Easily customize keyboard shortcuts on iPad to your liking!

July 15, 2021

Remembering all Keyboard shortcuts on iPad is like learning to walk with your shoes tied together. It can be tedious, especially for the mid-age group people raised to do work with a mouse and trackpad. Thankfully, Apple finds a solution to this problem in keyboard shortcut customization.

How to customize Keyboard shortcuts on iPad

Customizing keyboard shortcuts on iPad can make your tablet feel more like a laptop and enable you to do things that normally require a mouse, trackpad, or another input device. So, if you want a lightning-quick way to launch an app or perform an action, consider using your shortcuts on an external keyboard with an iPad.

  1. Choose settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Choose Keyboards.
  4. Enable Full keyboard Access.
  5. Tap Commands.
  6. Select a command to add customized shortcut.
  7. Press a custom key combination to assign to it.
  8. Tap Done.

If you reach out for the mouse every time you run it, do not hesitate to try this splendid alternative: assign the most used functions a customized keyboard shortcut. It's easy; here's how!


How to set shortcuts on an external keyboard with iPad?

On your iPad Home Screen, look for the Settings icon. When seen, tap to open it.

iPad Accessibility
iPad Accessibility

Under the General section of Settings, choose the Accessibility option.

Switch to the Accessibility pane on the right.

iPad Add External Keyboard
iPad Add External Keyboard

Under PHYSICAL AND MOTOR section, tap the Keyboards entry.

Enable Full Keyboard Access
Enable Full Keyboard Access

Enable Full Keyboard Access option.


Next, tap Commands to choose a command and customize its keyboard shortcut.

Keyboard Shortcut on iPad Default
Keyboard Shortcut on iPad Default

For Example, the default keyboard shortcut for Home is Command (⌘)  H.

Keyboard Shortcuts on iPad Changed
Keyboard Shortcuts on iPad Changed

Enter a key combination on your keyboard say, X and you’ll see the default shortcut immediately changed to your customized screenshot.

Tap Done to confirm the changes.

How to make visible the list of shortcuts you can use with an app on iPad?

App Keyboard Shortcuts
App Keyboard Shortcuts

To see a list of shortcuts that you can use with an app, press and hold the Command ⌘ key when you use the app or on the Home screen.

Most common iPad keyboard shortcuts

  • ⌘ - Option - D: Shows or hides the Dock.
  • ⌘ - H: Takes you to the Home screen.
  • ⌘ - Space bar: Displays or hides the Search bar.
  • ⌘ - Tab: Lets you jump to the next most recently used app among your open apps.
  • ⌘ - Shift - 3: Captures a screenshot.
  • ⌘ - Shift - 4: Grabs the screen and instantly opens Markup to view or edit it.

As you can see above, like Mac, most of the iPad keyboard shortcuts make use of the Command ⌘ key. If you are not aware, the Command ⌘ key has the same function as the Ctrl key on a PC.

Hope that makes sense!


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Hemant Saxena
(374 Articles Published)

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