Splitting Your Virtual Keyboard on the First Generation iPad

Recently, I was writing on my iPad. I have a first generation iPad, and wanted to split my keyboard for more flexibility and use my thumbs on my virtual keyboard.  I must admit I am a one-handed genie. I usually used the virtual keyboard as it is, holding my iPad with my left hand as I type away with my right hand.  However, thinking that typing with two hands would give me the extra quick mobility that I needed, I wanted to split the keyboard.

Of course, it may seem very easy to those techies in the tech world, but having a first generation iPad does require a little bit more thinking, in my opinion,  especially if you have not updated the operating software on your iPad  to iOS 5, and I had not updated my software.  Expecting there would be features offered on the iPad 2 and iPad 3 that my first generation iPad did not have, it never occurred to me to examine whether my first generation iPad could do such a wonderful thing as split the virtual keyboard, or  whether I could dock the keyboard in the middle etc.  It was a surprise when one of my colleagues said, “Of you can.”  So I went to my office and began to examine the internet on how to accomplish this task.

1.  The first thing I discovered was I had to update to iOS 5.  So, if you are one of those people who have not updated, please do.  In order for you to split your virtual keyboard an update to iOS 5 is a necessity.

2.  Once you have updated your software,  please go to settings.  In settings, move down the menu to  General, and tap on your General button, and look at your menu, which is displayed on the opposite side.  Towards the bottom of the screen, you will see the keyboard, tap on the keyboard and look in the middle for split keyboard.  Please slide the on button so that it is colored. My on button has a blue color.   A picture below shows the page of my settings and the menu for the General button.

3.  Because I use Pages, I opened my Pages software and tapped  to pull up my keyboard. Tapping on my page, the keyboard popped up. The key with a small typewriter and a small black arrow at the bottom is the key you want to hold down for a two or three seconds. 

4. A menu pops up offering you to dock or split. If you choose split, your keyboard will look like the following:

5.  If you choose undock, the key board will move into the middle.

6.  Tapping on the keyboard again, you will see the option offered to dock and merge. This will return your virtual keyboard back to its normal size.  A little secret for people who are disabled and cannot use their hands and are considering buying the iPad 3.  The iPad 3 virtual keyboard is also designed to be used with your mouth. In other word, a microphone appears by the keyboard, and you can dictate, and the keyboard writes it out. However, this function requires that you agree to Apple’s privacy politics.

So, try out your virtual keyboard and let me know what you think.


Pat Garcia

About patgarcia

Writer, Blogger, Poet, Singer, Musician
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6 Responses to Splitting Your Virtual Keyboard on the First Generation iPad

  1. Micki Peluso says:

    Patricia, this was wondefully written, even though I have no clue what you are talking about. What did you slpit the keyboard with–an axe? 🙂 My first computer after the old GE was an appleIIE which I found user friendly for a pc idiot like me. I’ve heard the apple is now preferred by most users, but I don’t have room in my brain to relearn all this stuff. Could you come and live here with me for maybe a year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • patgarcia says:

      You are a dear! It is so nice getting to know you. You have a great sense of humor, and I had to laugh at your comments. If anybody can get a good laugh out of me, that someone is you. Thanks for being the way you are. And thanks for sending my article out on twitter.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. mypenandme says:

    I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award… If you’d like to accept, just drop by my site and pick it up. Congrats either way


  3. "D" says:

    I came upon your article in my search about my keyboard on my first generation iPad. I wasn’t worried about splitting it, but needed to dock it as it had moved to the middle of the page and I couldn’t see what I was typing. Your explanation led me to the settings/general menu, which I never would have thought of before and then I was able to re-dock my keyboard. thanks so much for your help.


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