iPad tips and tricks for road warriors

It's the little things that can make all the difference in getting what you want from Apple's tablet

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Helping tired eyes

If you work long hours or are in flight much of the day, your eyesight may suffer a bit -- especially if you use contact lenses and your eyes are dry from extended wear. The iPad's iOS has a nifty capability to help out. You can select text and have the iPad speak it to you, such as when you're not quite able to focus on specific text. After you select the text, tap Speak in the contextual menu that appears. But note this feature is not enabled by default. To turn it on, go to the Settings app's General pane, then tap Accessibility to open the Accessibility pane. Then set the Speak Selection switch to on.

Entering special symbols

If you use special symbols, such as accented letters and currency symbols, switching to the Symbols keyboard can be a pain, as you must first tap the ?123 key to get to the Numbers keyboard, then tap the #+= key to get the Symbols. Finally, you must hit the ABC key to get back to the alphabet.

There is an easier way: Many keys display a contextual menu if you tap and hold on them. From there, you select a special character and continue typing from the regular alphabet keyboard. These are the keys with extra characters available via this method: a, e, i, o, u, y, c, l, n, s, z, 0, &, $, %, - (hyphen), . (period), and , (comma), as well as .com when in URL fields.

There's also an Undo key in the Numerals keyboard and a Redo key in the Symbols keyboard for your most recent text actions.

Dealing with foreign time zones

The iPad is a very convenient personal information manager tool when you're making and monitoring appointments. When you're adding a new appointment, you don't have to translate the proposed time zone to your current one. Instead, in the Start & End popover when creating an appointment, tap Time Zone to enter the other person's time zone and let the iPad make the adjustment to your calendar. Note that this option appears only if you enable Time Zone Support in the Settings app's Mail, Contacts, or Calendars pane in the Calendars section.

With Time Zone Support enabled, as you travel, your calendar's display remains in your local time zone, and your appointments and alarms will adjust accordingly. For example, if you're on the West Coast and your home time zone is Eastern, your calendar will show the appointments in Eastern time, while your alerts and so forth will adapt to West Coast time. Thus, your appointment shown at 9 a.m. Eastern will alert you at 6 a.m. Pacific. The consistent time-zone display is meant to help you stay in your everyday schedule context.

This article, "iPad tips and tricks for road warriors," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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