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Saturday, September 28, 2019

How to Use Text Editing Gestures on Your iPhone and iPad

Typing in the messages app on an iPhone's keyboard.
Aleksey Khilko/Shutterstock.com

Apple added quite a few new text-editing gestures to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13. These make it faster to select text, copy and paste, and move the text-entry cursor around. Apple’s keyboard now supports swipe-to-type, too.

Tap to Select Words, Sentences, and Paragraphs

Select a Paragraph in iOS 13 with Quadruple Tap

You can now more quickly select words, sentences, and paragraphs with a few taps. These shortcuts should work anywhere you can edit text in iOS 13, but they seemed a bit flaky in apps like Evernote for us. Maybe app developers just need to release a few updates.

While editing text:

  • Double-tap a word to select that word.
  • Triple-tap a word to select the sentence in which that word appears.
  • Quadruple-tap a word to select the whole paragraph in which that word appears.

Drag to Adjust the Text Selection

Manipulate Text Selection in iOS 13

Once you’ve selected a word or a sentence, you can make that selection larger or smaller by swiping left or right near the edge of the selection area.

This is how text selection has always worked on iOS. But, with the arrival of iOS 13, Apple has improved it so that you don’t need to be as precise when selecting text. It’s much more forgiving, and you don’t have to tap as precisely.

Pinch to Copy, Cut, and Paste

You can also now copy, cut, and paste with a gesture. Previously you would need to highlight text then make your selection from the hovering menu. In iOS 13, first select your text and then:

  • Pinch with three fingers to copy it
  • Repeat the copy gesture twice to cut it (pinch with three fingers, twice)
  • Reverse the copy gesture to paste (place three fingers on the screen and spread them apart)

Swipe and Tap to Undo and Redo

If you’ve made a mistake, you can undo it easier than ever with a handful of new gestures:

  • Double-tap with three fingers to undo
  • Swipe left with three fingers to undo
  • Swipe right with three fingers to redo

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