Tables on iPadOS 16

So I’ spending this weekend clearing out my Drafts inbox, moving the stuff worth keeping to Notes and deleting everything else. This lead me to having a note in Notes with data that would really be better presented in a table, 16 rows and 2 columns, seems pretty simple.

Well it’s not. The data on each line is a word followed by a number. If you separate them by a space then tap the table button you get two columns and the data is only in the left one. Okay, so I tried deleting the space and replacing it with a comma, nope data all in the left column again.

I’m doing this on my iPad with no external keyboard btw. What is the point of a table tool if you have to create the table first then enter the data? It’s ridiculous that this is the state of things in iOS 16

try tab instead of space:

word 0

I don’t have an external keyboard and best I can tell the on screen kb doesn’t have one.

i*OS onscreen keyboards do not have a tab key. Instead, you can create a text replacement to insert one for you.

If you have a Mac, you can create it on the mac and sync it over. If not:

Tab character on the line below:

Tab character on the line above.

The blank-looking line between the two “Tab character…” lines above is a tab character that you can copy.

Once you have the tab character, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement and create a text replacement

Now in your Apple Note you can type your selected phrase (;;tab) in my example and it will be replaced by the tab character.

Once you have your columns in your Note separated by tabs, select all the rows and tap the table option, as described by @footlooseboss.

Hope this helps.


i*OS onscreen keyboards do not have a tab key.

Not sitting in front of mine right now, but doesn’t iPadOS onscreen keyboard have a tab key on a 12.9?

Regardless, I’m guessing @nathanieloffer is working on something else. And you’ve proposed an elegant solution… :slight_smile:

Another alternative option might be a third party keyboard? Text replacement as suggested would require no switching, so might well be preferable, but I’m fond of LazyBoard as my second keyboard for snippets and other uses, including tab insertion on i*OS devices that don’t have a native tab key…

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Yes, my 12.9" Pro has a tab key, but I’m also guessing (as you did) @nathanieloffer is using some other iPad; my work base model iPad does not have a tab key.

A third-party keyboard is another good option; I have never really got into using them.

Looking at @nathanieloffer’s original post, I now notice that the original notes are in Drafts and being moved to Apple Notes. The other option would be to update the notes in Drafts before transferring them as, I believe, the keyboard action group Draft Tools, which is one of the action groups installed with Drafts contains an action to insert a tab character.

Good shout— Drafts’ extended keyboard could handle this.

ah I didn’t realise (mine is 11” Pro for reference)

I’ll add to the above options: shortcut to replace commas with tabs

d’oh edit: shorter shortcut

My iPad is definitely not a 12.9in rather it’s a rather old 9.7in Pro model.