Copying lines of text on an iPhone?
July 31, 2011 4:36 PM   Subscribe

iPhone: when I select some text to copy and use the grab points to expand the selection, how do I keep it from selecting the whole paragraph?

I often try to select a couple of lines of texts, but if I go beyond a single line the iPhone will usually instantly select the whole paragraph, with the grab points going to the top, bottom, and sides, and the selection being unshrinkable. Do not want.
posted by neuron to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you take a screenshot of what you're seeing and post that?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:48 PM on July 31, 2011

Yes, I am backing up the OP by stating that I have this problem too. One single character too far and the iPhone assumes you want to copy everything in existence. It's a feature, not a bug.
posted by dougrayrankin at 5:18 PM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you slide the bottom point to the left, you should be able to de-select the words you don't want. Use the point (the circles at either end) like crop areas and adjust the selection as appropriate.
posted by xingcat at 5:37 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

It seems to be vertical motion above or below the bounds of the paragraph that trigger this. Try to constrain your motions to the horizontal, or at least keep your finger from going above or below the confines of the paragraph. I hate this, too.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:40 PM on July 31, 2011

I don't have this problem either. As xingcat says you can drag the end post back to the point you'd like.
posted by smithsmith at 5:40 PM on July 31, 2011

I have this problem all the time on my iPad, and I hate it. The only solution is to drag the end points or start highlighting the end of the selection you want to copy. Sometimes neither solution works.
posted by good day merlock at 5:51 PM on July 31, 2011

I get all of the behavior you describe except for the "unshrinkable" part - drag the right handle in to the left, or the bottom up, and it will allow you to modify your selection.
posted by misterbrandt at 9:33 PM on July 31, 2011

Adding that in my own experience, for whatever reason, there is some content that's all or nothing like this, with the unshrinkable problem. I usually just either retype it or copy and delete. Bummer
posted by Patbon at 11:21 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've found that this behavior changes with zoom level. I usually read with the text zoomed out so I can see the whole width of the line, but if I try to select anything at that zoom level I get the annoying paragraph selection behavior. Generally zooming in makes it better for me.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:58 PM on July 31, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for your input.
posted by neuron at 10:34 PM on August 1, 2011

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