Tips, shortcuts, and handy tidbits from the Nokia N900 User Guide

Tips, shortcuts, and handy tidbits from the Nokia N900 User GuideAre you as excited about the Nokia N900 as I am? I wasn’t blown away by the hardware form factor, but the more I play with the device the more impressed I get. This is actually saying quite a bit considering the N900 firmware I am using is not the final shipping firmware either. I am pretty sure I will be ordering my own N900 before I have to send back this evaluation unit. Have you had a chance to peruse the Nokia N900 User Guide online? I see that the links to it are now dead, but you can find it here if you want it. I don’t usually read many of these guides, but I am finding some real treasures in there and plan to share them with you in case you want to skip reading the guide and just here about some of the great things I have found in there.

Notification light colors

The notification light found on the front of the N900 (upper left corner) changes colors to indicate different states. As stated in the User Guide:

  • Blue is for application triggered notifications (received text, IM, or email)
  • Orange is for battery charging
  • Green is for battery full

You can also go into Settings>Notification light to select when to use the notification light. Turning it off should save you some battery life too.

Keyboard shortcuts

IMHO, keyboard shortcuts are needed on QWERTY keyboard devices to help justify the compromise in size of the device and the N900 has a few shortcuts that you may find useful. Did you notice in my photos that there is a real Ctrl key on the N900? Kudos to Nokia for including this since so many times we see this missing from QWERTY keyboard devices. Here are some shortcuts found in the User Guide:


  • Ctrl + Backspace: From within an application this will take you back out to the visual task manager. (Thanks to Chanse for that one.)
  • Ctrl + C: Copy text
  • Ctrl + V: Paste text
  • Ctrl + X: Cut text
  • Ctrl + A: Select all
  • Ctrl + O: Open (if available)
  • Ctrl + N: Create a new item (if available)
  • Ctrl + S: Save (if available)
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo (if available)
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo (if available)
  • Ctrl + F: Open search bar (if available)
  • Ctrl + Right arrow: Move the insertion point to the end of the word
  • Ctrl + Left arrow: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the word

These are all great Matt, but how the heck do I select text in the first place? You can use the shift key (far left) and the directional arrows on the keyboard to select text. Or you can use the stylus and double tap for a word or triple tap for all words in a document to select.

Web browser

  • Ctrl + N: Open a new window
  • Ctrl + R: Reload the current page
  • Ctrl + B: Open a bookmark
  • Ctrl + D: Add a bookmark


  • Ctrl + Enter: Send a message
  • Ctrl + R: Reply to a message

RSS Reader

  • Ctrl + R: Refresh the feed


  • Ctrl + Shift + P: Capture a screenshot. Warm up those fingers first to try this out. (Thanks Nokia Experts reader Matti for the tip.)

Miscellaneous tips

Circle zooming: I found that a double tap on text in the web browser zooms you into that text and reflows it for the display. However, I also found you can spin your finger clockwise on the display to zoom in or counterclockwise to zoom out through multiple zoom levels. I plan to show this in a video soon so you can understand what I am talking about here, but it is pretty slick.

Browser history swipe: You can quickly view your browser history (virtual history supported) by simply swiping your finger from the right off outside the viewable display to the left onto the display.

Smart dialing with QWERTY: The N900 supports smart dialing with the QWERTY keyboard so you can simply start entering a person’s name on the keyboard and have your Contacts filtered to that name. You then simply tap the selected contact you can interact with them how you desire (call, text, Skype, email, etc.).

Make a call from Conversations: You can tap and hold on a text message conversation to see a pop-up appear so you can initiate a call with your contact.

Use Nokia Maps without data connection: Just like Nokia Maps for S60 devices you can load up maps into memory and use Nokia Maps and your GPS without a data connection when traveling.

There is a TON more in the User Guide and I’ll bring you more as I discover it and as I discover things from testing and trials with the device itself.


82 Comments to Tips, shortcuts, and handy tidbits from the Nokia N900 User Guide

★ Cell Phone Fans
January 20, 2010

[…] full of features, and I can’t cover every aspect of it, but I recommend taking a look at this compilation of tips for the power user that includes keyboard shortcuts and all. Check the Maemo applications […]

Ayman El Faramawy
January 21, 2010

Hello All
i bought new N900 it is really very nice but i cant find friendly user guide i have some problems such as i dont see the missed calls and new messages in the screen when i touch the screen to turn it on also the first touch doesn’t turn it on and im wondering if this tyep of mobiles support assigning ringing tons to the contacts or not i really like this mobile but i feel very sad coz i can use it perfectly

[…] These are only the shortcuts that I found useful in the browser. Other applications and Maemo itself have many more shortcuts.  See Nokia Experts for a comprehensive list. […]

tracey B
February 4, 2010

i am not very good at all this technical stuff. have jsut got an900. ur tips have helpd loads but can anyq tell me if it is poss to send and recieve mms messanges????? any info would be much appreciated. thank u

February 12, 2010

can anyone tell me how to make group list on n900 for forwarding sms to particular group

February 18, 2010

Great page, easiest to read among the many IMO.
Can anybody tell how to get the “browser history swipe” to work. Can’t get it.
Swiping left to right works fine for me in the browser (brings up cursor), should be included perhaps?

February 21, 2010

can u please tel me these things through mail

how can i use full screen caller (a full foto for an incoming call)

how can i fix different ring tunes for different callers

can u plese answer through mail

February 26, 2010

I’ve seen some of the comments without feedback and my problem is the same:
How to create groups on the mobile?

[…] thin to add: There are nice shortcuts (more tipps and tricks here) on the N900: Have you tried portrait mode in the browser? CTRL+Shift+P to activate it, then move […]

February 27, 2010

How can you know the serial no. of the phone?! & the counters. the *#06# isn’t working with this device.

March 2, 2010

Hi Tim,

Serial number: Settings/About product.


[…] Sumber […]

March 15, 2010

is there any way to reach top of page with scrolling all the way up ?

March 25, 2010

how do i open my text so it comes up with the whole chat because when i click on it it only comes up with an empty box on my screen n my text box

April 1, 2010


Ia anyone please let me know how to send songs via Bluetooth from N900?

April 1, 2010

Hi Sadiq,

You need to download an app called “Petrovich” which I think is in one of the standard catalogues, which allows you to browse all your files/folders and send via bluetooth.

April 21, 2010

I’ve tried the circle zooming but can’t get it to work. Did you manage to upload a video of it yet?

[…] Tips, shortcuts, and handy tidbits from the Nokia N900 User Guide | Nokia Experts (tags: mobile) […]

May 3, 2010

my fone went black out. can turn it on but nothing comes out from screen.pls help me….

May 6, 2010

if i try to setup email, or im , skype or others if setup of account incompletet , i am not able to cancle or close , its minimise and still waiting , how to cancle it so i strat setup again

June 4, 2010

where can I get the list of applications for N900?

July 5, 2010

Hey dudes…….most of us see the web in landscape mode……..but you can turn in to the protrait mode also here is the trick……Click ctrl+shift+O and you will see your landscape web page turn to potrait form.

gud luck bye guys……….

July 21, 2010

Hi, I bought me a N900 & quite happy with it. However, whenever there is an incoming call, there is no display on the screen, until I move the on/off button on the side. Could any one tell me how do I set the phone so that the display comes automatically when there is an incoming call. Thanks.


July 23, 2010

Thanks for the screenshot shortcut. I am searching for it.

July 24, 2010

can you tell how to make groups of paticular recipient to send sms to that group.
thank you

[…] maps into memory and use Nokia Maps and your GPS without a data connection when traveling. Source: Tips, shortcuts, and handy tidbits from the Nokia N900 User Guide | Nokia Experts Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread […]

[…] maps into memory and use Nokia Maps and your GPS without a data connection when traveling. Source: Tips, shortcuts, and handy tidbits from the Nokia N900 User Guide | Nokia Experts Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread […]

haryadi be
August 31, 2010

how to delete and send notes via bluetooth?
I didnt found any option on Notes….cant delete previous notes :(

September 6, 2010

Flash Viedo on websites says “Flash Player Upgrade required – Get Flash Player” but unable to get a compatible upgrade.

September 6, 2010

does any one have a clue how to group contacts in N900 – just like in other mobile phones?

September 25, 2010

I found out the flight mode is accessible via the menu by pushing the power button for a short moment. (undocumented and hidden like many more important things)
shortcuts like the “Hold Shift and up/down arrow” dont work on some keyboard layouts. I would have to use the Fn key too because the up/down keys are only in keyboard overlay mode, wherewith such shortcuts do not work! :-(

October 5, 2010

anybody knows how to download nfs shift for n900 ??

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