PlayBook quick tip: How to type special characters

The other day, while sipping a latte at the café and attempting to share my caffeine consumption with friends and colleagues via Twitter, I realized that though I've become fairly proficient with my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet's touch-screen keyboard, I didn't know how to type that accented "e" in "café."

So I quickly performed a good ol' Google search and learned that it's quite simple to type a variety of special or accented characters via PlayBook. And you can also type a number of symbols, including the commonly used copyright symbol (©).

To type an accented character or symbol via BlackBerry PlayBook, simply press and hold the corresponding letter for a second to display the accent- or symbol-options, and then tap the option you wish to type.

For example, you can type a handful of accented "i" characters by holding down the "i" key on the PlayBook's touch-screen keyboard and then choosing a specific character from the on-screen options.

And accents and/or symbols are available for a variety of letters including E, R, T, Y, U, I, O, P, A, S, D, C, N and M.

BlackBerry smartphones also let you type many of the same special characters; you simply hold down the key for the character you wish to accent and then scroll left or right with your handheld's trackball/trackpad until the character appears. However, I think the PlayBook's method is actually simpler and more intuitive.

For more BlackBerry PlayBook tips read, "PlayBook Tips for All RIM Tablet Users," and "PlayBook Security Tips: How to Protect Your Tablet."

Then check out my two recent lists of recommended free PlayBook applications here and here.

Finally, more information on the BlackBerry PlayBook's touch-screen keyboard can be found on RIM's website.

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Al Sacco

CIO (US)
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