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iPad 101: finding the Tab key in Pages


Eager to make my new iPad 2 earn its keep, I've stopped rationalizing the purchase and gotten down to work. The next logical purchase, I figured, is Pages, which I'll use for word processing while on the road. Mobile productivity is what the iPad is all about, isn't it?

I read the "getting started" tutorial and then waited for a project to present itself while I was away from my Mac. An opportunity soon presented itself during a boring train ride.

While riding the train to music rehearsal, I needed to type up a simple set list of songs. On the left, I wanted to type the song titles, and on the right, each song's key. This is something I've done hundreds of times on my Mac with minimal fuss.

Unfortunately, however, I hit a snag in Pages. I discovered that there is no tab key on the iPad's virtual keyboard -- even in Pages. I quickly double checked this on my iPhone keyboard and found the same result. I searched "tab" and "tab key" in the Pages help section with poor results.

I started fumbling around the various menu options in Pages, growing frustrated and confused at the lack of a tab key. Had the iPad let me down?

Fortunately, after ten minutes of repeated menu hopping, and searching various internet forums, I saw the tab icon staring me in the face, next to the text alignment icons. Pulling into the train station, I tapped the icon and a short menu appeared with the tab option at the top.

I can't fathom why Apple would decide not to put a tab key on the iPad's keyboard, at least in Pages. But thank goodness it's there, even if it does require two taps to make a tab indentation instead of the single keyboard stroke required on a conventional keyboard.

Have you had a little tiff with your iPad? Why not let us know in the comments below? We may even be able to help you work it out!

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