Tip: How To Get Arrow/Cursor Keys On The Swype Keyboard
Last Updated: July 5th, 2010

Today's tip is almost a necessity because I've seen so many of you looking and asking and complaining about having no cursor keys in Swype (us EVO 4G users absolutely need them - the phone has no trackball!).

So I am here to tell you that Swype actually does have cursor keys but they're hidden away in a secret menu behind a super-secret swipe. Well, not too secret but if you haven't looked through the manual, you are probably unaware of it.

How To Get Cursor/Arrow Keys On Swype

To get to the special menu, just swipe from the lower left button (the one with the letter 'i' and a squiggly) towards the button with 'SYM' on it.

Check it out - BAM, what's that? A hidden menu.

To go back to the regular mode, press the 'ABC' button.

Tip: How To Get Arrow/Cursor Keys On The Swype Keyboard Tip: How To Get Arrow/Cursor Keys On The Swype Keyboard

Tip: How To Get Arrow/Cursor Keys On The Swype Keyboard Tip: How To Get Arrow/Cursor Keys On The Swype Keyboard

Now, I still think it's not good enough for EVO and other phones without trackballs, and there should be a setting that makes the arrows permanently visible somehow, like the stock keyboard does.

P.S. For those of you who are going to question my desire for arrow keys, they're invaluable when trying to move by just a few characters. My fat fingers are too annoying to use for this purpose.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Aaron Gingrich

    I need a tip on how to get the Swype keyboard, first. Beta closed :(

  • RFK

    This freezes my Swype on an Evo 4G, shortly after starting using it. Maybe it's hidden for a reason. I've never been able to get out of this menu by hitting ABC.

    • Donato Orlando

      Been working fine for me. I found this in the Swype tutorial. No problems at all. Are you using the newest beta from beta.swype.com or the hacked one that's going around the forums?

  • TST

    Thanks for the tip. now we just need a microphone button like the droid x version of Swype!

  • Brian

    Works great on my Evo

  • Adam7425

    Awesome!...needed that. Thanks

  • LipGloss712

    Niiiiice! Didn't bother with the tutorial so I didn't know. Thanx!

  • Rob H13


  • Misery

    Sweet, Thanks for the info

  • Chris ponciano

    Awesome, that was and is the main reason I keep switching back and forth to the stock kb.

    Also you said to swype towards ABC but you mean to swipe to SYM, bc its not ABC until after.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks Chris, fixed!

  • http://www.anysite.com dan

    thanks, awesome tip. thought i would need a physical keyboard to get arrow keys but i guess not. never would have found this otherwise :)

  • 80’s Rocker

    HTC latest update includes Swype. Beta / Hacked version no longer needed.

  • http://allaroundarlington.com Elizabeth Bouchard

    Thank you so much for this tip - I have an LG Optimus S and was about to give it up for something with a qwerty keyboard and cursors that could move back so I could correct words without backspacing through the whole thing. That's great info!

  • Jasper

    Thanks, very useful tip!

  • http://www.maps4fun.eu LittleAndroid

    Thanks - great tip! You make my day!

  • http://www.bedfordeyecarecentre.ca Toby

    I never saw THAT tip in the tutorial! What a relief... so annoying when you are searching for something and just need to move your cursor a few letters over in the search window and it is way too small to maneuver my fingers! Thank you!!

  • Rachel

    Thank you SO, SO, SO, SO much for this tip! I just got my new Droid X and I LOVE it, but I, too, have large fingers and needed arrows.

  • Choq

    How to turn off swupe and get back the old keyboard on samsung galaxy mini my fingers are away too big, kinda annoying sometime

  • Camilla

    I am aware of this "trick" for accessing the "secret"menu, however, this won't work if the screen/keyboard is horizontal, will it, since then, the SYM and swype keys are no longer conveniently next to eachother.....is thee a way around this?
    Thanks in advance

    • Bryan

      All you Have to dos connect the swype key with [SYM] and you will be set!!! So instead of a horizontal swype its a vertical swype.

  • Jeremie

    Thanks a zillion. I was so annoyed not having these arrow keys... So thanks again

  • jaulillas


  • Hud

    DUDE! It only took me 9 months of having an Android phone and being crazy annoyed at never being able to arrow throw my texts to make edits before I send before I decided to Google this. THANK YOU! My life is complete.... and just in time for the rapture.

  • Daniel

    Camilla, mine works in horizontal mode, too. just swipe through the SHIFT key to the SYM...

  • kama

    Brilliant!Thank you so much for sharing this!
    Ehm... is there also such a lovely "Eastern Egg" on the standard Android keyboard?

  • bassix

    why so complicated? you save my life! i was able to navigate at my ssh shell history and fix the problem just in time :D

  • sk mke

    Found this by accident when cleaning off my screen, then couldn't figure out how to get it back. THANKS!!!

  • alphaspirit

    Thank you for this tip ;)

  • John Gotti

    Many many many thanks !!!

  • Vivek


  • Scott

    Should be WAY easier to find. Thanks.

  • nctrnl

    For the number pad, swype from swype key to #5.

  • rbanavara
  • Andy

    Great tip , thanks,

  • Fr Kevin PJ Coffey

    Wonderful! I have activate the cursor keyboard several times, but always by accident and I couldn't recreate what I did. This makes Swype even more useful! kpjc+

  • Ford

    you ..the ..best. I've been looking everywhere for this function! Thanks!

  • stelios ch

    how can you move cursor in the editing text left / right /down / up by sliding and not with button arrows left right up down