How to use the new text editing gestures on iPhone and iPad

edit text iphone and ipad - Copy on iPadOS Notes

As you may have seen, or even noticed, with iOS 13 and iPadOS came some cool new ways to work with your text. You can now use gestures to select, cut, copy, paste, undo, and redo. Plus, you can easily move the cursor where you want it and scroll faster with scroll bar scrubbing.

So how do all of these new text editing gestures work on iPhone and iPad? We’re here to explain them all.

Text editing gestures on iOS

Here’s a summary of the tutorial so you can jump to a specific section if you like.

Select text

You can quickly select a word, sentence, or entire paragraph with simple taps. And to select all of the text on a page, tap and swipe.

  • Select a word: Double-tap with one finger.
  • Select a sentence: Tap it three times.
  • Select a paragraph: Tap it four times.
  • Select all text on a page: Double-tap at the start and drag two fingers down the page.
Select to edit text on iphone and ipad

Cut, copy, and paste

It’s never been simpler to cut, copy, and paste text than with the text editing gestures that came with iOS 13 and iPadOS. Remember to use a method above for selecting your text first.

  • Cut: Pinch inward with your thumb and two fingers quickly two times.
  • Copy: Pinch inward with your thumb and two fingers.
  • Paste: Pinch outward with your thumb and two fingers.
Cut on iPadOS Notes

Undo and redo

Like the other text editing gestures on this list, undo and redo are easy too.

  • Undo: Swipe from right to left with three fingers.
  • Redo: Swipe from left to right with three fingers.
Undo on iPadOS Notes

Cursor and scroll bar

While not technically for text editing, these additional two gestures are handy to keep in mind.

  • Move the cursor: To move the cursor anywhere you want it, just pick it up. Tap and then drag it anyplace you need it. It will snap into place when you release it.
  • Scrub bar scrolling: To scroll faster, tap and hold the scroll bar on the right of the document and then drag. This works for lengthy documents, emails, webpages, and more.

Wrapping it up

It may take a little practice with these new text editing gestures, but once you get the hang of them, they’re pretty easy.

Are there other features of iOS 13 or iPadOS that you’re curious about? Be sure to check out what we’ve covered so far and let us know if there’s something you’d like to see in the comments below or on Twitter.