Six advanced gestures for working with text on iPhone and iPad

Even if you're not trying to write a novel on your iPhone screen, you probably have to interact with texts a lot: publish a post to a social network, write a comment on something you're interested in, reply to a message, build a shopping list - it could be anything. Apple is well aware of this, so iOS has a lot of cool gestures for text input and correction.

In general, the gesture control in Apple's operating system is rather well developed and the movements that can be performed with one finger are known to every user, but what about the more advanced variants? We should note right away that most of the gestures we describe are suitable for iOS 13 models and later.

Move the cursor

Let's start with the basic. You don't have to aim and delete unwanted characters to put the cursor where you want it. Just hold your finger down until the cursor appears below the cursor, and then move it freely where you want the text.

Select text

The easiest way to select text is to double-tap and then use the side markers to correct the fragment you're interested in. Sometimes there's no need to take your finger off the screen: just hold and drag it, then release it - and that's it.


Of course, context menu can be used to copy and paste text, but our aim is to make everything as fast as possible, so we just highlight the desired text and put three fingers together anywhere on the screen. This "pinch" we copy the selected text fragment, and to paste it, we place the cursor in the desired location and spread three fingers from one point in different directions, again, anywhere on the screen.

Don't doubt, after a short practice you will find this gesture so simple and intuitive that you won't want to go back to the usual contextual menu.


To undo an action, text input or copy, we place three fingers on the screen and swipe from right to left. To return - swipe with three fingers from left to right.

To cancel an action there is another simple gesture - a shake. You write something wrong - shake the phone, then confirm the cancellation in the dialog box and that's it.

Text editing panel.

Do not confuse this tool with the context menu. Here we find buttons for cutting, copying and pasting text, as well as the ability to mark and return actions. To bring up this panel, hold down three fingers on the screen until it appears.

Reduce the virtual keyboard on iPad

While all of the above manipulations fit both smartphones and Apple tablets, this option is unique to the iPad. Put two fingers together on the keyboard and reduce it to a size comparable to the keyboard on the iPhone. You're free to move the keyboard across the screen to your favourite position - and to bring it back to its normal size, drag it to the bottom edge of the device or use two fingers to stretch it.

As you can see, there are quite a few ways to speed up typing on iOS, just use a few not well-known features of the system.


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