Index fingers tapping a keyboard.

Single Letter Navigation: iPad

Improve your efficiency and become a tech power user! Learn these Single Letter Navigation commands.

How can you become a tech power user? For young students using an iPad running VoiceOver, the 3 Steps to Becoming a Tech Power User post discusses the simple progression of tech skills and includes video tutorials to introduce navigating commands using the rotor and the 3 basic Single Letter Navigation commands using a Bluetooth keyboard. In the second post, Tech Power User: JAWS Quick Keys post, we learned about using the JAWS Quick Keys and the VoiceOver on the Mac Single Letter Navigation keys. Although these commands have different names, they are very similar. Most keyboard commands are universal no matter what device or screen reader you are using. This makes transitioning between devices easy! I bet you know the mainstream keyboard commands to copy, cut and paste. These commands are universal – it does not matter if you are using a screen reader or not, or what device you are using. The keyboard commands that you learn for a tablet will transfer to a laptop.

Did you know that the iPad also has single letter navigation? And, did you know that there are many single letter commands? Now that students have access to technology early on, it is time to step up the keyboard commands that are learned in early elementary using a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard – these tablet tech power user skills will transfer to laptop tech power user skills!

List of Single Letter Commands available on an iPad

On an iPad, Single Letter Quick Nav must be enabled for these commands to work. Press VO + Q (Control + Option + Q) to enable/disable Single Letter Quick Navigation. To navigate to the previous item press Shift and the desired letter.


Hands-on Activities

Using an iPad, ask your student to open the Paths to Technology website or to perform an internet search on a topic of interest. Turn on Single Letter Quick Navigation (VO + Q) and try the various Single Letter Navigation commands. Not all websites will have every item on the page! Which Single Letter Navigation commands work on the Paths to Technology Home page? Can you find a textfield? What is the textfield for? (Search textfield, subscribe to the newsletter textfield). Can you navigate quickly to the block about Apps? (What’s new in Apps). What Single Letter Navigation command did you use? What heading level is What’s New in Apps?

Open a blog post and navigate quickly through the headings in that blog post to get an idea of what is in the blog post. Now navigate to a desired section. Does this blog post have a list of items? Many blog posts have “Resources” that are often Heading Level 3 and have links. Can you jump directly to these resource links?


Ask your student to reflect about these commands.

TSVIs, want to keep track of the Single Letter Navigation commands that your student knows and uses? Download these checklists!


By Diane Brauner

Back to Paths to Technology’s Home page

Teams Tip: Efficient Navigation in Microsoft Teams

Teams Tip: Efficient Navigation in Teams

Handheld magnifier on top of an iPad

How to make an iPad accessible for low vision

Young child using an iPad on a stand with support at the elbow

Add an iPad to your Functional Vision Assessment/Learning Media Assessment Kit