Tips and Tricks for Using Your iPad


We think we know how to use an iPad, but have we made the most of it?

Our iPads are incredibly useful assets. We have a variety of apps, we can surf the Internet (albeit with restrictions), and we can refer to all our notes and worksheets easily within OneNote. But buried within iPadOS are numerous settings and features that you probably didn’t know about. After some thought and research, I have compiled some of these settings and features and have sorted them into 5 categories. I hope you find them useful.

1. Apple Pencil

The versatile stylus that we use every school day has some tricks that you may not have noticed.

Screenshots and Quick Notes

If you swipe diagonally from the bottom left of your screen with your Apple Pencil, you can take a screenshot, which may be easier for some than pressing the volume and Home buttons. If you do the same but on the bottom right, you can access the Quick Notes, which allows you to quickly write notes that are saved to the Apple Notes app. You can change what will happen when you swipe from each direction in Settings > Apple Pencil > Left/Right Corner Swipe.

Taking a screenshot and opening up Quick Notes with an Apple Pencil


Keyboards are pretty cool, but have you tried handwriting your text? You can do that with Scribble, which allows you to write with your Apple Pencil in any text field, and it will be converted to text. There are also gestures that allow you to edit any text field with your Apple Pencil — scratch out a word to delete it, draw a line over text to select it, and a few more options. To try Scribble out and see just what you can do with it, you can go to Settings > Accessibility > Try Scribble.

Writing with Scribble

2. Safari

Surfing the web seems pretty simple, but there are quite a few things about Safari that you may not yet have stumbled upon.

Sneak Peek

Just touch and hold a link to preview it. You can also open it in the background, copy it, and more. These range of functions may come in handy in many situations, like when you want to quickly glance at what is in a webpage or if want to open a link in a new tab.

Using Sneak Peek to open a link in a new tab

Search within a webpage

Press Command + F to search within a webpage. This could prove especially useful if you want to search for certain sentences or phrases or if you want to find something related to a keyword.

Searching within a webpage

Tab Groups

Organising all your tabs is even easier with tab groups. You can just go to the sidebar on Safari and click the Tab Group icon on the top right to add one.

Download webpages as PDFs

If you want to download and annotate a webpage, you can easily download it as a PDF. Just press the Share icon, click Options and select PDF. You can then Copy the PDF file or Save it to the Files app.

Saving a webpage as a PDF

3. Gestures

Gestures are a quick way to do tasks such as undoing or redoing by simply swiping your fingers on the screen.


You can Copy selected text by pinching three fingers inwards, and you can Paste text by pinching three fingers outwards.


By swiping left and right with three fingers, you can Undo and Redo the last action respectively. This works in many apps such as Files, Office and Safari.

Undoing and redoing

App switching

To switch to the last used app, you can swipe left with four fingers. You can also swipe with four fingers to open all the windows of apps that are open.

4. Keyboard

There are numerous keyboard shortcuts and tips that you can utilise. To see all the keyboard shortcuts you can use in an app, press and hold the globe or command key.

Spotlight search

Spotlight is a feature where you can search within your apps or on the web, look something up, calculate something, and more. To access it, press Command + Space. 

Looking something up on Spotlight


If you are using the touchscreen keyboard, you can pinch it to make the keyboard smaller. In the smaller keyboard, you can type faster by sliding your finger from letter to letter.


Text replacement

Typing something over and over again, like your email address, can be a hassle. Well, you can solve that with Text Replacement. By going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement, you can choose a few characters that would automatically expand to a word or phrase.

Text Replacement in Settings

5. Settings

There are many settings inside your iPad which you can use to better customise and maximise your iPad experience.

Night Shift

Night Shift is a feature where the amount of blue light emitted from the screen is reduced, which makes it better for your eyes. However, this gives the screen a yellowish look. You can turn this on manually, customise the amount of blue light emitted and schedule the function to turn on at certain times in Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.

Control Center

Control Center is a feature that allows you to access some controls and settings easily by just swiping down from the top right. You can actually customise what appears in your Control Center by going to Settings > Control Center.

Control centre

In Conclusion

This list is definitely not exhaustive; you can find more tips and tricks by Googling or even using the Tips app. However, these are some of the little things I like about my iPad, which you may also find useful. I hope you have a great iPadOS experience.


  • Nithilan Balachander

    Nithilan is a humorous fourteen-year-old who loves writing. He has a severe phobia of heights, and is probably on his phone browsing Reddit at the moment.