Keyboards in iOS/iPadOS

In Prompt 3 we’ve added a new, fully customizable keyboard row.

The Extra Keyboard Row

When connected to a server, the new Extra Keyboard Row will show above the virtual keyboard.

The Extra Keyboard Row.

It can also be optionally displayed when using Prompt with an external keyboard.

Additional shortcuts

Tap the keyboard button to access an additional, user-configurable keyboard. The Custom Keyboard icon.

Each key can be configured to quickly access the shortcuts you need to keep moving when working in Prompt.

  • Prompt for iOS has 16 customizable keys
  • Prompt for iPadOS has 32 keys that can be customized!
The Custom Keyboard and Extra Keyboard Row.

Customizing the Extra Keyboard Row

  1. In Prompt, tap on the gear icon in the top-right to open Settings
  2. Tap on Keyboard Settings icon. Keyboard
  3. Tap on Customize Keyboard > Edit Keyboard
The Custom Keyboard in Edit mode.
  1. We can now tap any key to see the configuration options that can be assigned:
Viewing an assigned Custom Keyboard key.

Tapping the key Type will bring up the list of options to change the key into:

Editing a Custom Keyboard key.
Supported Key Types:
Left Down Up Right Escape Delete
Forward Delete Tab, Control Meta F1-F16 Toggle Keyboard Page Up
Page Down Home End Clear Screen Hide Keyboard Toggle Tabs

Using the Extra Keyboard Row

Now that you’ve customized your keys, how do you use them!?

First, make sure that the Extra Keyboard Row is enabled:

  1. In Prompt, tap on the gear icon in the top-right to open Settings
  2. Tap on Keyboard
  3. Enable the Extra Keyboard Row toggle

The Extra Keyboard Row we be displayed above the virtual keyboard when connected to a server:

iOS, with virtual keyboard

The virtual keyboard and extra keyboard row in Prompt for iOS.

iOS, with external keyboard connected

The extra keyboard row with external keyboard connected in Prompt for iOS.

iPadOS, with virtual keyboard

The virtual keyboard in Prompt for iPadOS.

iPadOS, with external keyboard connected

The extra keyboard row with external keyboard connected in Prompt for iPadOS.

Prompt Keyboard FAQ

Do you support third-party software keyboards?

Yes! Third-party keyboards are fully supported. It’s important to note that we only have the ability to suppress auto-correct and predictive text on the native iOS keyboard. This could result in predictions of sensitive information within the terminal. Awkwardly, this is totally beyond our control.

To ensure the security of your data, stick with the iOS keyboard while you’re in the terminal.

Do Bluetooth keyboards work?

Oh yes. Arrow keys, text selection, and even all your most-used keyboard shortcuts: ⌘+C, ⌘+V, and more.

Is there an Alt key?

In most cases, the Esc key does the same thing as the Alt key. Use it!

The Delete key inserts funky control characters in my editor. Fix?

  • For vim, add :fixdel to your .vimrc file.
  • For emacs, click here.

Can I remap external keyboard keys, like Alt or Caps Lock?

Not currently, but this is a highly requested feature that will likely make it into Prompt at some point.


External Keyboard in iOS 15+

Changes in the most recent versions of iOS are effecting external keyboards in Prompt. The iPad onscreen keyboard remains unaffected.

When using an external keyboard on iPadOS 15 or 16 with the Extra Keyboard Row enabled in Prompt, the Extra Keyboard Row may obscure text at the bottom of the terminal. These versions of iPadOS also introduced a new floating keyboard options box that may obscure the lower-right corner of the screen, and whose presence seems to be the main source of the previous issue.

There are two workarounds to help with this:

  1. Disable “Shortcuts” and “Predictive” in System Settings > General > Keyboards. Of the two workarounds, this will result in the better Prompt experience, since it gets rid of the new iPadOS floating keyboard bar, which isn’t very useful in Prompt and gets in the way of the terminal display. However, users may want to turn these settings back on for other apps, and it will get tiring to keep toggling them.

  2. Disable “Extra Keyboard Row” in Prompt’s Keyboard settings. Users will not be able to use the functionality of the key bar (which means arrow keys don’t work), and the iPadOS floating keyboard will obscure the bottom-right corner of the terminal.

In Prompt, the iPadOS floating keyboard has the following buttons: Show Keyboard, Show Emoji, Keyboard Settings, and Dictation.