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Home / Tips and Tricks / iOS 13 changes the way you navigate and edit text – How to place the cursor, make selections, make changes, and more «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

iOS 13 changes the way you navigate and edit text – How to place the cursor, make selections, make changes, and more «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Navigating and editing text is an integral part of any operating system, and with iOS 13, Apple has made some significant changes. Some things are the same when working with text, but there are many changes in moving the cursor, scrolling and selecting, cutting, copying, pasting, undoing, and restoring text.

Apple has optimized the text editing system to make it easier and faster to use on an iPhone. The changes to the text editing in iOS 13 are therefore relatively deep. Apple has even dispensed with the magnifying glass, which is displayed when moving the cursor. This is known since the first iPhone.

The text selection is also faster, so you can highlight text with a swipe or a few taps in addition to the handles on which previous versions of iOS relied. Even if the scroll bar is not explicitly aligned with text, it can now be moved. This allows you to move quickly to any point in a document in one step, rather than over and over again.

While some of the following apply to selectable, non-editable text, there are some differences. We focus only on the editing page. If you are only interested in certain aspects, you can jump to a section: moving the cursor | Select text and move | Edit text | Scroll through documents.

Moving the Cursor

Prior to iOS 1

3, the cursor could be moved in different ways. All of the following methods worked in iOS 12, and some of them still work in iOS 13 (to be mentioned).

The most significant change in cursor movement is the removal of the tap-and-hold method for calling the loupe. In iOS 13, the cursor can be moved. Instead of tapping, holding, and waiting for the magnifying glass to appear, you can now simply grab the mouse pointer and drag it to where you want it. After hovering, it floats directly over your finger so you can still see and place it exactly where you want it.

This is by far the most annoying change in iOS 13 and requires some users to change a habit built for the past decade. However, as soon as your muscle memory switches to the new system, moving the text cursor should accelerate as the magnifying glass stops waiting.

Move the cursor in iOS 12 (left) and iOS 13 (right).

The Tap method was also slightly improved in iOS 13. In previous versions, after tapping on a word to move the cursor on the second tap, only the edit menu was opened. If you tap after tapping the first time to place the cursor in a word, the cursor moves to the beginning or end only, not to the middle.

When you tap in iOS 13 to switch to a, tap at the same location to bring up the edit menu. However, if you tap that word somewhere in the middle for the second time, the cursor moves to the position within the word you touched and opens the Edit menu.

Tap in the middle of a word on iOS 12 (left) and iOS 13 (right).

Selecting and Moving Text

Prior to iOS 13, text selection could be done in several ways. Some of these options continue to work in Apple's newest iPhone operating system.

  • Double-tap: Tap twice on a word, number, and so on to select it, and open the context-editing menu with Cut, Copy, Paste, BIU, Lookup, Speak, Split, Right / Left options and spell. You can drag the ends to expand the selection. The gesture also works in iOS 13, but there are similar options that do more (see below).
  • Press for a word: If you see the word, number, etc, it will be highlighted and the context menu will be displayed. In it you can cut, copy, paste, BIU, look up, speak, release, right / left indent and spell. You can drag the ends to expand the selection. For non-3D touch devices, long-press the cursor loupe. IOS 13 has everything except the cursor loupe, and the edit menu may show a few small changes.
  • Press a word and a long slide: On 3D touch devices, when you press a set for a long time Dragging lets you highlight more text without leaving your finger on the screen. All options of the edit menu for long press are displayed except for speech. It works the same way in iOS 13, but you'll have to wait for haptic feedback.
  • Tap the cursor: If you tap the cursor in its place, the context editing menu will appear with the options Select, Select All, Insert, Insert Drawing, BIU, Right / Left Indent, and Phrase. You can drag the ends to expand the selection. Everything works in iOS 13.
  • Moving the cursor: Just like tapping the cursor, tap and hold the same options after moving the cursor. While tapping and holding in iOS 13 does not work to move the cursor, dragging the cursor has the same effect.
  • Press a word hard: On 3D touch devices, when you press a word hard, number, etc. it jumps into a floating bubble, which you can place elsewhere in the text. It's basically an abbreviation for moving a single character set. Unfortunately, it does not work on iOS 13 anymore.
  • External keyboards: Hold down the Shift key and move the cursor with the arrow keys and modifiers to highlight the text and display contextual editing menu, if applicable.

In iOS 13, the Double Tap method has been updated to include triple and quadruple taps. So you can do more with just a few clicks than just pick a word. Highlighting now includes the following options:

  • Tap twice to highlight a single word.
  • Tap three times to highlight a single sentence.
  • Tap four times to highlight an entire paragraph.
From left to right: In iOS 13, tap twice, three times, and four times.

As mentioned above, the "Word and Slide Long Press" action works similarly, but you'll have to wait for haptic feedback to know that it's ready to select more text. If you select a word without receiving the haptic feedback, simply drag the entire selection box to a different word or character set.

In addition, the Edit Menu options Indent Right and Indent Left are now labeled Indentation. If you tap on it, you will get options to "Increase" and "Decrease" the indentation.

Slide to iOS 12 (left) and iOS 13 (right) to select and indent.

Even if you tap on a word and then in the middle of a word, the cursor jumps there and the edit menu with the options "Select", "Select All", "Insert", "Insert Drawing", "BIU" and "Engage" is displayed. 19659005] Editing Text

In earlier versions of iOS, the Cut, Copy, and Paste commands are executed primarily through the context menu that appears when text or numbers are selected (see above). , It's not the fastest way, but better than the undo and redo options. The feature " Shake to Undo" and "Redo", introduced almost a decade ago, may be responsible for the high percentage of broken iPhone screens.

To get around these disadvantages, some apps have often added buttons to their UI-used features, and Apple even added them to the top of the iPad's on-screen keyboard. However, both have the disadvantage that they are not available for iOS and are usually only displayed when editing text.

In iOS 13, Apple has added some new three-finger gestures that will greatly accelerate access to these commands in all areas. Similar to keyboard shortcuts, learning these gestures makes text editing quicker and smoother. First, select a text, and then do the following:

  • Press with three fingers to copy .
  • Press with three fingers twice on to cut ] Swipe with three fingers to insert .
  • Swipe left with three fingers to undo .
  • Swipe Right Three Fingers to Restore .
  • Tap with three fingers to open the menu.

When you make a gesture, a small bubble appears at the top of the screen indicating which command was executed. These gestures usually work better on larger iPhone models. If you have an iPhone with a smaller screen (especially the iPhone SE), you can also tap the screen with three fingers to open a menu with all five available commands at the top of the screen. You can also use this option if you find it difficult to remember the swipe gestures.

New gestures to copy, cut, and paste (left); Undo, Restore, Menu (right).

Scrolling through documents

The iPhone has always done a great job, allowing for quick and fluid scrolling. Scrolling and slowly stopping a webpage was one of the moments when the iPhone came out for the first time. The experience has been largely old, but it can be a bit frustrating to leaf through long documents.

On iOS 12, you can return to the beginning by tapping the status bar, but at a certain point point is often an exercise in frustration. You usually start to leaf through it all just to scroll past where you want to go because things are going so fast.

In iOS 13, Apple finally added the ability to grab and move the scroll bar. Scroll down a bit to see the scroll bar on the right side of the screen, and long press on it. You will feel a haptic knock and the scroll bar gets thicker. Just move it up and down the side of the screen to scroll to any point. No more shaking!

In iOS 12 (left) and iOS 13 (right) scroll.

Working with editable text documents in iOS 13 takes some getting used to I've been using iOS for several years. While many of the old practices persist, features such as moving the cursor change the concepts that have existed since the release of the iPhone.

Ultimately, learning new ways to work with text can make using iOS faster and smoother, and it may save you from expensive screen repair.

Cover Photo by Mike Goril / Gadget-Hacks; GIFs by Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks

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