Text fields

If users need to type in your application, you can include text input fields.

A virtual keyboard appears on the screen when users touch a text field. Users can hide the keyboard by touching the screen outside of the text field or by tapping the Dismiss Keyboard key on the keyboard.

You can display a specific type of virtual keyboard, depending on the type of input that is required. In addition to the default keyboard, you can choose from a selection of keyboards, such as a keyboard designed for typing in an email or a keyboard designed for typing in a browser. For example, if users need to type an address for a website, you can display the URL keyboard which includes a .com button that lets users type the URL for a website more quickly. For each text field in your application, make sure that the most appropriate keyboard appears when users touch the field.

To facilitate entering text in a form, users can press the Enter key to move the cursor to the next text field or UI component (for example, a Submit button). In specific instances, you might consider changing the label of the Enter key. For example, at the end of a form, you could change the label from Enter to Submit.

Best practice

  • Try to minimize the amount of text that users need to type. Typing on a virtual keyboard can be slower and more difficult than typing on a physical keyboard. Allow users to choose items from pickers where possible. In addition, try to store and display information that users enter so that they don't have to enter the same information again and again.

Highlighting text

In many applications, users often want to reuse some text, links, or photos. For example, users might want to copy text from an email, save a link as a bookmark, or send a photo to a friend.

Users can touch and hold a finger on text to highlight a word or a series of characters. If users want to extend the highlighted area, they can drag the handles that appear at the beginning and end of the highlighted text. Alternatively, users can highlight a block of text by touching the screen in two locations at the same time.

This image shows text being highlighted.

When users highlight some text, a pop-up menu appears on the screen so that they can initiate an action, such as cut or copy the text. Other applications can offer similar functionality when links or images are highlighted.

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