Palm Pre Keyboard Tricks | webOS Nation

Palm Pre Keyboard Tricks

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 02 Jul 2009 1:11 pm EDT

There are many hidden keyboard shortcuts and tricks on the Palm Pre.  We've already discussed many of them here at, but here's a list of most of the currently-known keyboard combinations for the Pre. New to these blog pages: the ability to enter text in bold and italic and also to view developer information on open cards.

Before we get to them, though, we will note that the Palm Pre Tips and Tricks PDF from forum member milominderbinde has seen plenty of updates and now includes over 200 tips and tricks!  If you haven't yet, you absolutely must register as a member and download this amazing guide!

On to the keyboard shortcuts!

Key Combos

  • Screenshot: Orange + Shift + P.  There will be no indicator that your screenshot succeeded, but check out the Screencapture gallery in your Photo app to see them
  • Open Card Information: Orange + Sym + i.  You will see information about the open card, including how many images the app is using, how many DOM nodes, Render nodes, and Render layers it's calling.  Potentially useful to web developers learning how to program for the webOS.
  • Soft-Reset: Orange + Sym + R.  Will automatically reset your Palm Pre.

Bold and Italic

New to us - in certain apps you can enter text as Bold and Italic.  It's a little buggy yet, but we expect that we'll see these as official features as soon as Palm is able to work out the kinks.

  • Bold text: Sym + B.  This will only work in apps that can accept rich text.  So it works in email but not in memos, for example.  You can hold this combo down before you start typing or highlight your text and then hit it to make your text bold.
  • Italic Text: Sym + i.  As with bold, only works in certain apps.  Also note that the Pre will try to enter international "i" characters

Longer keyboard tricks

  • Landscape email: on the mailbox listing view, (the top level), type RocknRollHax (hold down shift + letter for the caps).  This will allow you to rotate into landscape mode.  Resets after you close the card.
  • Developer Mode: Type upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart.  This will allow you to turn on Developer Mode so you can hack away at your Pre.

Other Keyboard Tricks

  • Advanced Calculator functions: Hit the spacebar to toggle calculator functions: M-, Percent, Square Root, and +/-
  • Open a link in a new browser card: Hold down Orange + Space and tap a link.
  • Take a photo: You can hit the spacebar to take a picture in the Camera app.
  • Delete an app: Orange + Tap
  • Select text: hold down Shift then slide your finger left, right, up, or down to move the cursor.  Only works in editable text fields
  • Move the cursor: hold down Orange and slide your finger left, right, up, or down to position the cursor more accurately than tapping.

...There are many many other tricks not involving the keyboard like getting a menu in landscape mode, holding down your finger in the gesture area for copy and paste, and more.  It's all in the Tips & Tricks PDF.

Anything keyboard-specific we missed?  Let us know in the comments and we'll update the post!

Thanks to everybody in the forums for finding all these great tricks, especially milominderbinde.  Thanks to Eric for the heads-up on the card info trick!