iPhone OS 3.0: How to cut, copy and paste text and images
At long last Apple has implemented what many have wanted on the iPhone since the start -- the ability to cut, copy and paste text in and between applications.
Apple's solution is pretty elegant, though it can be a little bit fiddly at times depending on which application you're trying to select text from.
Read this guide and you'll soon be cutting and pasting like a pro.
Cutting, copying and pasting text
Let's say you're compiling a list of what you've eaten over the last few days, and it turns out you just can't get enough of those sausages. Rather than retype it, simply copy Monday's text into Thursday's position:
1. Starting with:
2. Hold one finger on the screen to bring up the magnification lens and move it to the start of the text you want to copy (you don't have to be precise as you can select more text in the next steps.
Alternatively, you can double tap in the general area where you want to cut/copy text from:
3. Lift your finger up away from the screen and a pop-up bubble with two or three options appears (paste will only appear if you have something already in the clipboard and the application supports pasting).
Tap on "Select":
4. The current word is highlighted and there are "drag dots" top left and bottom right:
5. Tap then drag one or both of the dots so as to highlight the text that needs to be copied:
6. Anytime you remove your finger from the iPhone's screen, a new options bubble appears. Tap either "Cut" to remove the text from the current position and store it in the clipboard, or "Copy" to take a copy of the text and store it in the clipboard. ("Paste" would overwrite the current text with whatever is currently in the clipboard):
7. Double-tap where you want to insert the cut/copied text. Three options appear. Tap on "Paste":
8. Your text is pasted from the clipboard. Job done:
9. If you want to undo the last "paste" operation you performed, simply shake your iPhone a couple of times and the following dialog box appears. Tap on "Undo Paste":
10. And if that was a mistake, shake the iPhone again and you can "Redo Paste":
- To cut, copy and paste text between applications (from Notes to Mail, for example) simply perform steps 1-6 in the "source" application (where the text you want to copy/cut is) then press the "Home" button, navigate to and launch the application where you want to paste the text, then continue with step 7 onwards.
Copying from web pages using Safari
Safari includes a couple of extra copying options designed to make it easier to lift images and text from web pages.
1. To copy text from a web page, tap and hold the screen at a position approximately where the start of text you want to copy is (double-tapping won't work because this gesture is used to zoom in on a column).
Or, if you want to copy a whole paragraph, tap and hold anywhere on that paragraph and that text will be highlighted. You can still select more text in the steps below:
2. The copy selection guides appear:
3. Tap and drag the dots to select text to copy:
4. If you select more than one paragraph of text, the selection box changes to select groups of whole paragraphs:
5. Click on "Copy" in the options bubble (you can't cut from or paste into a web page unless you're filling in a web form) and then navigate to another application or to a web page form to paste that text.
(Pasting text into a form is just the same as pasting text anywhere else):
To copy an image, simply tap and hold it until the following box pops up, then tap "Copy":
And finally, the "Select All" (when available) does precisely what you'd expect -- selects all the visible text:
That's about all there is to it. You can cut, copy and paste in both native iPhone apps and third-party apps, provided that they use the standard text entry methods.
Now, go forth and multiply (your text).
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