How to Cut and Paste on an iPhone

How to Cut and Paste on an iPhone
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Plagiarizing for Fun

Before the time of the fabled 3.0 update for our beloved iPhones, users clamored for something irreplaceable to them - the ability to copy and paste on our cell phones. We tried everything to get it to work before the 3.0 update, including jailbreaking, installing bogus apps on the iPhone, and in extreme cases, even giving up the iPhone to go back to the chaos and muddy waters of the Windows Mobile systems.

But then, like a light coming from the sky, Steve Jobs delivered unto us the 3.0 update (which Apple has yet to eclipse) that brought with it the copy and paste ability. Sure, it’s not the most elegant solution, but it does work well and with the usual Apple graphics the UI is known for. So then, how do you copy and paste text and photos on your iPhone?

Copy and Paste

  1. Copying text on the iPhone is simple - first things first, open up the document, web page or text message you’d like to copy.
  2. Tap the desired text on the screen twice in quick succession over the text you want to copy (after a few tries, you’ll be able to hammer down how quickly this should be done).
  3. The text on the screen will come up highlighted with two small circles on the borders of the text. If the wrong piece is highlighted - you’ll want to take the small circles and change the boundaries of the on-screen text. In the case of a text message, you can only copy the entire message as opposed to an individual piece of text. In order to do that, you’ll want to double-tap the message in question.
  4. The text pasting on the phone is simple as well - simply double-tap the place where the text needs to go and select the paste option.
  5. In the case of a photo, you’ll want to select the photo from the photo viewer or your picture albums and use the context menu at the bottom of the screen to copy the picture.
  6. Once the photo is copied, you’ll want to double-tap the screen on the spot where you’d like the picture to be pasted. In the case of media messaging, just double-tap the text screen and click the paste option.


Overall, for the eventual copy/paste operation, the implementation of this in the UI is useful. However, if you want to copy and paste a lot of information, such as text into email or photos into email, the system is rather clunky. Selecting the text can be difficult, and in some cases can even be impossible depending on the text that’s selectable on the screen. Overall though, the system works for its intended purpose, even if it’s not perfect for the power-user.

You can learn how to cut and paste on the iPhone but it may take some patience and practice.