User Guide iOS

Using Cuneiform on iOS devices

Cuneiform performs all the functions of a keyboard - using five simple gestures rather than keys. You can choose to make the gestures either using your device's gesture recognition or with five large buttons - see Customising. As with any other input method, tap where you want to enter text and the Cuneiform input area (shown below) will appear. The input area also has a number of function buttons round its edge and word completions, alternate accented letters, symbol tables and a numeric keypad appear in context.

Entering Characters

Cuneiform combines the five gestures - TAP and swipes UP, DOWN, LEFT and RIGHT - in pairs to generate the letters of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation and characters. E.g. TAP, TAP enters an ‘a’, DOWN, RIGHT a ‘b’ and RIGHT, UP a ‘c’. See Learning for the pairs. An optional help overlay shows the pairs for every letter of the alphabet (the overlay changes to match the register you are using).


Cuneiform uses four registers to enter letters, punctuation, symbols, numbers and Greek letters. Tap one of the four buttons at the top left of the input area to select a register: long tap to lock it. The current register button will either be green or amber. Green is ‘locked’ and the register will continue in use until you select another. Amber, only the next character will come from that register and Cuneiform then returns to the lower case alphabet.

The first register (the default) is for lower case roman letters. Tap to shift to upper case letters. Long tap to shift lock. Second: punctuation and numbers. Third: currency and other symbols. Fourth: Greek alphabet (tap again to shift to upper case).

When you enter a letter or character a number of other buttons and tables appear:
At the left of the input area 3 buttons will appear below the first register button. These show the result of your pair of gestures in the 3 registers you are not currently using. So if you enter an ‘a’ (TAP, TAP) they will show ‘A’, ‘.’ and ‘*’. Tap the button to replace what you have entered with what is shown on the button. This is particularly useful for entering a capital letter without changing registers.

When a letter is entered a scrollable table of up to 12 alternative accented characters and short word fragments appears at the right hand side of the input area. E.g. if you enter an ‘a’ you will see @, and, are, able, à, á …… Tap this table to replace the character you entered with a row’s content. You can customise this table to show whatever you choose – Cuneiform can use any uniCode character (see Customising).

Cuneiform offers up to 6 word suggestions to the left of the accents. Suggestions come first from your lexicon (use Settings, General, Text Replacement to change your lexicon), then from Cuneiform’s own set of completions – over which you have complete control (see Customising) and then your device’s dictionary. Tap a row to enter its word. This process may be repeated – e.g. enter “cust”, tap “custom” from the words offered then tap “customisability” from the next set.


Using Gestures Recognition: tap with two fingers anywhere in the input area. Buttons: long press the right button. Entering two spaces starts a new sentence i.e. a period, a space and capitalise the next word.
Whenever you enter a space or period a symbol table appears to the right of the input area. Tap to replace the space with a symbol. If you want a space before the next symbol tap the space button (bottom left of the table). The ↺ button cycles through alternate sets of symbols.

Punctuation, Symbols, Currency

Using Gestures Recognition: long press anywhere in the input area to enter a period.

For everything else either enter a space as above and then tap the desired symbol or change register – second for punctuation and numbers, third for currencies and other symbols and then make the appropriate pair of gestures. Or make the pair of gestures and tap one of the buttons which appear at the left of the input area.


Either change to the second register and make the pair of gestures (see Learning) or make the pair of gestures and tap one of the buttons which appear at the left of the input area. On iPhones a number table will appear – tap the buttons to enter further numbers.

On iPads a simple calculator will appear. This can be used to just enter further numbers and arithmetic symbols, which will appear both in your text and on the top button of the calculator. To do the calculation tap =. Tap the result button to replace the calculation in your text with the result. E.g. if you tap 5,+,4, and then = you will see 5+4=9 in your text and 9 at the top of the calculator. Tap the answer (9) to replace 5+4=9 with 9.

q and Q

Either change to the second register and swipe UP, LEFT or swipe UP LEFT (which will enter a 'g') and then tap either the 'q' or 'Q' button which appears at the left of the input area.


Tap the delete button ⇦ at the bottom of the input area or swipe left with two fingers or long tap the left arrow button. This deletes the character before the cursor.

4 buttons will appear below the first register button: ⌴ space; ⇤ delete word backwards, ⇨ delete character forwards; ⇥ delete word forwards. Both the delete forwards options undo the initial backwards deletion.


Either tap the return key at the bottom left of the input area, swipe down with two fingers or long press the down arrow button. Both the appearance of the button and its action change with the context of the text. It usually looks like ↵ and enters a return into your text. But its appearance and action can change with the context of the text you are entering and it may also indicate: Send, Search, Go, Done, Join or Next.


Swipe right with two fingers or long tap the right arrow button.


Dismiss the keyboard by either tapping the ⌨ button, swiping right with two fingers or long tapping the right arrow button.