iOS 13. iPhone X. Safari, working in text boxes such as on StackExchange.

Happens all the time where I miss a space bar and wind up with 2 words glued together. I don’t use Simple English, so iOS auto-suggest usually fails to see it as 2 words.

Somehow I dodge the bullet of AutoCorrect changing it.

But now, I need to place the cursor in the middle of the mystery word, so I can add a space bar. IOS can’t relate. It wants me to either change it to a different word altogether, or stubbornly selects the whole word.

I can drag the handles to the middle to where it selects 1-3 characters, sacrifice those, and retype them. That sucks.

I want to know the right way to place the cursor mid-word.

3 Answers 3


You can use Trackpad mode.

Long-press the Space bar, than slide your finger on the keyboard to position the cursor.

Demo of cursor movement

  • 1
    Does this need 3D touch? I'm sure I used to do this on my old (1st gen) iPhone SE, which didn't have 3D touch.
    – Chris H
    Sep 18, 2020 at 11:00
  • 2
    Doesn’t need to be a long press on the spacebar; anywhere on the keyboard should do the trick afaik.
    – Jan
    Sep 18, 2020 at 11:04
  • 1
    @Chris You’re right, edited answer
    – grg
    Sep 18, 2020 at 11:05
  • @Jan on my iPhone SE it only works using the space bar. Indeed on other iPhone models it works without.
    – MendelG
    Sep 18, 2020 at 19:56

The only way I manage this is to tap away from the word and then move the cursor by dragging it with my finger as close as I can get.

Like you though, I often sacrifice at least one character and on my iPad Pro often two or three AND have an issue with the shift key randomly selecting itself!


Native touch gestures work best in native apps. Especially the touch and hold the space bar to change the cursor to text selection tool.

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  • Open pages or notes and do some typing and word selection.
  • Then come back here in the web browser and see that JavaScript and client/server delays and functions like saving drafts alters responsiveness and fluidity.

For me, the right answer is to write in a native app and paste here. As blazing fast iOS is, text fields in web pages can get laggy and clunky if you are adept at iOS input or use multitouch gestures effectively. Even well designed and optimized sites suffer from this. Yes, Safari is itself native, but the web takes and gives in equal measure with code added to what appears to be a simple text box. Even when you are close to the web server (2 to 12 ms latency), this lag is easily tested and reproduced. On slow internet with dropped packets, long delays to save a draft, even code running local in the browser and asynchronous saves can’t help ruining some text input experiences in web browsers.

And poorly designed web pages can be downright frustratingly unworkable. Especially if they are user hostile logging each key press or just trying to scrape every detail, performance and privacy be damned. (e.g. the design isn’t to make you effective or happy but to serve other interests.)

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