Yes, You’re Special (If You Use an External Keyboard)

The iPad Lawyer – Yes, You’re Special (If You Use an External Keyboard)


Scott J. Grossberg, Esq.

Many have asked what I use in place of Microsoft Word on my iPad. At the moment, I prefer Quickoffice HD Pro as my primary “Word” replacement. However, there are also apps like DocsToGo and Pages that are worthy contenders. The apps change their features so often that I shift back and forth between them.

You can take a look at these apps for yourself at these locations:

QuickOffice Pro HD ($19.99)

DocsToGo Premium ($16.99)

Pages ($9.99)

Now the fun part of using any word processing app on the iPad or inputting text – using an external keyboard. I happen to use the Zaggkeys PROplus iPad Keyboard (with backlit keys):

However, what I am about to teach you is doable from any external keyboard.

Go to your keyboard – RIGHT NOW – and give this a go:

1. Press the alt/option key
2. Then press “e”
3. Then press “a” and you will get á

After pressing the alt/option key, you will use the following combinations for your special characters (substituting your letter for the “a” in the following example):

` + a = à
e + a = á
u + a = ä
i + a = â
n + a = ã

You will notice that, after you press the alt/option key with the `, e, u, i, n keys the “special” character will be highlighted. Typing your chosen letter will replace that highlight with the accented character.

You might already know this but you can also set international keyboards on the iPad by going into Settings, then General, then Keyboard. You can also readily switch between keyboards from your external keyboard by hitting the CMD key and space bar together.

Finally, here are some other external keyboard shortcuts you might want to use:

Command-A – Select all text
Command-C – Copy selected text
Command-V – Paste text from clipboard
Command-X – Cut selected text
Command-Z – Undo
Command-Shift-Z – Redo
Command-Up Arrow – Scroll to top of page
Command-Down Arrow – Scroll to bottom of page
Command-Left Arrow – Jump to beginning of line
Command-Right Arrow – Jump to end of line
Option-Left Arrow – Jump to beginning of previous word
Option-Right Arrow – Jump to beginning of next word
Shift-Arrow Keys – Select text

I highly recommend adding an external keyboard to your iPad success toolkit. It makes crafting and editing longer documents a breeze!

Until next time, stay special.

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And, if you’re interested in finding out how I can make a presentation to your law firm or association, please contact me at 909-483-1850 or email me at

© 2013 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.
Mr. Grossberg is a founding partner of the Southern California law firm of Cihigoyenetche, Grossberg & Clouse. He is a featured speaker and published author on numerous topics including media relations, social media, technology, public speaking, memory, and various other cutting edge concepts. Mr. Grossberg’s “iPad Lawyer” seminars provide legal professionals with the ability to truly harness the potential of Apple’s tablet. He is regularly called upon to address the impact of emerging technology and social media, suggest policies and procedures that should be in place, and to discuss liability exposure for this new way of doing business. He can be reached at



One response to “Yes, You’re Special (If You Use an External Keyboard)

  1. Good information, Scott.


    Sent from my iPad – Please excuse any misspellings. Thanks.

    Pete Riley
    Vice President | General Counsel
    Sarnoff Information Technologies, Inc.

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