How to View Alternate Characters on the iPhone Keyboard

There are plenty of keys and character variations that the small keyboard of the iPhone simply can’t fit on the screen. However, accented characters and other extra options are available—they’re merely hidden so as to take up little space. You can use this tip anytime you’re using the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard to see more options. Here’s how to view alternate characters on the keyboard.

You May Also Like: How to Add a Third-Party Keyboard

When the keyboard is active:

  • Hold and press a key to see your extra options.

  • Slide your finger up and to the key you’d like to select.

  • For example, the hyphen, when long pressed, reveals an en and em dash and bullet point.

  • When long pressing the “e”, you’ll see accented variations of the letter.


It’s a good idea to long press various keys and characters just to see what your options are. And if you speak more than one language, this tip is also helpful for writing and texting with proper accents.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or watching anime. Her personal blog can be found at connerleecarey.com; you can also follow her on twitter @connerleecarey.