How to edit text on your iPhone or iPad

Learn how to edit text in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13.

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With iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple has changed the way you edit, select, copy, paste, and work with text in an app. The process can be quicker and smoother, but it can be confusing if you’re accustomed to the old ways of editing text. Moving your cursor around the screen, selecting specific areas of text, cutting or copying text, pasting text, and undoing your last action are all different. Let’s go through the steps for each maneuver.

SEE: Apple iOS 13: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic download) 

First, make sure you’re running iOS 13.1 or higher on your iPhone or iPadOS 13.1 on your iPad. Go to Settings and select General. Tap the setting for Software Update. You’ll either be told that your software is up to date, or you’ll be prompted to download and install the latest version (Figure A).

Figure A


How to move your text cursor

The new versions of iOS and iPadOS offer different ways to move your text cursor, or insertion point, around the screen. To position the cursor, tap in the area where you want it to appear. To move your cursor, tap and lightly hold down on it, and move your finger around the screen. As you move your finger, the magnifying glass hovers over your text. Release your finger when your cursor is in your intended spot.

Here’s an alternative method that works with older versions of iOS and still works with the new versions. Press down on the keyboard with one finger on an iPhone with 3D Touch and with two fingers on any iPad. Then move your finger or fingers around the screen to position the cursor (Figure B).

Figure B


How to select text

You can select text a few different ways, depending on how much you need to select. For a single word, double-tap on it. To select an entire sentence, triple-tap anywhere within it. And for a paragraph, tap four times…