One of the oddities of the iPad is that when I activate the screen-based touch keyboard, there are no arrow keys. There are arrow keys on a physical Apple keyboard, but no arrow keys on the touchscreen keyboard. Am I missing something, or some shortcut?

Without arrow keys I end up fumbling around trying to touch with my finger the exact place in the text where the cursor should go, but since my finger is the diameter of 2.5 lines of text, this is a trial and error process.

  • There are some apps (Editorial is one I like) that use the keyboard accessory view to provide cursor control within a line.
    – jscs
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 22:58

4 Answers 4


If you tap and hold with 2 fingers or long press the spacebar on the software keyboard; it turns it into a touchpad-like view with which you can drag around on to control the cursor.

On iOS 16 long press directly on the cursor to move it.


I'm not sure about arrow keys, but one thing that may help with getting the cursor placed is to tap and hold and a bubble will appear above your finger showing you where the cursor is, you can then drag that around until it is in the correct spot. It's a little bit better than trying to accurately tap to place the cursor.


You can find 3rd party keyboards with arrow keys, e.g. ProType.

  • Answers should ideally be self-contained. Please add content to the body of your post, eg in case the link is broken, there is nothing here to indicate what software you were referring to.
    – flith
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 10:04

If you use the GBoard keyboard, you can move the cursor left and right by pressing and sliding over the space bar.

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of a feature in GBoard to move the cursor up and down.

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