BlackBerry 101: The Virtual Keyboard Part Two

HOW-TO / 06.07.12 / bswanncanada

Part two of a two-part series on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ virtual keyboard

If you had a chance to check out the first blog post in this two-part series, then you know about my poor spelling and my love for spellcheck and auto-correct. Today we are going to cover typing on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet virtual keyboard – something that I have much more confidence in!

First, I’m going to give you an overview of how the keyboard works so you can learn the flow of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Virtual Keyboard.

  • Typing Numbers and Symbols
  • Typing Capital Letters
  • Typing Special Characters
  • Changing Input Languages
  • How to Copy and Paste
  • The .com Button

Accessing the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Virtual Keyboard

The virtual keyboard will be displayed when you tap a text field, launch a document or a start composing a message. If you need the keyboard at any other time while using the tablet, swipe from the bottom left of the bezel towards the center (regardless of which way the device is currently oriented) to make it appear.

Hide the keyboard by tapping the Hide Keyboard key located at the bottom left of the virtual keyboard or by repeating the same swiping motion used to display the keyboard.

Typing Numbers and Symbols

To display the keys to input numbers or symbols while typing on the virtual keyboard, tap the “123 sym” key (marked in red below). Pressing this will display the number pad and common symbols. For even more symbols, press the left or right shift key that now displays two dots (marked in yellow below).


To go back to the letter keys, tap the “ABC” key now showing where the “123” key was before at the bottom left of the keyboard.

Typing Capital letters

To type a single capital letter, press the left or right cap lock key (shown in red below).

To lock the keyboard to type multiple capital letters, press and hold a cap lock key for a few seconds. You can tell the lock has worked when you see the blue lines appear around the cap lock key.

Tap one of the cap lock keys again to unlock the keys.

Typing Special Characters

To type an accent or special character or trademark, press and hold the key it is associated with. The screen shot below shows special characters for the letter E, for the trade mark “TM”. Press and hold the T key.

Changing Input Languages

To change the input language, click the key to the left of the space bar with the globe on it and select the desired language.

Cut, Copy and Paste

To cut, copy and paste text is pretty easy — just tap and hold your finger on top of some of text you would like to cut or copy, and a menu will appear with several options in addition to selection icons. Use your finger to slide the selection icons to cover the text you would like to select, and then tap one of the options from the menu.

Note: If you are using BlackBerry® Balance™, you cannot copy and paste between perimeters.

To paste the text, tap and hold where you would like to paste the text. A menu will appear with the option to paste; tapping it will insert the cut or copied text to that location.

The .com Button Appears When Using the Browser

Next time you are using the Browser, press and hold the .com button that appears to the left of the Go button. Here you will find shortcuts for some common domains you might use on a daily basis.

Do you want to see the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Virtual Keyboard in action? Check out the BlackBerry PlayBook Keyboard Demo.

Have a question or comment about the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Virtual Keyboard? Leave a comment below!

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