10 iPad Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier

ipad shortcuts to make your life easierReturning to school after years of pursuing a career can feel like you’re traveling back in time. The thought of toting textbooks and scanning syllabuses might make you feel like a high-schooler again. However, after your first day back in a classroom – where everything from class enrollment to homework assignments has moved online – you are more likely to feel that you've stepped into the future.

There’s no doubt about it—the world is becoming more digital. How can an adult keep up with the devices, systems and lingo that only younger generations grew up learning?

While there are endless options available for staying current with technology in school, many students choose the iPad for its versatility and ease of use. Smaller than a laptop but larger than a mobile phone, these handy tablets will keep you at the cutting edge of technology while also making your student life easier.

Believe it or not, there are several tips and tricks that can help you make this device even easier. We consulted some Apple enthusiasts to share the iPad shortcuts they can’t live without. Check out these tips to get the most out of your device.

Beginner level iPad shortcuts

1. Quickly switch between apps

Perhaps one of the first skills a savvy iPad user masters is navigating between apps without scrolling through all available options. Andrea Mocherman, vice president of marketing at Gravit8 Marketing, suggests opening the iPad’s multitasking menu by swiping upwards with four fingers or double-tapping the home button.

“You'll see all of your recently opened apps. Just tap the one you want to switch quickly,” Mocherman explains. She frequently uses this trick to easily copy and paste between apps.

2. Take a screenshot

This trick allows you to save a picture of whatever is up on your screen. Whether it be notes, a quote on a website or even a high score in a game, you can save it permanently or email it to anyone. Take a screenshot by holding the Sleep/Wake button, on the top right of the iPad and the home button at the same time. The screenshot will appear in your camera roll.

3. Foreign letters and characters

Nothing is more frustrating than needing to type a word in a foreign language with a plain old English keyboard. On the iPad, you can access a whole host of other characters and accents from your keyboard just by holding a letter down until the grid pops up.

4. Split the keyboard

Most people are used to typing with two hands, but doing that while holding your iPad can be a balancing act. If you hold the keyboard button in the bottom right and select ‘split’, your keyboard will divide into two halves on either side of your screen. This allows you to use both thumbs to type, while holding the iPad upright.

5. E-books

The cost of textbooks can add up quickly and hauling them around with you all day takes a toll. IT and web specialist Jordan Schiefer recommends using Apple’s iBooks application.

“You can download virtually any textbook and there are options to rent or own,” Schiefer explains. He also loves the search and highlight tools that make finding your notes a breeze.

Intermediate level iPad shortcuts

6. Auto-Text

“The shortcut I use most is having my email addresses stored as shortcuts in the iPad settings,” says Kelly Wilkerson, co-founder of Decipher Media. She had to fill forms with essential information frequently, so she went into her ‘General Settings’ and created her own dictionary of abbreviations.

Just type the text you want in the phrase box, then whatever abbreviation you want that text to be triggered by in the shortcut box. For example, instead of typing your email address over and over, you can have the iPad auto-fill it when you type the first few letters.

7. PDF Scanner

No matter how tech savvy you are, you’ll still wind up with school papers and notes in a hardcopy format from time to time. The iPad features a genius scan app that creates PDF versions of anything you don’t want to lose in the bottom of your desk.

Schiefer explains that the app relies on your iPad’s camera and advanced algorithms to sense the edges of a paper and modify the coloring to an enhanced black and white. Just open the app and photograph any document, receipt or whiteboard to capture the essential text on your device.

Advanced level iPad shortcuts

8. Project to a TV Screen

“I can display my study notes on a big TV, which I’ve found to be ideal when studying with a group,” says student Steve Belk, founder of Cut Cable Today. Belk connects his iPad with his Apple TV using AirPlay Mirroring. Through AirPlay, the iPad becomes a portable projector for anything you want on a bigger screen. “This also eliminates headaches from staring at a tiny screen for hours on end,” he adds.

9. Expand capabilities with the "triple click"

“Most people know that double clicking the home button will bring up the multitasking bar, but many don't realize they can expand their iPad's capabilities through the accessibility menu in general settings, by turning on triple click,” Mocherman says. He explains that this allows you to activate a number of additional features including voiceover and zoom functionality as well as the ability to invert the color on the screen.

10. Linking devices

If you have more than one Apple device (perhaps a phone or a laptop), linking them together using iCloud will revolutionize your work and school life. “Apple has made continuity a great feature to link all devices over the cloud,” Schiefer says. Use the free iWorks apps to edit your documents across all devices and to keep tabs on web research.

For example, Schiefer says if you are browsing a webpage on your phone but decide you want the bigger screen of the iPad, just swipe up on the icon in the bottom left corner of the iPad lock screen and it will take you right to where you were in the page from your phone.

Feeling tech savvy?

Now that you are swiping patterns across your screen like a tech whiz, you might be discovering some iPad shortcuts of your own. Did we miss one of your go-to tricks? Share your favorite shortcuts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Brianna Flavin

Brianna is a content writer for Collegis Education who writes student focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She earned her MFA in poetry and teaches as an adjunct English instructor. She loves to write, teach and talk about the power of effective communication.

female writer

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

Add your comment


Please enter your name.


Please enter your email.


Please enter your comment.


Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

There are some errors in the form. Please correct the errors and submit again.

Request More Information

Talk with a program manager today.

Fill out the form to receive information about:
  • Program Details and Applying for Classes 
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify)
  • Customized Support Services
  • Detailed Program Plan

Step 1 of 3

What's Your Name?

Please enter your first name.

Please enter your last name.

Step 2 of 3

Contact Information

Please enter your email address.

Please enter your phone number.

Please enter your five digit zip code.

Step 3 of 3

Program Preferences

Please choose a school of study.

Please choose a program.

Please choose a degree.

The program you have selected is not available in your area. Please select another program of interest.

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. There is no obligation to enroll.

icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x