Friday, April 13, 2012

Got arrow-key envy? "Elusively Obvious" cure for iPad users: Move cursor [insertion point] within text precisely, easily on iPad screen without keyboard

Want to move the cursor or insertion point in a chunk of text on an iPad screen? Use a finger or stylus to touch someplace near where you want the point to end up. Don't tap. Hold your touch firmly there until something that looks like a magnifying glass appears. Notice that within that circle you see an expanded view of a few characters. Now without removing your finger or stylus from the screen, move it a little in one direction or another and notice that the characters displayed in the circle change and that the indicator for the insertion point is moving. Release when you have moved the insertion point to your desired new location. That should be it! [See excerpts below from Apple Support]

I learned this valuable technique when I finally realized that my preference for using an external keyboard with my iPad had much to do with my reliance on the arrow keys... and that it would be very peculiar if the brilliant iPad designers had omitted the arrow keys from the onscreen keyboard entirely by accident! Once I began searching for an alternative to arrow keys, I rapidly found the much more iPad-ish solution described above. I still like my external keyboard for typing large chunks of text, and I still like the arrow keys, but now I can do without the external keyboard more often when I'm doing less text-intensive work with my iPad.

iPad as "Intuitive" - Role of "Elusively Obvious" features to overcome transitional frustrations

Building facade based on M. C. Escher design

When we say some iPad feature is "intuitive" we usually mean that we find it comfortable and easy to use and consistent with the the iPad worldview each of us is building with increasing iPad experience. That feature rapidly feels "obvious" instead of "elusive." The iPad user minterface becomes more "intuitive" to me with every additional "native" iPad feature I learn and accept. So the next frustration that I encounter becomes easier to overcome because of my increasing facility with the system.

I really like using my iPad, but even after several months I'm still learning new tricks to overcome lingering transitional frustrations. I become a little more "iPad intuitive" each time I resolve a frustration by finding techniques that rely more fully on the iPad touchscreen interface instead of looking for methods that emulate keyboard/mouse features that had become "intuitive" to me after years of practice with that interface. Each identified frustration begins as a challenge to find something that seems elusive - not obvious - and usually ends with a solution that soon after feels quite "obvious" if it fits well within my growing iPad gestalt. That is because no computer interface is truly "intuitive" at all: the iPad interface is an especially well-designed but entirely artificial way for many human beings to interact with a computer at this time in this society.

Your "Obvious" = My "Elusive";

Building a Shared Gestalt of Overlapping Intuition

Your "obvious" can be my "elusive" - and vice versa. Each of us accumulates "elusively obvious" solutions in response to our own unique succession of needs and insights and resources. Each of us probably has his/her own iPad gestalt that is not entirely identical to anyone else's. That's why some of YOUR explanations of "obvious" features can be so valuable to SOMEONE ELSE for whom that feature is still "elusive".

So we can help others find and integrate a solution that is currently elusive for them but obvious for us... and then it will be obvious for them too, and they can continue to spread this growing accumulation of "obvious" features that contribute to our growing and overlapping "intuition." Gradually we build a shared gestalt of overlapping intuition as we jointly reduce the elusive and expand the obvious!



Following excerpted from exchange of posts available on "Apple Support":

"Is there a method to move your cursor to the left without using the backspace button? ... I wish the iPAD had the 4 arrow keys like a standard keyboard has to move to a specific point in the text. "

"To position the insertion point (there isn't a cursor), if you press and hold the screen with your finger then after a second or two you should get a magnifying glass appear on the screen which should help you re-position in the insertion point."

IMAGE selected by Steve Gilbert 20120412

Photo of "Detail of the façade of a building at 14 Calle del Conde de Romanones (street, Centro district) in Madrid (Spain) showing an Escher's design from Metamorphosis II....4 February 2011...Author: Luis García (Zaqarbal)"

"Permission..."I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses:Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.Attribution: Luis García








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