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11 keyboard tips that will help you type faster on Windows 10 Mobile

The keyboard could be the most frequently used tool on our phones. We use it to write emails, notes, send messages, tweet, search the web, and more. Whether you're already a pro at typing or just getting familiar with your new Windows 10 Mobile device like the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, there are definitely some tips and tricks that will make you type faster. We'll show you 11 ways that might help.

1. Tap space bar twice for period

This is the oldest trick in the book. Simply tap the space bar twice to end a sentence. Of course you can always tap the period button, but the space bar covers more space, making it easier to reach.

2. Swipe to numbers or symbols

Instead of tapping the symbol key and then the number or symbol, try swiping! For example, if you need to type the number 3, swipe from the &123 key on the lower left corner, drag it to the number 3, then release. The letters automatically change when you start the swiping motion.

3. Swipe to common punctuations

If you tap and hold the period button, you can then drag your finger to other common punctuations like the exclamation point, question mark, comma and dash. Swiping is optional. You can also tap and hold the period button, then tap the punctuation.

Lumia 950 keyboard

4. Swipe to .org, .edu, or .net

When you're typing a URL in Microsoft Edge, a dedicated .com button shows up in the keyboard. Tap and hold the .com button and then swipe to another extension you need. This is definitely faster than manually typing the rest of the URL.

5. Tap and hold Shift button for CAPS LOCK

Tap and hold the Shift button for caps lock. You can also double tap it to type everything in capital letters. Tap the button again to return to normal.

6. Use the precision pointing stick

The Windows 10 Mobile keyboard has a precision pointing stick within the keyboard. Use it to move the cursor to correct a typo or quickly insert a missing letter or apostrophe.

7. Add words to the suggestions list

The Windows 10 mobile keyboard gives you text suggestions above the keyboard as you type. If there's a word that you use a lot that isn't in the dictionary, you should add it to the suggestions list. To add a new word, type it in an app like Mail or OneNote, then click to select it. Tap the plus sign to add it to the suggestion list.

Lumia 950 keybaord

8. Shift the keyboard to the left or right

If you find yourself often typing with one hand, we recommend shifting the keyboard to one side. When the keyboard is open, tap and hold the $123 button, and then tap the keyboard icon. Select which side you want to shift it to. This seems to be only be available for devices with displays greater than 5 inches.

Lumia 950 keyboard

9. Move the keyboard up or down the screen

You're not required to have the keyboard always show up at the bottom of the screen. Tap and hold the spacebar, and then drag it up or down the screen. This seems to be only be available for devices with displays greater than 5 inches.

10. Swipe to switch between keyboards

If you have multiple keyboards in different languages, you can quickly switch between them by swiping on the space bar. To add a new keyboard, tap and hold the $123 key and then tap the gear icon. Select Add keyboard and choose what you want to add.

Lumia 950 keyboard

11. Say it instead

As long as it's not annoying anyone else around you, try using the keyboard's voice input. It may be faster at typing long messages. Tap the mic icon above the keyboard to start.

Which of these tips do you already use regularly? Did you learn something new? Sound off in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

144 Comments
  • Nice tricks. Thanks!
  • Could have made a Video as well to demonstrate the tips. That would be really helpful.
  • Only 9 ,11 point is new..
  • They're new to someone who just got their first windows phone.
  • Also, easily the best phone keyboard = Windows Phone. Beats my Note 4, Blckberry and iPhone easily.
  • comeon... it beats blackberry? They have the best keyboard prediction till date and with that awesome suggestions on keys. Most innovative till date. Wish microsoft allows third party keyboards and blackberry deploys to windows phone... Lol!
  • Does blackberry have swipe keyboard built into the OS?
  • I want the option to move the mic icon to the right side. I hold the phone in my right hand and my thumb can't reach across my 1520 screen to use it one handed.
  • "8. Shift the keyboard to the left or right"
  • I tried the shift keyboard now its soooo damn tiny. My fat fingers aren't meant for such a tiny keyboard.....fat fingers are to keep my girl happy. I'd like a full size keyboard with mic and paste option on the right.
  • 12. Swype
  • Does the Swype function work in the store and on edge for u guys ? it does work for me in other apps and messgeing except those two so I am wondering is it happening with me only
  • Any time you are searching for something, I noticed that swipe does not work. I guess they figure you might be searching for something not quite in the dictionary.
  • good point. I guess you are right 
  • It's been disabled specificly for those apps so that it can search the store or for URLs as you type one character at a time. I'd rather have swype when I want it, or at least give me the choice.
  • I hadn't considered that...looks like one of those "features" disguised as missing functions lol ;p
  • It's not working on the store and edge.:_(  
  • We can directly search the apps from the 'app screen' by tapping on the search box, even before entering the store. Swype does work there.
  • I wish we could remove the period on the keyboard. I end up hitting that often instead of the spacebar
  • Nice, yes. Just that most of them don't work my 535’s stupid screen sensitivity issues. If I tap and hold or swipe the phone gets carried away and starts typing for me
  • I was super fast when I had blackberry torch,but not now
  • The first one is actually one I didn't know about :D. But it works really good. A. A. Just testing it lol
  • yeah the first one was new for me too, rest all i pretty much knew them
  • First and second were new to me, although I'm a long time WP user, LOL!
  • My 535 with its screen sensitivity issues automatically does the first one when tap the space bar once
  • For those of us that are less politically correct I highly recommend the swype to swear app to add a whole list of "words" to the keyboard suggestions in one shot.
  • This needs to happen ASAP!!
  • But you always follow you own rules?
  • b. B. B. B. Bnb.
  • While most of these are great I still find the delay on tapping and holding anything just slows me down I wish it was configurable
  • "11. Say it instead" Just with Cortana, right?
  • No, u have a microphone icon to speak ur words
  • Portuguese BR doesn't have the microphone... When I switch to US-ENG and it's on Bluetooth of my car and try the microphone it says: "Calling Cortana". Someone without Cortana can confirm that you need her to have this feature?
  • I'm not sure I understand your situation with your car, but I too did not have the microphone (english keyboard, Lumia 928, 10586).  I got the microphone with Cortana OFF, by going to Settings\Privacy\Speech, inking, & typing.  Then I tapped the "Get to know me", button.  This doesn't turn on Cortana, but it did bring the mic icon to my keyboard.  Good luck.
  • I haven't been able to get #2 to work since I got my 950 XL.  It always brings up the keyboard selection menu (tip #10).
  • Same thing here  on my 640. They say it works with all 5'+ displays, but yet, i can't get it done, neither do i can resize the keyboard by holding it.
  • Make sure you swipe away immediately. If you stay on the 123& too long, the keyboard selection menu comes up. you have to just swipe away immediately. it'll bring up the big number pad (like dialing a phone) so just go in the general direction you feel the number will be and once it pops up, just make sure you don't lift your finger til you're over the number you want.   Edit: ok, depending on what type of field you're in dictates what type of number pad shows up. so it may not be the big number pad, but the number & symbols keyboard. i was in a field that accepted names and phone numbers, which meant no symbols and therefore it gave me the big number pad originally.
  • For resizing the keyboard, devices have to be "greater than" five inches. Not equal-to-or-greater-than. The Lumia 640 won't support it, because it's the largest device NOT supported for this feature. As far as why #2 isn't working on the 950XL, it's because you are holding too long on the &123 instead of immediately swiping up from it. Hold and swipe brings up the keyboard selection menu.
  • Has worked just fine on my 640 as long as I remember
  • Very cool. Forgot about being able to move the keyboard.
  • look who's here.. how are you sam?
  • Wo my fav writer is here!
  • SAM!
  • Sam :D
  • I just wish autocorrect worked as well in 10 as it did in 8.1.  It's been absolute trash in 10.
  • Same here mate! Autocorrect in wp8.1 was just something else. With w10m after I send something I have to write something again to correct a mistake from the previous text. Such a pain!
  • I'm not satisfied either. And no matter how often I'm swiping for "on" it always puts in "ok". I thought it should be learning MY usage
  • My experience is totally opposite, it used to work great in 8.1 then I don't know what happened I had to constantly fix errors. Almost 100% of the time when I went back to correct the word the suggested word to correct it was the one I wanted, so annying. Since upgrading to Windows 10 Mobile it has been near 99% accurate, except just like 8.1 trying to type "app" never works and the suggestions for it never make sense with what I'm typing.
  • Is that for real? :S
  • Don't forget to mention the fact that, now in Windows 10 Mobile, you can tap and hold the top row of letters (QWERTY-UIOP) then you can type numbers without going to the full number keyboard. And as always, you can tap and hold most letters to type special charters.
  • Taping and holding the top row keys works on my 640, but just as good as #2 which doesn't work on my 640.
  • These dont work on my 640: 8. Shift the keyboard to the left or right
    9. Move the keyboard up or down the screen Are they regular features for all phones?
  • No, only the large screen ones.
  • What's "large screen"? Doesn't work on my Icon, either.
  • 5 inches or larger:   http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/getstarted-keyboard-mobile
  • My friend's L535 with 5 inch screen does not have this feature.
  • Strange... Icon *does* have a 5" screen.
  • More than 5 inches *only*
  • Lumia 640 IS 5 inches large... how come it doesnt have those features? :/ probably have to be larger than 5, not 5
  • It's possible.  I don't have a phone of that size, so I can only go by Microsoft's documentation which as the link I gave shows, says five or larger.
  • that makes sense. thanks! would have been nice to read that in the article...
  • I'm guessing it depends on screen size, my 640 doesn't have those features either. Changing the size of the UI might make them show up as well.
  • Nope.. Have my 640 scaled to show 4 columns (which is 100% awesome btw) but still those features aren't showing up =/
  • Need more than 5" 
  • Doesn't work for me either
  • Thanks for the tips... Learnt many new things.
  • 8675309. I had to try the swipe to number thing. It works.
  • The second one was new for me. -.-
  • Text suggestion is always very useful to me
  • That is true - to help speed up typing this should be: 12 Swype
    13 Text Suggestion
  • I can't move the keypad to left right or top, using L830. Am i doing anything wrong. I have not that setting either. Please suggest
  • It won't work. It doesn't work on my 830 too. Maybe language problem or simply it doesn't work for 5 inch screen size phones as mentioned in the article.
  • Thanks Deepak. I was also guessing so. May not be a language problem. But definietly depends on Screen Size.
  • I can't get #2 to work on my Lumia 640 either. Running latest Insider release.
  • Start swyping immediately or else a popup will appear.
  • Yup, it should work just fine. Can confirm it works on my 635, 640 and 920
  • Learn two things. Thanks
  • 11 won't work in most languages.
    And how about fixing the (missing) auto-space after common words when using text prediction, like "the", "and", etc.
    And how about fixing the quotation marks function, so it'll only negate the auto-space after the second quotation mark, not the first as well.
  • Umm.. You mean the other way around? There's no space after first quotation mark (as there shouldn't be) but also not after the second one (where there should be one)
  • Nice tips for WP81 users as well since almost all of them work there too. I didn't know tip 2 still works in W10M, you need to start swyping quickly to make it work, very useful tip! Tip 1 is an option at keyboard language level (since WP81 or before).
  • None of the mentioned tips is new to me. I use them everyday. And, shifting keyboard is not available for phones 5 inches in screen size. Like my 830 doesn't support it. Also, holding down the space bar to move the keyboard also doesn't work on my phone. These two tricks are for 5+ inch screen sized phones. Or maybe language is the problem.
  • I took the stick off my keyboard lol. Just personal preference.
  • Yes it is terribly tuned by Microsoft making it useless. It could be so useful though.
  • It's only useful if you want to go one character left/right/etc, more than that it's not accurate at all
  • Will Swipe ever come to desktop virtual keyboard?
  • So much this! The amount of times I pick up my tablet after using my phone and try to do this is infuriating! 1st world problems! :)
  • Number 8: If you hold space long enough to move keyboard up down - you can shift it also left or right. Lumia 640 XL
  • I'm getting annoyed when typing as I select a suggested word and it sometimes doesn't put a space afterwards so two words join together. Annoying as hell. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • #3: No taping required. Hold, slide, release - all in one move. When you're good at it, you don't even have to wait for the animation to finish.
  • I'm pretty sure that's what "tap and hold" means =) I use the #2 method for those punctuations as well though
  • Does anyone have a shortcut for entering your email address like on ios?
  • Also if you have to key in a lot of numbers is there a shortcut to the numbers only keyboard?
  • It's 1dec here, where its win 10m stable version???
  • I like WP keyboards but wish it was customizable more like Fleksy, SwiftKey, Ginger, or Adaptxt. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No need for now!
  • Saying that is like saying we don't need Cortana because the previous assistant performed all the nescessary things. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The word suggestion list has got me in trouble before. I'm not sure if it stores names from your contact list automatically, if you type a certain name a lot or if you just text/call that person frequently, but the last name of a woman that my girl isn't too fond of popped up in the suggestions list. She hit the roof when she saw it lol. I have no idea what the logic behind it is but I work with the woman so "we're on work-related email blasts and meeting invites all the time" was my way to avoid getting shot. 
  • Yes it "knows" all your contacts and will suggest them if your swipe is close enough. I'm pretty sure there's an official ms web page explaining this you can show your girl =)
  • I have a contact with the last name Im.  Since I've know her, I can no longer type Im and have it auto-correct to I'm.  I might have to remove her from my life.
  • Mark, Thanks for the tips - quite a few i didnt know about!
  • How to turnoff that autocorrect when i write some Hindi words in English,it just auto corrects them to English words..annoying
  • You can get to keyboard settings by holding &123 key but there's no quick on/off for that as far as I know
  • Click on English keyboard in keyboard setting and untick correct misspelled word.
  • Use Hinglish keyboard.
  • I'd like to have an option to stop the precision stick to speed up when you want to move it more than 3 letters... this drives me crazy sometimes :o
  • & Can you tell me .. How to Remove/Clear Auto Dictionary Words..
  • The only thing I actually need to type faster is a 4x3 t9 keyboard. FFS is it so hard to add one?
  • Faster? I mean, I was quite the typing ninja back in the days of dumb phones, but never nearly as fast as I'm now with word flow
  • Can i move keyboard in Lumia 535
  • No!
  • Is there any keyboard with a row with numbers?
  • Swiping spacebar to switch between languages is genius. Wish Google would implement that on their keyboard for Android. Less likely to do that than hit the switch languages button when I mean to press space. Also wish they would at all of these features to the Windows 10 keyboard for surface Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes it's one of my favorite features since I'm watching between Finnish and English constantly
  • I've had a windows phone for years and a few of these I never knew do good little article for me.
  • Really useful... Thanks.
  • Add word never work when I try to save my is email as a word. it only work for spam word like- yfrhfgg - yes it work on this word ;D
  • How can we save an email address as an entry?
  • Would love that!
  • I know on Android you can save an email address for easy input to nearly EVERY WEBSITE EVER, and it would save a lot of time. Just sayin.
  • Tip #1 I never remember when I'm typing. Only when I read about it somewhere. Then I forget about it instantaneously.
  • I'm the same. I utilize all the other features (well, not 6, 8 or 9) constantly, but for some reason that one's managed to slip away every time =P
  • I never do it either.  I keep thinking I'll spend 20 minutes typing randomly, doing it at the end of every sentence, to make it a habit.  3 years down the road and I still haven't gotten around to it.
  • Swipe to number and double tap for caps lock is new for me and thanks for this ^^
  • We really need all these features on the Surface!
  • For #2, it has to be a smooth Swype. In 8.1, you held the number key down and then swyped after they keys changed to numbers. In 10, you touch the &123 key and swype immediately. As soon as you start the Swype, the keys change to numbers.
  • Many readers may already know tip this but I thought I'd share it for the rest. Put your cursor anywhere in a word (it doesn't have to be selected) and then tap on the Shift key to cycle through all caps, all lower case and initial letter cap for that word.
  • Cool. I didn't know about the swipe to numbers and symbols one.
  • Why is the keyboard on whatsapp and windows central different than other areas. The messaging app keyboard is very smooth.
  • You can also long press keys to write numbers. Eg - holding q will get you 1, w and 2 and so on
  • Thanks. I am glad I read this post. I didn't discover #2 on my own. I thought they took away quick access to numbers in WM10 and it was really bugging me.
  • I assume this is obvious to most, but in English keyboard if you hold down on most letters, it gives you variations with accents/umlauts/etc... Handy for the odd "Ein bißchen!" Or "Ça va bien merci!". :)
  • Man, just add a numbers row! OR at least give me the option to turn it off or on.  Swiping is less efficient for typing numbers.  Make the keys less rectangular to fit a numbers row- maybe for 5"+ screens
  • #5.
    You can also highlight a text or sentence then press the shift key multiple times to toggle between first letter cap to all letters cap and then back to original text
  • Microphone not working!! How do I use it, always says 'try again'
  • For number 8. Another way to shift the keybord left or right is by holding the space key then swiping left or right while holding.. This is nice to mention in the article..
  • I would love to see 8 + 9 for devices including 5". It doesn't show up for my Lumia 930.
  • Tips #8 and #9 is awesome! Now only I know lol
  • You can add this to the list #12) Change the case of an already written text: If you have already written something and want to change the case of the text, first select the text and then click the SHIFT key till you get your desired case. There are 3 cases possible 1) UPPER CASE, 2) lower case and 3) Capitalisation case (First letter is in upper case while rest are in lower case). Hope you like it.
  • Yes ur right , i like it....
  • Thanks Farhan. Give me 1 thumps/arrow up  for the post
  • Great, helpful tricks
  • I thought it adapted to the words in time. Didn't knew you had to manually add them in the suggestions list.
  • Knew most, but 2, 4 and 8.
    Good article.
    Written with my new favorite trick, the left side keyboard.
  • I recently upgrades to Windos\ws 10, the swipe and key board prediction is not working after the upgrade. any sugeestions how to get it back?