The iPad is great for watching YouTube or web browsing, but it’s increasingly common for people to use it instead of a laptop. Having a keyboard changes the game, and some great keyboard shortcuts can save you time when working.

The arrival of the iPad Pro and a keyboard that you can attach to the tablet 24/7 brought with it a change in approach for Apple. No longer is the iPad only a media consumption device; having a keyboard always at hand transforms the iPad into a more-than-capable computer. If you’re a long time Mac user who knows just which keys to press to bend macOS to your will, you’ll feel like a fish out of water when tapping away at an iPad. But that needn’t be the case.

Here, we’re going to run through twenty of the best keyboard shortcuts—ones that everyone who is serious about using an iPad instead of a laptop really ought to know.

Let’s get started!

System Level Shortcuts

  • Cmd+Space: Opens Spotlight from anywhere in iOS
  • Cmd+H: Returns to the Home screen.
  • Cmd+Tab: Opens the iOS app switcher from anywhere in iOS and behaves similarly to the app switcher in macOS.
  • Shift+Cmd+3: Takes a screenshot.
  • Shift+Cmd+4: Takes a screenshot and immediately enters markup mode.
  • Option+Cmd+D: Opens the Dock when inside an app.
  • Press and hold Cmd: Displays a list of shortcuts for the app that you are currently using.

Text Editing Shortcuts

  • Cmd+Up Arrow: Jumps to top of the page.
  • Cmd+Down Arrow: Jumps to bottom of the page.
  • Cmd+A: Selects all.
  • Cmd+C: Copies the selected text.
  • Cmd+X: Cuts the selected text.
  • Cmd+V: Pastes the contents of the Clipboard.

Safari Shortcuts

  • Cmd+F: Opens the “Find” dialog.
  • Cmd+N: Opens Split View.
  • Cmd+T: Opens a new tab.
  • Cmd+W: Closes the current tab.
  • Cmd+R: Refreshes the current tab.
  • Cmd+[: Goes back a page in the current tab.

If You’re Using a Hardware Keyboard

  • Press the Down Arrow, then tap and hold the keyboard icon on-screen: Switches to the software keyboard, perfect for accessing the emoji picker.
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Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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