From time to time I need to edit some text in a text box on my iPad. One example is adding a bookmarklet to Safari; many techniques suggest you add a bookmark then edit it afterward. Clumsy, but it works.

However, I often struggle to edit the text, and I wonder if I'm just missing something really basic. In the case I just had, I needed to remove a few characters from the beginning of a long bookmark. On my PC I would hit Home and then Delete a few times. I'm sure the Mac is similar.

I can't figure out a non-clumsy way to do this on my iPad. The only way to even navigate in a text field (I.e. move the cursor) seems to be to select text and then move the selection box left; that seems clumsy at best as the select point is often lost. This is especially difficult when there's a long block of text in a short edit box but even in a full-screen editor cursor placement often seems approximate at best.

Am I missing something?


Touch and hold your finger over the word in the spot after you want to delete. A magnifying glass will show you the exact position of the cursor. Once you have the cursor in the right place you can then backspace over the text you want to delete.

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    That doesn't work when you have a 1-line text box, and the text is longer then the box (as I believe the OP is asking about). The issue is how do you quickly get to the beginning of a line that extends past the edge of the window. – Fake Name May 25 '11 at 7:13
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    of course its possible. Try the url box in mobile safari. Touch and hold your finger until the magnifier appears and then move it all the way to the left. The text insertion point will keep moving to the left even whilst you hold your finger steady on the very left hand side. – robzolkos May 25 '11 at 7:28
  • Works perfectly in one-line text boxes and in full pages. It's not super fast, but it is the only way that works in all iPad apps. A few apps provide cursor keys -- Nebulous Notes, for instance -- but otherwise it's the magnifying glass and dragging. – Matthew Frederick May 25 '11 at 8:35
  • Yep, this is almost exactly what I was looking for (although a 'Home' equivalent would be best for long single-line boxes. Thanks. Easy when you know how :) – Andrew Ferrier May 26 '11 at 17:33

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