I often create emails on my iPad and my emails often need to contain foreign characters and currency symbols other than dollars. I can’t find an easy way to insert these characters into my emails, and I’m really frustrated. Is there some trick I’m missing?
If you find yourself using non-English characters more often than not (if, for example, you’re actually typing in French, or Arabic, or Chinese, for example), you’ll want to install a separate keyboard for that language. To do this, in the Settings app, select General, then Keyboard, then Keyboards, and Add New Keyboard. This option allows you to select any of the many specific-language keyboards available in iOS. Once you have added the keyboard you need, you can select it while typing by tapping the globe icon in the lower-left corner of the iPhone or iPad keyboard.
If, on the other hand, you’re generally typing English words but just need to include an accented character once in a while, adding a new keyboard is seriously overkill. There’s a really simple solution, but it’s not one that you would find on your own. The answer is to find the English character most like the one you want to enter, and then press and hold the key until you see a list of options for the character. For example, press and hold the “o” key, and you’ll see many different versions of the “O” character, including “Ò” and other variations on the character. The same technique works for all the vowels. Press and hold “s”, and you’ll find variations on “s” including the German “ß” character. Press and hold the “$” key, and you’ll find options for multiple currency symbols, including Japanese Yen and British Pounds. With the extra characters displayed, slide your finger to the one you need, and release—iOS inserts the character you selected into the text you’re typing.
Give it a try! When creating an email on iOS, try pressing and holding all the different characters to see what they do. Some do nothing (the “f” key, for example) but many supply multiple options, making it easier for you to insert foreign characters easily into the text you’re creating.