Touchcuts - Using shortcuts on your touchscreen BlackBerry

By DJ Reyes on 17 Nov 2010 02:02 pm EST

The Storm and Torch devices use an on-screen keyboard. Because of this, some of the shortcuts used for others' BlackBerry smartphones may not always apply when using touchscreen devices. Fear not, for those shortcuts are not gone. They've simply been lost in translation.

Basic shortcuts

  • Hide keyboard - From top of the keyboard swipe down to the bottom of the screen.
  • To cut or copy text - using two fingers simultaneously touch the beginning and end of the text you wish to cut/copy, then press cut or copy at the bottom of the screen.
  • To paste text - touch the screen where you wish to paste the text, press the Menu key and click Paste.
  • To change input language - (using full keyboard) press the Globe key, found next to the space key, and choose language.
  • To input an accented character - touch letter for a few seconds until you are presented with a row of choices.


  • Contact List - Press and hold Phone/Make Call.
  • NUM Lock on - Press and hold the 123 key until a padlock appears on the key. To turn it off press the 123 key again.
  • CAPS Lock on - Press and hold the Shift key until a padlock appears on the key. To turn it off press the Shift key again


  • Contact List - Press the Phone key
  • Num Lock On – Touch and briefly hold the 123 key. A padlock will appear on the key after removing your thumb. Touch again to turn off.
  • Caps Lock On – Touch and briefly hold the Shift key. A padlock will appear on the key after removing your thumb. Touch again to turn off.

Text and messaging shortcuts

  • When viewing a message, to view next message swipe screen from right to left quickly. To view previous message swipe screen from right to left quickly. (This can apply when viewing pictures too).
  • (Storm) To go to the bottom of your messages or text list press and hold scroll down key. To go to the top of the messages or text list press and hold the scroll up key.
  • To view sender's email address - touch the name in the From field.

Web shortcuts

  • To zoom in on a web page, double touch the screen quickly. To zoom back out press the Escape key. (This can apply when viewing pictures too).

BBM Shortcuts

  • When in chat view, to go to the top of the conversation, touch the top of the screen. To return on the end of the conversation, touch the input bar.
  • To move to the next chat window, swipe screen from right to left. To go to the previous chat window, swipe screen from left to right.
  • In group chat - swipe screen either left or right to move between conversations.

Camera shortcuts

  • To zoom in - swipe up the screen or press the Up Volume key.
  • To zoom out - swipe down the screen or press the Down Volume key.
  • To take a picture - press the right-convenience key.

Media shortcuts

  • To pause - press the Mute key. To resume playback, press the Mute key again.
  • To go to the next song - press and hold the Up Volume key.
  • To go to the previous song - press and hold the Down Volume key.

Reader comments

Touchcuts - Using shortcuts on your touchscreen BlackBerry


Bookmarked this page.. awesome tips. I knew a few of these by looking through the torch tutorials when I first started using the device, but the hide keyboard shortcut has been eluding me forever. I knew RIM would have built in an easy way to do that, I just didn't figure it out myself. :)

All those are great to know, but I have yet to figure out how to click on and dial a phone number from a webpage on the torch. If anyone knows please let me in on the secret.

Is not working all the time depend of the format of the phone number if it hase (866)-xxx-xxxx it dosent work it need to be like this 1 866-xxx xxxx in order the phone to work :) or you could install skype and all the phone number will be recognize as an real phone number no matter what format it is.

Yeah, a few I knew and a few I did not. Never really saw the "Contacts" tab in the phone app...LOL. This should speed things up in the button then Contacts tab should be faster than trying to navigate the Torch to get to my contacts.

And since I like to use "..." a lot holding down the "." will save me some time.

Nice post DJ Reyes

I have never seen the globe icon. Checked my phone again and still don't see in landscape. I have always used the full keyboard. Not sure what I am missing.

You have to other languages installed for the globe to show up. I deleted all languages except English, of course so I no longer get the globe key. But when I had other languages installed the globe key appeared when in landscape keyboard mode

Hey DJ. You have swipe to previous message and swipe to next message as the same with a right-to-left screen swipe gesture. Right-to-left swipe gets you the the previous message (older message). Left-to-right swipe gets you to the next message (newest message).

Great post... I didnt know about using two fingers to cut/copy text... will definitely have to try this out!!

Great shortcut list. I think RIM had the user in mind when creating these shortcuts, because I figured out every single one of these on my own. In almost all cases I figured them out by thinking "It would be a hell of a lot easier if I could just perform this action by doing ... " and voila, it was already thought of by the great people at RIM.

To access your open and previous applications/browsers/programs without pressing the return or hang up button.

PRESS and HOLD the Menu key to display the previously used programs on your Torch.

Prior models used press and hold 'alt' then press the "return" button (the one to the right of track ball). But you cannot take your finger off the "alt" button to switch or it disappears. This works for the Torch too but I'm starting to get used to this whole touch screen thingy. Its quite easy and faster than using the menu button and pressing "switch application". Everything displays for you and quickly.

I'm always looking for new and faster ways to navigate. The whole "touch and hold" menu shows many different things on many different pages.


On the Storm, in email message list (not the message reading pane), touch and hold the email address of the sender you want to see. A highlight bar will appear after a few seconds sweep across the address. When it's done, the message list will change to just show emails from that sender. To go back to the normal list, hit the escape key.

Thanks for this post! These are really good tips...some I knew and some I didn't. The "hide keyboard" one is probably the coolest one.

But that's not just for Touchscreen BlackBerry's, non-touchscreen can do that too. So I didn't bother putting that one in. :-D

The cut/copy/paste function on the Storm, where you use 2 fingers to highlight the text you want to copy and paste, is hardly functional. It is very difficult to get the highlight bars where you want them without the screen jumping around all over the place. I wish RIM would fix that.

I have S2 5.713. Agree the 2 finger highlight needs improvement, but if you grab and slide those boxes at the beginning or end of highlighted text, you can slide it wherever you want. I couldn't live without it. Just this morning there was an email from someone asking me to forward to someone. That person only has text, so I coppied the whole think and painlessly pasted into a text. It saves me so much hassle as some of the apps I use don't let me chose the format when forwarding a msg.

Loved the article! It is this kind of info that helps me squeeze all the golden juice out of my device without having to spend time I don't have sifting thru stuff to figure it out. You are a real "wise Cracker" DJ!

Honestly can say I didn't know some of those. The "Hide Keyboard" short cut has just saved me time and headaches, and may cause me to use the virtual keyboard more on my Torch!

Thanks CB!

i had the same problem for a while and didn't like using the keyboard. Then one day I jut swipped it down not expecting anything and wow! :)

Related to special characters, if you hold your finger on the ".", the screen will pop up "..." which I use often to indicate a followup thought or to intentionally leave a sentence unfinished. Discovered this by accident a couple weeks ago much to my delight since I had just been hitting the period three times all these many months with my S1.

Also, no globe on S1 keyboard.

In order to see the globe, I believe that there is an option in screen/keyboard settings. I cannot check as my S2 is dead due to a smashed screen.

Hi, I have a blackberry 9900, & recently I've been able to switch my chats with the use of my finger , but now I can't do that, & also I can not access chats from simply clicking when the person appears in my recent updates, I have to go through each category to look for the person , or even when I'm mid chat , & another chat comes in I can't click the bottom of the screen to access the chat ...... PLEASE HELP!!!!!!