iPad and iOS 5 Basics – How To Split the Keyboard

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One of the many new features in iOS 5 for the iPad is the ability to split the on-screen keyboard. When you do this it splits neatly in half, with one half near the bottom left of the screen and the other half near the bottom right.

This can be quite useful at times – for instance, it makes it much easier to thumb type when you’ve got the iPad in landscape mode, as the distance to the keys on each side is much less than with the keyboard in its standard mode.

It’s very easy to make use of this feature. Here’s how:

— From within any app that makes use of the keyboard, tap in a text area to bring up the keyboard.

— Then just place a finger from each hand on the keyboard and tap and pull your fingers outwards. The keyboard will split as soon as you start moving both fingers outwards.

— To put it back together, just make the opposite motion – pushing your fingers inwards.

— You can also tap and hold on the keyboard button at the bottom right of the keyboard to bring up a popup where you can choose to dock/undock and split/merge the keyboard.

That’s it – incredibly easy and often useful. Oh, and you can do this with the iPad in portrait and landscape mode, and on both the original iPad and iPad 2.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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9 thoughts on “iPad and iOS 5 Basics – How To Split the Keyboard”

  1. That’s a cool trick – however I can’t seem to split the screen so that the two halves are close enough to each other. When I split the screen (in landscape mode) the two halves occupy the left 1/4 of the screen & the far right 1/4 of the screen with 1/2 screen of greyspace in the middle. Any suggestions?

  2. You can also do this by bringing up the keyboard then tap and hold the keyboard button in the lower right hand corner. This will bring up a menu to split or undock the keyboard.

    1. Yeah – my bad – meant to mention that and just forgot first time round – have added it in now. Thanks for spotting that.

  3. furthermore, if you swipe upwards on the dock key on the lower right hand of the keyboard, the keyboard will automatically split and undock to the middle of the screen. A swipe downward on that key will automatically join and re-dock the keyboard. It’s a similar gesture as swiping upwards on the comma key in order to quickly insert an apostrophe instead.

  4. Don’t forget about the hidden keys when you split the keyboard. With the keyboard split press the area just to the left or right of the outer keys and the outer key from the other side will be pressed.

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