iOS 9: Use Two Fingers to Manipulate Text

| TMO Quick Tip

This is really quick and easy, but I think it’s one of the best parts of using iOS 9 on the iPad. Within Apple’s built-in apps that will let you type in information (such as Mail, Notes, and Messages, for example), you can place two fingers anywhere on the screen to invoke a new way to select text and move your cursor around.

Selecting text with two fingers in iOS 9

As you can see, if you’re touching the on-screen keyboard with two fingers, it’ll helpfully fade out to show you that you’re ready to do some fancy text-selection stuff.

So as I noted, this has two important functions. First, if you don’t have any text selected, it’ll let you move your cursor within your text. If text is selected, though, dragging your two fingers up and down the screen will expand and contract your selection. This is so, so much easier than trying to grab those two little blue handles to select text! I love it.

One more thing—while you’re messing around with text, check out the new little Shortcut Bar at the top of your keyboard.

iOS 9's on-screen keyboard shortcut bar

Those tools on either side—which change based on whether you have text selected—will let you cut, copy, paste, undo, stylize your text, and so on. Handy! In fact, this is so handy that it means I need an iPad Pro to replace my perfectly fine iPad Air, right? Can I get a high five? 


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hapa papa bubaju

“if you don’t have any text selected, it’ll let you move your cursor within your text”

try holding your fingers down for a long moment before moving them, there’s a secret

Lee Dronick

Thanks Melissa! That is a handy tip!

Melissa Holt

Hapa papa bubaju, that’s awesome! I think that’s better than my tip. grin

And thanks, Lee! I appreciate it!

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