How to Copy and Paste with an IPad

By Aaron Parson

Back when Apple released the original iPhone, the device couldn't copy and paste, but thankfully this time-saving feature became an iOS staple with version 3 prior to the launch of the iPad. Selecting text and moving it between apps works the same on every model of Apple's tablet -- press and hold on the screen once to select and copy text, move to the desired location and press and hold another time to insert the text.

Select, Copy and Paste

Tap and hold on the text you want to copy until a magnifying lens pops up, and then let go. On editable text, such as in Notes, press "Select" to enable text selection. If you're working with static text, such as on a website, you'll see the "Copy" button right away and won't need to choose "Select." In either case, drag the blue grab points to adjust the selection and then press "Copy." Move to an app where you can paste text, tap and hold until you see the magnifying lens, and then let go and press "Paste." Copying and pasting images works similarly, except that when you tap and hold on a picture, the "Copy" button pops up from the bottom of the screen.

Working With Text Blocks

The iPad occasionally has a hard time accurately selecting static text out of full paragraphs. Try to copy text from a Google search results page, for example, and you'll find it difficult to narrow the selection to a single line or word. In these cases, your best bet is to zoom in on the page -- when the entire paragraph no longer fits on the screen, iOS switches to selecting individual words. You can also copy the entire paragraph, paste it into a blank page in Notes, delete the extraneous text and then re-copy the remainder.