iPad Tips: How To Move the Split Keyboard Around the Page When It’s in Your Way

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One of the many nice features of iOS 5 is the ability to split the keyboard on the iPad. Doing this can be very useful and can make typing faster and easier at times. I’ve found I’m using this feature more and more and finding it very effective.

I use it when I have the iPad 2 in portrait and landscape mode and it allows me to reach characters I just can’t get to if the keyboard is in its standard docked mode unless I hold the iPad with one hand and peck away at the keys with the other.

One drawback of using the split keyboard is that if you are writing a longer note or editing a longer document with a good number of paragraphs, you’ll find that the keyboard is on top of areas you’re trying to type in at times. When this happens you can’t see what you’re typing. Maybe this doesn’t bother those of you who are skilled touch typists, but I like to be able to have a glance at my writing to spot and correct any typos.

Happily, there’s an easy solution to this little problem – you move the split keyboard around the page so that you can see your latest lines of typing.

Here’s how:

While your cursor is within any text area, tap and hold on the keyboard toggle button at the bottom right of the keyboard (the one shown in the screencap at the top of this post).

While you tap and hold, just drag the keyboard to where you want it to be. Maybe just above the block of text you’re working with for example. Note that if you drag it all the way to bottom of the screen the keyboard will dock and merge itself again.

You can move the keyboard around this way when you’re in portrait or landscape mode.

Hope this helps, happy iPad typing.

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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13 thoughts on “iPad Tips: How To Move the Split Keyboard Around the Page When It’s in Your Way”

  1. This doesn’t work. I tap and hold the button but the dock/merge option comes up but the keyboard remains immobile.

    1. Try making sure you are not touching anywhere on the left-hand side of the keyboard. Tap and hold on the right-side only by the keyboard area indicated – and it will work.

      1. Actually, the key here is “the dock/merge option comes up” part. If you hold the button long enough for the “dock/merge” option to show, you can’t move the keyboard. You gotta be quick: tap and hold while you immediately start to move your finger.

        Hope that helps!


      2. I had the same problem. The trick is that you have to slide the keyboard before the dock/merge menue appears.

  2. I tried as you said and it didn’t work for me either. I was careful to only touch right side toggle, not touching left at all. Any other hints:) I’d appreciate it.

  3. Thank you soooooo much. I accidentally moved my keyboard and could not get it back to the bottom of the page. Your tip worked great.

  4. Hey Patrick,

    I’m surprised you advise moving the keyboard around to get it out of the way of your text. It seems easier to just use your thumb and slide the page up so that you can see the spot you’re typing in. In most iOS typing screens such as email, notes, etc. (even writing this comment in Safari), you can always just slide the page up or down to suit what text you need to see.

    Thanks for the tip about tap-hold-move instantly. That was useful.

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