Top 10 tips for the BlackBerry 10 keyboard

BlackBerry Z10 keyboard
By Simon Sage on 14 Feb 2013 01:55 pm EST

BlackBerry really brought its A-game when designing the BlackBerry Z10 keyboard. A smart, established prediction engine, signature style, and unique interface all meld to create an absolutely awesome touchscreen keyboard. As much as you may fall in love with it right off the bat, there a subtle touches that aren't as obvious which will only enamour you further to BlackBerry 10.

Z10 owners, hit the break to dive into our top ten tips for the BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboard!


1. To hide the keyboard, long press on the space bar or do a two finger swipe down. Two finger swipe upwards brings it back up.

2. To delete a whole word, swipe to the left from the right.

3. Hold down a letter key to view and select special characters, such as accents.

4. To dictate out loud, hold down the period button for a moment, speak, then tap Done.

5. To enable audio and visual typing feedback, swipe down from the top pane of any home screen, tap Settings, tap Language and Input, then On-Screen Keyboard. Prediction suggestions can be turned off or repositioned from here as well.

6. To activate multiple languages in the keyboard's prediction engine, swipe down from the top pane of any home screen, tap Settings, tap Language and Input, then Input Languages, and Add/Remove Languages at the bottom.

7. Go into Automated Assistance from the Language and Input settings and tap Word Substitution to create typing shortcuts for longer words. 

8. To add a word to your dictionary so they don't show up as misspellings, tap a red-underlined word, and tap the Add to Dictionary button in the pop-up.

9. To correct a misspelled word, tap the red-underlined word and select from the options in the pop-up menu.

10. Swipe down on the keyboard for a single alternate character, like an exclamation point. Use the dedicated symbol key to enter multiple characters.

More BlackBerry 10 Tips and Tricks 

Those are just some of the handy tips to help out your typing habits on the BlackBerry Z10, but no doubt there are plenty more tips tucked away. Z10 owners, how are you finding the new keyboard? Is it as good as a physical keyboard? How is the learning curve on swipe-based prediction? Are there any shortcuts you miss from the old BlackBerry OS? 

Get BlackBerry 10 Help in CrackBerry's BlackBerry 10 Forums
Check out our BlackBerry 10 Hub tips
Check out our BlackBerry 10 E-mail tips
Check out our BlackBerry 10 Browser tips
View more BlackBerry 10 Help Articles

Reader comments

Top 10 tips for the BlackBerry 10 keyboard


YES Simon! Teach that dictionary what poutine is! #heavenly

I don't agree with the two-finger swipe up/down to enable/disable keyboard. I like the PlayBook's swipe from bottom left corner version...more one-hand friendly I would think.

alt + enter
(don't know if it works on the Z, 1 week left untill release, but I can't imagine that they would've ommit this)

I've got a couple more for everyone.
Long tap on the shift to do a CAPS LOCK function. You can also hold down shift and type just like a BBOS phone. The special character button works for this too, as soon as you release it will switch back to normal keyboard.

Here's what I would *really* *really* like to see on Crackberry. Get one or two of the Crackberry authors, and I'm thinking of the grand chief in particular, who *love* the physical keyboard, to do a video showing them typing as *efficiently* as possible on their favourite physical keyboard, say sending an e-mail or some BBM's or whatever. Normal stuff. Then do the same thing using the the Z10 keyboard. This is assuming that you guys are up and going and fully-functional on the Z10. We've heard that the new virtual keyboard is great, but I think there are a lot of us who want to see it head to head with a great physical keyboard, so we can figure out if the Z10 is the right way to go, or if we need to hold out for the Q10. Just a simple, flat-out productivity show-off smackdown.

That WOULD be great. I'd love to see it. I have to say that I find this the best virtual keyboard I have ever used. Better than the iPhone and better than the Torch. I find that I am a bit more accurate with this one than my old Tour or the Torch physical keyboard.

I have the same feeling, they should at least let us choose the duration of long press. Surprised no body supported you in this forum

Not much contrast between the predicted words and the frets. We could do with the ability to change the colour of the predicted words - at least as an accessibility feature.

"Hold down a letter key to view and select special characters, such as accents" ... does this mean we can no longer hold down a letter key to capitalize it, rather than pressing shift? That feature is one of my favorite things about the conventional BlackBerry keyboard. I've been looking forward to the Q10 -- mainly for the improved web browser, because I am perfectly happy with everything else about my 9930 -- however I will be very disappointed if that feature is gone. For those of us who are heavy-duty keyboard users, it's one of the nuances that makes the BlackBerry physical keyboard truly special and more efficient vs. other devices.

You can still tap and hold to capitalise, it will also show special characters if there is one for that letter too. 

I would like to see the question mark appear more prominently.
For sentences beginning with "Who is..." or "Where are..." or whatever, double-tapping the space bar gives a question-mark > space.
If the sentence beginning is more ambiguous ("When...") have the question mark appear as a suggestion on the main keyboard somewhere.

And, the currency symbol for the language chosen is on the second screen. I have UK English, but the $ is closer than the £. That's just crazy!

Also, move the SEND key away from the DELETE key!

Awesome! the z10 keyboard is simply amazing... i have a note as a spare device and i hate that keyboard, hence i kept the 9900 with me anywhere i went. The oh man...its so easy to type that thing. Guitar frets and all just amazing.

I was having anxiety attacks when I was switching from my physical keyboard on the Torch to the Z10(I had an iPhone for almost a month and hated it) I absolutely love the Z10's keyboard and these tips will only make it better.

But why cant I comment from my Z10 on the CrackBerry App?

Is there a possibility that BlackBerry will allow app developers to bring a different keyboard app to the Z10? Keyboards like the one that come on the Z10 frustrate me and I would like to be able to choose a different one.

Once again Simon you have missed the point!!

1. To hide the keyboard, long -press on the space bar or do a two finger swipe down. Two finger swipe upwards brings it back up. WRONG!!!

tbkfan was on the right track when he asked Am I the only one that thinks the long presses are too long?

But still you did not get it that's 2 days in a row. Speed And Flow One Handed On the Go! That is Blackberry Z10

Using 2 Fingers is usually offensive unless you are Churchill or Old enough to say I remember JFK.

I am going to put a video up on YouTube Showing How the Z10 is ment to be used if you dont start paying attention to my posts!

Do you Know how to hide the Keyboard One Handed On The Go to reveal the Overflow Bar without Long-presses and 2 fingered gestures or not?

I posted a comment about the issue of colour changing the navy blue on email replies and also commented on the ability to change the color of the predictive text font for improved contrast. I mentioned it a few days ago and wondered why nobody else agreed with that suggestion. I now see two others on this post mentioning this and Im happy that others also agree that the experience would be very much improved if we had that customzation ability. Changing the predictive text to yellow, red or blue would truly be great and should definitely be added in a software upgrade.

I don't know if it was suggested but I learned to hide the virtual keyboard from BBM by swiping down from the emoticon, one finger would do, no two finger swipe needed.

Awesome. I have read GBs of texts on Blackberry. this is the first time i saw this tip. Love this thank you :-)

How do I switch between different languages on the keyboard? I use to write some emails in english, some in german etc.

You can select up to 3 languages in the settings menu. It will recognize what language you're writing. You don't have to switch anymore.

Is there a way to change the default behaviour when going into a bbm chat so that the keyboard doesn't automatically appear? I often go into a chat just to read the chat quickly, and by the time I want to swipe back to get to the hub the keyboard appears right where my thumb wants to be (and I have relatively large hands). If I could set the default behavior I'd have no issue tapping in the text area if I wanted to reply to a bbm.

Only shortcut I want on the keyboard is one that email's my carrier. That way I can ask them to let me get the Z10 early but just extend my contract from when this one runs out. Don't understand why they won't and October is a long,long,looong way off.

Two suggestions to make the keyboard perfect

1. a better magnifying glass for moving to the right letter. The current one is too small I can't see past my fingers.

2. a fast scroll to top or bottom of a document. It's an option for reading emails but not for Web and other pages.

other than that loving it.

Without a track pad I'm not sure if there's any great advantage to the Q10. Will it still have short cut keys P N etc?

I think this was missing from the keyboard info...somehow I keep activating that double back space icon on the backspace button and it rapidly deletes everything I've just typed. I would love to know how I keep activating this feature so I can use it or avoid it accordingly. Anyone?

Tip #10 - also two swipes down takes you to the special character keyboard, another back to the regular keyboard.

I'm not sure I can describe this maneuver. There are a few times where I am typing a word that the BB dictionary believes should be typed differently. If I hit the space bar, it changes the spelling to what it thinks is right. Is there a way of over-riding this.
For example... I want to type the acronym WHMIS (a workplace program in Canada). If I hit spacebar it will change it to Whims.
If I just keep typing the next word, hoping the BB will separate the words appropriately, it makes one long word ie: I have Whmistrainingtomorrow
I can't seem to find another option

Also... is there a way of zooming in on messages other than webpages? Sometimes I would like to read a message rather than track down my glasses :)

I have this same issue - a lot. I can't see adding every single word I would ever conceivably type to the custom dictionary, so there's got to be some other way out of this jail. What I've been doing is tapping space, then backspacing over the word it replaced, and typing my original word again. REALLY inefficient and annoying!

You have to type a word three to four times. Next time keyboard automatically gives u a predictive suggestion about that word. Its been a week and i am getting my email ids also as predictive suggestions. Thats simply great.

sorry to know that it annoys other users like me. I guess, the following settings might help you.
settings --> language and input --> prdiction and correction --> under correction behaviour, enble auto-correct with space bar if disabled and select "insert Top prediction" in the drop down.

Now your old word will come in the strip above space bar and your autocorrected word in spacebar. swiping above will give you your word and pressing space bar will give auto corrected word.

Hope this helps :-)

i dont know if any one of u have noticed this.

Wen magnifying glass appears, clicking on it slightly on left side/right side will take cursor one step ahead in that particular direction.

I found it a great ability of the keyboard.

I need help, my blackberry q10 screen went blank and nothing is showing on the screen. I did hard restart and still the screen is still not coming up but i hear the sound of messages and calls coming in without knowing the caller or who sent the message.
could this be facotry defect? the phone is barely two weeks old. i need help

Hi all! I signed up just to tell y'all this tip I accidentally found. You know how there is no guide to press enter to make a new line? Well all you have to do is press the Shift button once(so it's highlighted in blue) and press the enter/send button. You should be able to make a new line. Good luck! :)

So how do I disable the keyboard completely and then re-enable. There are certain websites that a loaded with active form fields and hot spots, any touch of the screen launches the keyboard which fills good amount of the screen. If this keyboard were so smart why can't I do a simple thing like temporarily disable it?