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How to Navigate and Organize Your iPad


Learning iPad Navigation and Organization
Moving iPad apps is as easy as touching them.

Moving iPad apps is as easy as touching them. iPad Image © Apple, Inc.

The iPad is an amazingly simple tool to use once you learn the basics. If this is your first time with a touch device, you might be a little intimidated about how to control your new iPad. Don't be. After a few days, you'll be moving around the iPad like a pro. This quick tutorial will teach you a few valuable lessons on how to both navigate the iPad and set the iPad up the way you want it.

How to Set Up a New iPad

Lesson One: Moving From One Page to the Next

The iPad comes pre-installed with a number of great apps, but once you start downloading new apps from the app store, you will soon find yourself with several pages filled with icons. To move from one page to the next, you can simply swipe your finger across the iPad's display.

You can practice this even if you don't have enough apps to spill over into a second page. The iPad also has a search screen that can be accessed by moving the display to the right. In order to move the iPad's display to the right, we put a finger on the left side of the screen. Holding the finger down, we move it from left to right.

You'll notice that the icons on the screen move with your finger, slowly revealing a page that was to the left of the 'home' page. This is the search page, which allows you to search for apps or content on your iPad. You can even search for a specific email message. If you are searching for an app, you can run it right from this screen by typing on it after you have completed the search. Try typing in "Maps". You'll notice the Maps application icon comes up in the list. Touching it will launch you into the Maps program.

Learn More About the Apps That Come With the iPad

Lesson Two: Moving an App

You can also move apps from one page to the next and create folders by dropping one app on another app. To move an app, simply touch the icon and continue touching until all of the icons on the screen are shaking. As your finger is pressed against the icon, you'll notice it is slightly bigger than the other icons that are shaking. This signifies that you have "picked up" the icon and can move it.

Try this on the Messages icon. Tap and hold, and when the screen begins shaking, move the Messages icon to the far right of the screen. Your finger should be right at the edge of the display, half still on the screen and half on the border of the iPad. When you are holding an icon in this spot, the iPad will shift to the next page, similar to how it shifted to the search screen when you swiped from left to right.

When you are on page two, you can hold your finger against the left side of the display while 'holding' an app icon to shift back to page one. Once you are shifted back to page one, go ahead and drop the Messages icon. If this is a new iPad, there's no need to put an icon on page two just yet.

How to Take a Screenshot on the iPad

Lesson Three: Creating Folders and Docking Apps

You don't need to rely on pages of icons just to organize your iPad. You can also create folders, which can hold several icons without taking up a lot of space on the page.

You can create a folder on the iPad in much the same way as you move an icon from one page to the next. Just tap and hold until all of the icons are shaking. Next, instead of 'dragging' the icon to a side of the screen, you drag and 'drop' it on another icon.

Try this with the Camera app. Pick it up by holding a finger on it, and when the icons begin shaking it, move your finger (with the Camera app 'stuck' to it) until you are hovering over the Photo Booth icon. Notice that the Photo Booth icon is now highlighted, which means you are ready to 'drop' the Camera app by lifting your finger off the screen.

This creates a folder. The iPad will try to intelligently name the folder, and usually it does a pretty good job. But if you don't like the name, you can give the folder a custom name by touching the name the iPad gave it and typing anything you want.

Next, let's put an icon on the dock at the bottom of the screen. On a new iPad, this dock holds four icons, but you can actually put up to six icons on it. You can even put folders on the dock.

Let's move the Settings icon to the dock by tapping the Settings icon and leaving our finger on it until all of the icons shake. Just like before, "drag" the icon across the screen, but instead of dropping it on another app, we'll drop it on the dock. Notice how all of the other apps on the dock move to make room for it? This signifies that you are ready to drop the app.

Ready for more? You can read more about basic iPad navigation -- including more information on moving apps and creating folders -- in my iPad 101 lesson guide. This guide also explains how to delete an app and how to find new apps to install on your iPad.

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