Tips & Tricks for Typing in WP8.1

Note: most of these tips work with WP8 as well.

Shift

  • Select a word and then tap the shift key to cycle through lowercase, first letter capital, and all capital.
  • You can either double tap or tap and hold the shift key to lock it.

Suggestions

  • You can select a word and tap the "+" suggestion in the suggestion bar to add that word to the dictionary.
  • If you have multiple keyboard languages installed, words from all those languages are recognized and not marked as misspelled. (But word suggestions only come from the one keyboard language you're currently using).
  • The word suggestion feature knows names from your contact list, as well as Artists from your music library.
  • You can undo an autocorrection by tapping on the word - the first word in the suggestion bar is exactly the word as you typed it. (This doesn't work with words written by shape writing).
  • You can scroll through the suggestion bar to see more suggestions.
  • You can customize the word suggestion and autocorrect experience in the keyboard settings!

Characters & Symbols

  • You can hide/unhide the comma key (under "advanced settings" in the keyboard settings).
  • If you can't find a certain character or symbol in your keyboard, try switching to the English keyboard - it has more characters and symbols than most of the other languages.
  • Also, you can find more symbols by tapping and holding a symbol key (for example: ° on the 0 key, fractions and superscript numbers on the number keys)

Typing faster

  • When shape writing ("swipe" feature), pressing the backspace key deletes the whole word. If you want to delete letter by letter, the fastest way to do that is by tapping on the a word suggestion before using the backspace key.
  • Double tap the space key to insert a period (dot).
  • @, backslash and apostrophe are the only symbols that automatically take you back form the &123 keyboard to the qwerty keyboard after tapping them.
  • Instead of tapping the &123 key and then selecting a symbol, you can swipe up from the &123 key to the symbol you want to insert. Keep in mind that this will always automatically take you back to the qwerty keyboard, so you can only select one symbol at a time.
  • Similarly, you can swipe to the left or right from the smiley key to access one of the emoticon sections, instead of tapping on the emoticon key and then selecting a section. (You can't swipe directly to a specific emoticon though.)
  • If you use multiple languages with your keyboard, you can tap and hold the language key to bring up a list of all the languages and select one, instead of cycling through them.

Search

  • In IE, selecting text and tapping the search button brings up search results for that text in Bing (I'm using WP8.1 in German with Bing search instead of Cortana, so I'm not sure how this works when Cortana is enabled). This seems to work only with IE.

Did you know...?

... that the "Swype"-like feature in WP8.1 is not called "Wordflow"? The official name for the feature is "shape writing". "Wordflow" is the official name for the word prediction feature in WP (the phone predicting what word you're going to write next), and has been around since WP8.