Using iOS with VoiceOver and a bluetooth Keyboard Part 2: Editing Text

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In part 2 of his mini series on using bluetooth keyboards on iOS devices with VoiceOver, Scott Davert covers how to edit text and use of the Notes app. While not an exhaustive list of keyboard commands, as this would make for a very dry presentation, topics include: creating a new note, the cursor and how it differs from Windows, text selection, how to apply basic formatting to a note, and deleting of text within a note.

Podcast File




Submitted by Garret on Sunday, February 21, 2016

With Voiceover on the mac there’s an option to make the cursor behave the same as it does on windows. Does anything like this exist for the iPhone? Is there a chance a similar option might be implemented?

Submitted by Scott Davert on Monday, February 22, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi Garret.
To my knowledge, no such option is available on iOS. As for the question of whether that will be something that Apple will do, your guess is as good as mine.

Submitted by KLove on Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hi. I was wondering if there was a 4th installment to this series on mail. You mentioned it in the second one but I can't find one. Thanks.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Friday, May 20, 2016

When I got my Logitek Keys-To-go, I settled in on my patio in my favorite comfy chair, after downloading all your podcasts to an MP3 player (to make pausing and rewinding easier) and went through them one at a time, stopping to try out everything on the keyboard.
Later when I unexpectedly had to take notes in a meeting at work, I was glad I did. Thanks for the great tutorials!

Submitted by Harryubu on Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thanks, Scott! I just revisited this podcast and it is really useful for working with Notes app. I just wish apple would make it possible to do the same in the Pages app: I cannot move by page nor paragragraph by bluetooth keyboard command in Pages in ios. Using gestures on the touchscreen instead, I can swipe up with three fingers to move up a page but I cannot find a way to actually move the cursor by one page as well. Do you know how to swipe up to reach page 3 of a document and then start editing that page of text? I use iphone 7+ and iPad Air.

Submitted by OldBear on Saturday, July 22, 2017

The key command for scrolling by screen is option up or down arrow key. Are you saying this doesn't work when in edit mode in Pages?
I'll find a long document and try it out and get back.

*OK, I see what you mean. The option up and down only works with quick nav on and you can only move the edit point with quick nav off.
You can also only move the edit point up and down by line with quick nav off.

I'll look through the IOS key commands with quick nav off to see if there's a way around this, but it kind of looks like you're stuck with moving around by line in Pages.

*Well, as far as I can find there is no VO key command to scroll without quick nav on. Perhaps, this is an Apple oversight.
I have always used my finger down the screen to find the place I want to edit, as well as the three finger scroll, then a double tap to put the edit point at the beginning of the line, then used the keyboard to get to the word and character. Basically a combination of touch screen and keyboard for editing. It just seemed faster, but I can see how it would be frustrating if you only want to use the keyboard.