New iOS 13 gestures: How to use copy, paste & undo iPadOS 13 gestures

It wasn't until I installed iPadOS on my normal iPad last week that I realized how great iOS 13 is. It's one thing to run it on an old and battered test unit, but another thing is to use it day by day . And, surprisingly, it is the small characteristics that make the biggest difference. The view per page settings in Safari, for example. Or the new Slide Over panel of multiple applications. And, more than anything, the new text editing gestures, which are finally good enough to replace a mouse and a Mac.

Let's take a look at how to use the new copy, paste, undo and redo gestures of the iPadOS 13, plus text selection in general.

New gestures of iOS 13

For the entire life of the iPad, editing text has been a nuisance. Even copying one or two words of Safari was annoying enough for older users to fondly remember the Microsoft Clippy. Now, selecting and discussing text is almost as good as on Mac, where you can use a precise and pleasant mouse pointer.

Selecting text in iOS 13

Previously, selecting text meant first trying to make iOS really highlight a word, and then grabbing the small handles to try to select the words you want. In practice, it would vary between selecting the entire page and perhaps selecting only one word. Now, pressing a word on, say, Safari will select that word.

That's it. It works reliably every time, and the little black bubble appears to allow you to manipulate that text. If you want to expand (or narrow down) the selection, take the handles and drag them. This also works. Finally, you can select only that package tracking number, and not the entire line of text you are in. The text selection in iOS 13 is as accurate as using a mouse. Finally.

Copy and paste gestures

  Shortly after the update, iOS 13 will inform you about these new features with a pop-up panel.
Shortly after the update, iOS 13 will inform you about these new features with a pop-up panel.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The new text engine does not stop there. iOS 13 also brings new gestures to copy and paste text. You can still do it in the old fashion by touching Copy and Paste on the pop-up panel. But the new way is much easier. Simply make a pinch of three fingers to copy the selection. It's like removing the text from the page.

You can pinch anywhere on the page, not just on the text itself. And when it does, a small notification will appear that says: "Copy."

To paste, reverse the gesture. Make sure the text cursor is in a text field and pinch with three fingers. Your text will be pasted.

The first time I tried this, it seems a bit awkward. But just after that, it becomes second nature. It is like a keyboard shortcut, integrated into your fingers.

Undo and redo

iOS 13 also brings new undo / redo gestures throughout the system. Simply swipe with three fingers: left to undo, right to redo. That's. You no longer need to remove your 13-inch iPad from its stand and shake it just to undo a removal. You can slide in place. (The agitation still works, by the way. And if you have a hardware keyboard connected, you can still use ⌘Z and ⇧⌘Z to undo and redo.)

The bad of the new gestures of iOS 13

Some say that these gestures are not recognizable I say, who cares? Keyboard shortcuts on Mac are also not particularly recognizable. And shake to undo is even worse. Apple has played this very well. If you keep doing the old-fashioned things, then nothing changes (apart from the text selection much better). However, advanced users benefit from new and better options.

However, what is a problem is the three-finger gesture. In music applications, when you try to play a chord (on a piano keyboard, for example), you can activate one of these gestures.

And even in non-music applications, these gestures can be confused. A copy gesture is only a finger away from closing the application and returning to the home screen, for example. At least this can be solved with a little practice. The problem of the music application is more difficult to solve. Even disabling gestures in the Settings application does not disable these new swipes and pinches with three fingers.

Apart from this, the new gestures of iOS 13 are really amazing. It will no longer change to your Mac with frustration every time you need to copy and paste more than one word.

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