Chapter 2 - iPad Essentials

Student using an iPad

You have your iPad, now what?

From personalizing your device to best suit your academic needs to utilizing the apps Ohio State has provided for class projects, this chapter provides tips and tricks for making your new iPad work for you.

Learn about:


Customize Your iPad

Adjust settings to make the iPad work for you

Let’s start by setting up your iPad in a way that works best for you.

Set Up Touch ID

Easily unlock your iPad without typing in a passcode each time. You can also choose to use Touch ID for Apple Pay, iTunes and App Store purchases and auto-filling your passwords.

Set Up Touch ID Step-by-Step

  1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and tap Add a Fingerprint
    1. Tip: You can save up to 5 different fingerprints in Touch ID.
  2. Choose the services you want Touch ID to unlock for you, like auto filling your passwords


Rearrange the Home Screen

Reorder where apps show up on your Home Screen and organize them into folders (if you want to!)

Move, Reorder and Organize Apps Step-by-Step

  1. Tap and hold an app you want to move until you see a menu
  2. Select edit home screen OR hold the app a bit longer until you see all the apps shake
  3. Drag and app to move it across the screen or to another page
    1. To move multiple apps at once move the app slightly. Keep a finger on that app and select other apps you want to move with another finger. You will see the apps group together. This is helpful when you want to rearrange multiple apps at once.
  4. Optional: overlap the app with another app to create a folder to organize your apps
  5. Optional: tap the X in the corner of the app to delete it


Choose Apps for the Dock 

The Dock is a quick menu for apps located at the bottom of the iPad’s screen. Flick up from the bottom of the screen to see the Dock any time.

Customize the Dock and Its Settings Step-by-Step

  1. Touch and hold an app you want to move to the Dock
  2. Drag the app into the Dock. It will now appear here instead of on the Home Screen
  3. Optional: turn off suggested apps and fit more apps in the Dock. Go to Settings > Home Screen and Dock and turning off Show Suggested and Recent Apps


Update Your Notification Settings

Notifications are an important part of establishing a workflow, but they can also be distracting. We recommend that you consider all your devices; maybe you want notifications only on your iPad, or only on your smartphone, or none at all. Do what’s best for you and revisit when you need to make an adjustment.

Adjust Notification Settings Step-by-Step:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications
  2. Tap an app to adjust its settings, like alert type and sound. Turn notifications on or off by selecting the Allow Notifications button at the top


Customize your Widgets

Widgets in Today View show you important and timely information. They also allow you to do quick actions. To access your widgets in Today View, swipe on your home screen from left to right until you see your widgets.

Customize Widgets in Today View Step-by-Step:

  1. Swipe to the bottom of Today View and tap Edit
  2. Tap the green plus icon to add any widgets that you want to Today View
  3. Tap the red minus icon (and then tap Remove) to remove widgets from Today View
  4. Tap and hold the "pancake" icon (three horizontal lines) on a widget to change the order in Today View

Tip: add the battery widget so that you can see the charge of your Apple Pencil!

iPadOS Features

Tips and Tricks to Use on Your iPad

We’ve curated some iOS features that you might find helpful when you're using your iPad during class, while you study and when you aren't using your iPad for school.


Split View and Slide Over

Although we don’t encourage multitasking, sometimes it’s easier to use two apps at once to accomplish a single task. The iPad has two important ways that you can open multiple apps at once: Split View and Slide Over.

Split View allows you to view two different windows on your iPad at the same time (as long as both apps support Split View). You can use it with two different apps or with two windows of the same app.

Split View Step-by-Step:

  1. Open one of the apps that you want to use in Split View
  2. Flick from the bottom edge of the iPad to display the dock
  3. Tap and hold the other app you want to use and drag it to one side of the screen until you see a black space appear. Drop the app icon in the black space
  4. Slide vertical bar between the two apps to adjust the size of the windows
  5. Drag the horizontal bar at the top of one of the apps to change the order of the windows
  6. To exit Split View, slide the vertical bar over to the right. This will close the right window and make the left window full screen

Slide Over displays two apps at once by floating one app on top of another app. You can swipe from the right side of the screen to quickly view your Slide Over apps.

Slide Over Step-by-Step

  1. Open an app
  2. Flick from the bottom edge of the iPad to display the dock
  3. Tap and hold an app you want to use in Slide Over and drag it over the app you’ve opened and let go quickly. Now your app is floating
  4. Pull down from the top of the Slide Over window to change to Split View

Reader View in Safari

Remove unwanted “extras” on a website with Reader View. When used, Safari will hide advertisements and other website shenanigans that aren’t related to the article that you’re reading.

Just a heads up: not all websites support Reader View. There must be large groups of text on a page for it to work, but most articles and blog posts will be supported.

Reader View Step-by-Step:

  1. Open a website in Safari (an article or blog site is best)
  2. Tap the AA icon on the left side of the URL bar
  3. If it’s available, tap Show Reader View. If it’s not, try another website
  4. Tap the AA icon and choose Hide Reader View when you’re done

Screenshot a Whole Page in Safari

Screenshot the whole page without using Photoshop (really!). A full-page screenshot can be a useful study tool. Insert an article into your notes for reference and annotating in the same place that you keep your class notes for easy access and studying.

Screenshot a Whole Page Step-by-Step:

  1. Press the home button and sleep wake button at the same time to take a screenshot
  2. Tap on the thumbnail that appears in the lower left-hand corner of the screen
  3. Select Full Page at the top
  4. Tap Done or the Share icon to enjoy your full-page screenshot

Cloud Storage

Back Up Your Files

There are a lot of methods to saving files: on a smart phone, iPad, laptop and even emailing documents. We can categorize these methods into two main types: local storage and cloud storage. 

  • Local storage is the space available directly on a device, like your iPad. You don’t need an internet connection to access files saved locally, but you must have your device with you if you want to access the files. The Files app on your iPad is an example of local storage.  
  • Cloud storage is an online location where files are saved. You can access them on any device, but that device needs to be connected to the internet. OneDrive, available for download from Self Service, is an example of cloud storage.  

It doesn’t need to be the only place you’re saving files but having a backup of your files in the cloud keeps you organized, efficient, and flexible. 


Why Use Cloud Storage

Using cloud storage requires some set-up, like creating accounts or changing app settings, but that set-up time is worthwhile. Here’s a few reasons to use cloud storage: 

  • Access your files from any device. Most cloud storage solutions have websites and mobile apps that give you direct access to your files. Access your files from any device with an internet connection. 
  • Retain a backup in case of technology-related emergencies. If the device you’re working from crashes, you’ll have a copy of the file in the cloud. A previous version of that file is more valuable than no file at all. 
  • Sync your files automatically. Some cloud services will upload your files automatically, which is convenient and requires little effort after set-up. You can also easily sync cloud services to the Files app on your iPad for easy file saving. 
  • Gain extra storage. Cloud services give you even more storage to save your files. For example, OneDrive has 1 terabyte of storage

Organizing your documents in storage 

Keeping class notes, personal documents, and other files organized can become difficult after multiple semesters. Thankfully, OneDrive and the Files app all allow you to create folders to keep your files organized to your liking. On all of these apps, you will have the option to drag and drop documents into these folders and create new documents within the folders. See below for how to organize files in OneDrive and Files:  

Using OneDrive: 

  1. Open the OneDrive app on your iPad 
  2. Tap the plus (+) icon at the top right corner of the home screen 
  3. Tap Create a FolderYou’ll be able to name and share the folder from the pop up that appears 

Using Files: 

  1. Tap on the Files app on your iPad to open it 
  2. Hold down your finger on an empty space near the documents until the activities bar appears 
  3. Tap New Folder
  4. Type a folder name 
  5. Save or move files to the new folder  

Resources to remember:  

File Storage

With a new iPad in your possession, possibly a laptop or desktop computer and likely a smartphone, you have a lot of locations where you could save your files. There are two types of storage to consider: local storage and cloud storage. 

  • Local storage is the space available directly on a device, like your iPad. You don’t need an internet connection to access files saved there, but you must have your device with you if you want to access the files.
  • Cloud storage is an online location where files are saved. You can access them on any device, but that device needs to be connected to the internet. 

We recommend using a cloud storage service like BuckeyeBox or OneDrive during your time at Ohio State so that you have access to your files at any time, but how you choose to save and store your files is up to you. 

Using the Files App

The Files app on your iPad helps you navigate any files you’ve saved. The strength of this app is making cloud storage and local storage visible in one place. 

  1. Tap on the Files app on the home screen to open it. Notice two tabs at the bottom: 'Recents' and 'Browse'. Tap 'Browse'.
  2. Files are sorted by their location. Cloud storage is sorted by service, and local storage is called “On My iPad.”
  • Screen view of the Files app browse tab.
  1. Tap “Edit” to sync a cloud service to your iPad. You’ll be prompted to log into the service. Don’t see a cloud service you use in the Locations list? Make sure you have the cloud service app downloaded to your iPad. 
  • Edit screen on files app
  1. Press and hold a folder and drag it to Favorites for easy access. Note that you can only store folders in Favorites.
  • favorites option within files app.


  1. Tap and hold a file until the activity bar appears. You can copy, duplicate, rename and more to edit or organize your files. Pro tip: use the colored tags to easily sort and locate related files.activity bar within files app


Resources to remember:

Managing Your Documents

Whether you’re an English major or an Engineering major, it’s likely that you’ll need to use a word processor to submit assignments. These assignments often have page formatting requirements that you’ll need to be prepared for and there isn’t just one way to format your text-based assignments.  

Creating a document  

Your first step is to pick your word processor of choice. You’re free to use whichever processor you prefer, but in this chapter our examples will come from Microsoft Word. It’s free to use through Office 365 and is easily editable on the go through OneDrive. 

Creating a document through OneDrive on your iPad 

  • Download the OneDrive app directly from Self Service. The app will make you sign into with your Ohio State credentials  
  • Tap the plus icon at the top right corner of the screen 
  • Select the type of document you want to create (Word Document or PowerPoint Presentation) 

Creating a document through OneDrive on a desktop or laptop computer 

  • Go to OneDrive’s website and sign in using your Ohio State credentials 
  • Click the New button at the top left of the screen. You’ll have the option to create a Word Document, Excel sheet, PowerPoint presentation or OneNote note 

Formatting your document 

Professors at Ohio State have various requirements for formatting documents. To avoid losing points or risking your professor not accepting your submission, follow the below suggestions.

Style Guides

There are many styles to choose from when formatting your document such as MLA, APA and Chicago style. A style will impact your document’s page format. Check your assignment for the required styles to follow. If you don’t find a required style in the assignment, check your syllabus. If the syllabus doesn’t have style information, contact your instructor. 

Before you submit your assignment, double check the following formatting options in comparison to your style guide’s specification: 

Note: the following instructions are specific to Microsoft Word on the iPad. The location of some of these settings may appear in a different place depending on your device and operating system. 


A margin is the room between the edge of the page and your text, and style guides often have margin size specifications. To edit your margins 

  1. Open a new Word document in OneDrive or open a document you’ve already created 
  2. Tap on the Layout ribbon along the top menu icons 
  3. Tap on the Margins option (the first one on the left) 
  4. Select one of the Margin options to make changes 

Microsoft word on iPad with margins


Line spacing

You may need to change the line spacing of your text depending on the requirements of your style, or per your instructor’s specifications. To edit line spacing

  1. Open a new Word document in OneDrive or open one you’ve already created  
  2. Tap on the Home ribbon along the top menu  
  3. Tap the Paragraph Formatting icon (the one the second from the right) 
  4. Select Line Spacing in the menu to make changes 

paragraph spacing on word documents


Headers and footers 

You may need to put page numbers, the title of your document or your name in the header or footer. To edit the header or footer:  

  1. Tap on thInsert tab along the top menu 
  2. Tap on the Header & Footer icon, which is the fifth icon from the right 
  3. Tap the Header & Footer icon to open options for editing, removing, and changing settings for the header and footer 

Adding a header and a footer to iPad word doc


Page breaks

If your document requires separation between sections, page breaks are a must. Your document will automatically jump to the next page wherever you place the page break.  They'll also ensure your formatting is consistent across devices and word processors. To add page breaks:  

  1. Open a new Word Document in OneDrive or edit one you’ve already created 
  2. Tap on the Layout tab along the top menu 
  3. Tap “Breaks” to open the menu 
  4. Select the first option, labeled “Page,” to insert a page break

Page breaks on iPad in menu

Pro tip: To make sure you didn’t forget any page breaks, tap on the Paragraph Formatting icon within the Home tab, and select “Paragraph Marks” from the menu. With Paragraph Marks turned on, you’ll see the paragraph symbol (¶) each time you’ve hit enter/return, and you’ll see “Page break” with a horizontal line across the page will appear when you’ve used a page break in your document. 

Paragraph marks in the iPad menu



Calibri is the default font in Word, but some writing styles may require Times New Roman or another font. To change the font on a document: 

  1. Open a new Word document or edit text you’ve already written by highlighting it  
  2. Tap “Home” along the top menu 
  3. Tap on the left-most text box in the “Home” tab to choose a new font 

Fonts on iPad


Sharing your Documents 

You can share your documents directly to other apps, share them with other Apple devices through Airdrop on the iPad or email them to whoever you choose. This can help keep your data in multiple locations by ensuring your documents exist across multiple apps. Sharing your documents across apps help keep your data safe in the event your device malfunctions. These options also allow you to easily share your work with others in group settings.  

Sharing in Files  

Open a document in the Files app. Next, tap on the share icon at the top right corner of the screen. You can then slide along the selection of apps in the pop-up menu to see all the various methods of sharing your file.

Sharing in OneDrive 

From top to bottom: Open a file in OneDrive. Next, tap the three-dot menu at the top right corner of the iPad. Then, tap “Open in Another App” (left image). You can slide among the existing options to share your file through multiple apps on your device.  


Organizing Your Documents

Keeping class notes, personal documents, and other files organized can become difficult after multiple semesters. Thankfully, OneDrive and the Files app all allow you to create folders to keep your files organized to your liking. On all of these apps, you will have the option to drag and drop documents into these folders and create new documents within the folders. 

Using OneDrive: 

First, tap the plus icon. Then tap the “Create a New Folder” icon (left image). Next, a pop-up will appear and you will have the option to name and share your new folder (right image). 

Using Files: 

From top to bottom: First hold down your finger on an empty space near the documents until the black menu appears (left image). Next, click “New Folder.” A new folder will appear (right image), and you will have the option to type a name for your new folder. 

Resources to remember:

Collaborate Digitally

Working in a group

You’ll be assigned group projects during your time as a student at Ohio State. Knowing how to collaborate digitally is a necessity for your success as a student and as a future employee in the workplace. 



CarmenZoom is the audio and web conferencing solution for Ohio State and your account is free as an Ohio State student. Use Zoom to connect with classmates when you can’t meet face-to-face and use some of these helpful features: 




OneDrive is Ohio State’s official cloud storage service that’s free for you as a student at Ohio State. Not only is it a storage solution, it’s an effective collaboration tool since you can share your documents with classmatesYou can organize your class notes or assignments in one place for easy access in the future. Here’s some features in OneDrive that we love: 

  • Invite others to view and edit a file at the same time 
  • Share research materials or notes in a single location for a whole group to view 
  • Use up to 1 terabyte of storage


Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a tool to communicate with classmates, professors and others. You can use Teams to build community within a student organization or stay in touch with a study group. Use these features on your iPad, phone or a laptop so that you don’t miss a message: 

  • Switch from one-on-one text chat to a video call in one click 
  • Receive notifications when someone reacts to your message or when a professor makes an announcement 
  • Keep your conversations with school, extracurricular activities and friends organized into separate groups that are easy to navigate 


Sharing Notes

It can be useful to share notes when working on group projects or studying for examsSharing notes across platforms can also help secure your data by making it available in multiple locations in case your device malfunctions.  

  • If you use Microsoft Word for your notes, you can post them as a shared document on OneDrive using a shared link  
  • You can share your notes or other online documents across many different apps and storage platforms offered to you as a student. Watch our tutorial about sharing your notes for a visual walk-through example on how move a note from one app to another  
  • You can also change the format of your documents; this is especially helpful when submitting assignments to Carmen or to professors directly  


Resources to remember:

Edit Images

Making things picture perfect

When will you need to edit images? Students in design-related majors will learn to use Photoshop, but all students need to learn basic image editing skills for class assignments. 

In this section, we’re going to introduce you to image editing resources available to use on your iPad. 


Edit an Image in Photos

Make basic edits to your image in the Photos app.

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Tap the image you want to edit
  3. Tap Edit in the top right corner of the screen. You will enter the editing view and see buttons to the left and right of the image
  4. Choose a button on the left side of the screen to edit image effects like light and color, filters and crop and straighten
  5. Choose a button on the right to further refine the effect. Swipe up to scroll through the effects

A gif scrolling through the options in the iPad photo editor.

  1. Tap Done to save the image or tap Cancel to discard the edits you made

Markup an Image

Mark up an image using your Apple Pencil or your finger. Make an annotation, doodle or even sign a form. Start by tapping the more icon (…) in the upper right corner of the screen and select Markup.

Screenshot of the more icon in the upper righthand corner of the screen.

  1. Use the menu at the bottom of the screen to write, highlight, erase and more
  2. Tap the plus icon (+) for more features, like saving your signature for future use
  3. Tap Done to save or tap Cancel to discard the changes you made in Markup

Screenshot of the markup options available in the iPad photo editor.


Other Apps to Edit Images

Take your image editing to the next level by using an app with more photo editing features. Here’s a few that we recommend:

  • Adobe Spark Post: Geared towards social media promotion, this app takes the guesswork out of making engaging images that combine text, illustration, and collage elements. You can download this app from Self Service, Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store, or access its features in a web browser. 
  • Adobe Fresco: Although it’s a drawing and painting app, your creations in Fresco will enhance any photo that you’ve taken with a handmade flourish. You can download this app from Self Service, Apple’s App Store or the Windows Store.


Resources to remember:

Create Videos

You’ll probably be assigned to create a video during your time at Ohio State. Luckily, you have a wide range of video creation and editing options on your iPad. 


Make Your Video Look and Sound Great

Your iPad is a fantastic tool for creating video, but you’ll see a drastic improvement in the quality of the video and audio you record if you follow these best practices: 

  • Consider your environment. Make sure that the room you’re recording in is bright enough and that there aren’t a lot of distracting details in the background. 
  • Consider sound quality. Check for background noise by recording a short video and listening to it with headphones. Make sure you’re recording quality audio. If you’re speaking in the video, we recommend using an external microphone if possible. A microphone doesn’t need to be anything fancy—a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone will work well! 
  • Consider video quality. Use the camera that is most appropriate for your assignment—the front-facing camera on the iPad is best for recording yourself in selfie-mode, and the exterior camera facing outward works best for recording other people or places. Try to find some way to keep your camera steady—brace your iPad (or yourself) against a sturdy object like a desk, chair or wall. 


Video Recording Features and Tools

The Camera app that comes standard on your iPad is our first recommendation for recording video.  It’s free, and there’s probably more helpful features than you realized.

Record Your iPad’s Screen

Use your iPad’s built-in Screen Recording feature if you need to show what’s on your screen.  

  1. Add Screen Recording to your Control Center for quick access: go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green plus icon next to Screen Recording.  
  2. Access screen recording from your control center by swiping down from the top righthand corner of your screen.  
  3. Tap the Screen Recording icon to start screen recording (it looks like two circles). Tap and hold the icon for the option to include audio in your recording. The Screen Recording icon will appear in the top right corner of the screen to show that you are recording. 
  4. Tap the red bar at the top of the screen to end the recording.


Video Editing Tools

Sometimes you need more than just a video file…maybe you need to add titles or stitch multiple video files together.  Don’t worry, video editing doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.  We’ve listed 3 apps below, and they're all free. 

  • Short and sweet videos: if you’re looking for a simpler editing solution, consider Clips. Add stickers, live subtitles, video filters, voice changers and more. This app is optimized for taking videos in “selfie mode” using your front-facing camera; remember to hold your iPad in portrait, with the home button at the bottom and the camera at the top. Clips is available for download in the Apple App store. 
  • Drag and drop format: Create videos using the Spark Video app on your iPad or on the Adobe Spark website. Drag and drop videos, titles, music and more in the easy-to-use templates. The app is already free, but if you sign in with your Ohio State credentials you’ll get free access to Premium Features. Learn more about this app in our Adobe Spark section. Adobe Spark Video is available for download in the Apple App store or on Adobe Spark’s website.  
  • More customization: iMovie is a powerful video editing solution.  It’s the most robust video editing software on this list. Think of it like Spark Video with even more features. You can use the iPad app to edit video or edit video on a Mac laptop or desktop computer. iMovie is available for download on the Apple App Store. 


Resources to remember:

Read Aloud With Your iPad

Stay focused by having your iPad read with you

After class, work, student organization meetings and spending time with friends, you're probably exhausted. One feature that can help you focus on your assignments is to have your iPad read with you. Read and listen at the same time for a new study method. 

Speak screen methods

There’s multiple ways to have your iPad read with you.

Turn on Speak Screen and Speak Selection

First, you need to turn on Speak Screen and Speak Selection in the Settings app. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content
  2. Turn on Speak Screen and Speak Selection

Speak Selection

Speak Selection allows you to highlight text in any app and choose Speak as an option. This is method is helpful when you only want to review a few paragraphs at a time.

How to use Speak Selection:

  1. Go to a website or note. Highlight a section of text by long pressing on a word and dragging the selection bar over the text you want to be read aloud
  2. Tap Speak in the actions bar

Speak Screen

Speak Screen will read the entire on the screen. This method is helpful for reading large amounts of text.

How to use Speak Screen:

  1. Go to a website or note
  2. Swipe down with two fingers to heard the page read aloud. A tool bar will appear that allows you to pause, rewind, fast forward and change the reading speed


Different Voices

You can also choose different voices to read to you. You can select different voices from different languages and even different dialects from different languages.

Choose Different Voices Step-by-Step:

  1. Go to the Settings app
  2. Choose Accessibility > Spoken Content > Voices
  3. Select the language you wish to use
  4. You will notice all of the voices available. To use any language, you will need to download it first. Select the download button the right part of the screen to download each individual voice.
  5. After downloading each voice that you are interested in, select the right carrot and then tap the name. You will then see a checkmark to the left of the name to show that you have chosen that voice

Feel free to use Speak Selection to test the voices you might use. Here are a few voices we recommend:

  • Siri Female and Siri Male: we recommend these voices because they both sound the most realistic compared to the other voice options.
  • Alex: this voice can contextualize a paragraph so that the context is understood and all words are pronounced correctly. Alex will even pause to take a breath, which makes the reading sound realistic and natural. Download Alex and then listen to him speak these sentences for proof:
    • The bandage was wound around the wound.
    • The farm was used to produce produce.
    • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
    • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    • I did not object to the object.
    • Dr. Love lives on Love Dr.
    • $167,123,768,987,987,890,890.50