How to Type & Access Emoji by Keyboard Shortcut on iPad

Jul 10, 2020 - 1 Comment

Emoji keyboard shortcut on iPad

The ability to access and type Emoji and switch keyboards quickly by keyboard shortcut is yet another handy feature available to iPad when used with a hardware keyboard. And if you use multiple language keyboards on iPad, you can use the same keystroke to switch between those keyboards too.

Like all other keyboard shortcuts for iPad, you will need a hardware keyboard connected to the iPad to use this trick. That can be an Apple Smart Keyboard, a generic Bluetooth keyboard, an iPad keyboard, or an iPad keyboard case, as long as it’s a hardware keyboard.

How to Type & Access Emoji by Keyboard Shortcut on iPad with Control+Spacebar

The Emoji keyboard shortcut is super easy and you can use it from any app that allows text entry:

  • From any text entry position, press Control and Spacebar to access the Emoji and keyboard selector shortcut

(If you don’t have the Emoji keyboard enabled in iOS for some reason, you can do that easily in Keyboard Settings).

Emoji keyboard shortcut on iPad

If you press Control and Spacebar once, you’ll immediately access Emoji and switch to the Emoji keyboard on the display. If you press and hold Control and Spacebar you’ll see the little selector menu for the keyboards.

Quick Emoji keyboard shortcut on iPad

If you press Control and Spacebar again, you’ll switch back to your default keyboard and keyboard language, hiding the Emoji screen again.

If you’re a Mac user this keyboard shortcut may seem familiar to you, as it is close to the Mac emoji keyboard shortcut of Control + Command + Spacebar.

Type Emoji on iPad Keyboard with the Emoji Button (Some Keyboards Only)

Some iPad keyboards actually include a little Emoji quick access button directly on the keyboard itself, either as a smiley face Emoji icon or as a globe icon.

Pressing on that keyboard button will also access Emoji, or allow you to switch keyboards as well, just like doing so does on the on-screen digital keyboard on the iPad and iPhone.

Access Emoji on iPad by pressing the Emoji key on some iPad keyboards

(Note if you removed the Emoji keyboard button in iOS by disabling Emoji then hitting this keyboard shortcut will offer access to the Keyboard Settings)

Control+Spacebar Also Cycles Language Keyboards on iPad

In addition to Emoji access, the same keyboard shortcut can allow you to switch to different keyboards. Thus if you have multiple language keyboards in use on iOS, then hitting Control Spacebar will cycle through the available language keyboards.

Switching back to the normal default keyboard on iPad by keyboard shortcut

That makes the Control+Spacebar keyboard shortcut extra helpful if you’re multilingual or even if you’re just learning a foreign language.

Do note that the keystroke is Control + Spacebar and not Command + Spacebar, as the latter brings up Spotlight search on iPad just as it does on a Mac. That difference is important, since Spotlight is for searching on the device, and obviously not for keyboard or emoji selection.

Do you have any thoughts, tips, or tricks, pertaining to quick Emoji access on an iPad keyboard, or switching keyboard languages?


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Rami says:

    I do have a BT magic keyboard short ver with my iPad Pro 10.5. I set fn key as “globe” (eatrh icon) but it’s not working at all. Would you please tell me why and how do I let fn key to switch between inputs. Many thanks.

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