full list of available actions.

Advanced Search

iA Writer also offers improved ways to search through your documents.

NB: Only a single word is supported for queries with name: or text: prefix

Arrange the Command Keyboard Keys

  1. Tap and hold a white key on the keyboard until the keys begin to jiggle
  2. Next, tap and hold a jiggling key to pick it up
  3. Drag it into a new position in the pop-up and release it
  4. When finished, tap Done in the key selection pop-up

Change Command Keyboard Keys

  1. Tap and hold a white key on the keyboard until the keys begin to jiggle
  2. Next, tap a jiggling key
  3. Scroll through the available keys in the pop-up and tap the one you want
  4. When finished, tap Done in the key selection pop-up

Key Types

There are five kinds of keys that can be added to the Keyboard Bar:

Lightning Menu (iOS 15+ required)

Press ⚡️ to access your favorites functions.

Select Configure Menu to add/remove/rearrange options.

Bluetooth Keyboards

You can turn any iOS device into a dedicated writing machine by pairing your device with an external Bluetooth keyboard.

By default this hides Apple’s on-screen keyboard and Writer’s Keyboard bar, but you can reveal them using the Bluetooth keyboard’s Eject button (top right, if present), or the keyboard maker’s equivalent shortcut (e.g. Fn+⌘5 for a Logitec in-cover keyboard). However, they’re generally not necessary, because you can use keyboard shortcuts. To pair:

  1. Press the keyboard’s power button to turn it on
  2. Go to SettingsBluetooth, and turn on Bluetooth
  3. Tap the keyboard that appears
  4. Enter the number code using the keyboard to pair

With a connected keyboard you can take advantage of keyboard shortcuts. Pressing and holding the key will reveal the full list of available shortcuts.

For a full list of shortcuts please see: Keyboard Shortcuts

Use keyboard on a Mac and an iOS device in turn

You’ll need to “forget” the current keyboard pairing when you want to swap (if the currently paired device is still in range). To go from a Mac to an iOS device:

  1. On the Mac, go to System PreferencesBluetooth
  2. Click on the keyboard in the connected devices list
  3. Click the Minus icon at the bottom of the list to unpair
  4. Press the keyboard’s power button to turn it on
  5. On the iPad or iPhone turn on Bluetooth under SettingsBluetooth
  6. Tap the keyboard and pair

To go from an iOS device to a Mac:

  1. On the iPad or iPhone, go to SettingsBluetooth
  2. Tap the connected keyboard, and tap Forget this keyboard
  3. Press the keyboard’s power button to turn it on
  4. On the Mac go to System PreferencesBluetooth
  5. Click the Plus icon at the bottom of the device list
  6. Click on the keyboard and pair

Language Support

iA Writer for iPadOS supports writing in many languages, and is localized in English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese. At present languages such as Thai, Hebrew, and Arabic are not yet officially supported.

To write in more than one language, add a keyboard for each language you want to use. You can then switch keyboards by tapping the Globe key, which switches spell checking too.

Add a keyboard for an additional language in Settings

generalkeyboards.png addkeyboard.png

Switch input and spell checker while writing

switchlanguage.png suggestedword.png