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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone iOS devices
I haven't seen this documented anywhere, but I discovered that you can select an entire paragraph of text by quadruple-tapping on it when entering text in the iPhone. For instance, when replying to an email, you can quadruple-tap on paragraphs in the quoted reply, then cut them.

You have to do it pretty quickly, and take care not to move your finger too much between taps. Try it a few times, though, and you'll get the hang of it. And yes, I know it might sound weird, but I actually find it quite useful sometimes.

[robg adds: This works, and isn't covered in the iPhone user's guide.]
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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Four taps?
Authored by: pete on Mar 16, '10 08:06:45AM

I tap three times, not so quickly, and the paragraph is selected. Four times unselects the paragraph, with the extra tap.

Very cool...



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Four taps?
Authored by: tomaira on Mar 17, '10 06:11:31AM

Yes, I've also experienced situations where three taps do the trick, but now when I was fiddling around before submitting this hint I could not reproduce it. Perhaps there are some bugs/inconsistencies in Apple's implementation.

Can you give an example of when triple-tap is enough? Currently four taps seems to be required in all situations I've tried (Mail, Facebook, Calendar, SMS, Things) regardless of tapping speed, but like I said: I know that I've also managed with three taps sometimes.

I'm on a jailbroken iPhone with firmware 3.1.2 by the way, don't know if it's a firmware issue.



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Four taps?
Authored by: pete on Mar 17, '10 05:05:21PM

Must be your jail-broken phone. All apps have the same triple-tap ability to select the paragraph.



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Four taps?
Authored by: tomaira on Mar 18, '10 02:25:19AM

That might very well be true, because I discovered the paragraph selection trick quite some time ago and there was also a period quite some time ago when I was running original firmware and didn't bother with jailbreaking. So it seems probable, although a bit strange that jailbreaking would affect something like that. :-)



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: MJCube on Mar 16, '10 11:33:59AM

Excellent! A much quicker and easier way to delete unnecessary quotations in e-mail replies (which I wish more people would do).



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: Anndra on Mar 16, '10 11:53:08AM

If you find yourself doing this a lot, you're probably under light hypnotic suggestion by THE MASTER! http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Master

Edited on Mar 16, '10 11:53:48AM by Anndra



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: sinX80 on Mar 17, '10 04:45:10PM

OMG!! The Time Lords are returning!!! Aaaaahhhhhh



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: lokon1979 on Mar 17, '10 07:26:23AM

Now this is what I call a hint! Thank you!



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: michaelkiaer on Mar 17, '10 11:58:04AM

Even easier: A single-tap with two fingers on a paragraph selects it.



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: pete on Mar 17, '10 05:04:34PM

Are you on a jail-broken phone also?

I'm not, but when I tap with two fingers, I text between the two fingers is selected!


In Documents To Go, a two-finger single-tap results in the doc being un-zoomed.



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: tomaira on Mar 18, '10 02:34:50AM

Interesting stuff! When I try this is Notes, the behaviour is like this:

a) When the keyboard is up and I'm so to speak in "edit mode" of a note:
- Tapping with two fingers selects the entire paragraph
- Tapping and HOLDING with two fingers selects the text between the fingers

b) When I've just opened a note (keyboard is not up):
- Both tapping with two fingers and tapping and holding behaves the same way - the text between the fingers

c) When I've opened a note, brought up the keyboard and then hid it again by tapping Done:
- Behaviour is the same as in a) above, i.e. it is still possible to select a paragraph with a quick two-finger tap.

Odd enough!



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: soundsgoodtome on Mar 18, '10 05:39:55AM
i just wish this worked on non-user-input text, such as text in mobile safari or incoming email messages, etc. in all of those cases, while it's possible to select text in the usual ways, the method in this hint doesn't work.

ironically, it's far more common that i need to copy someone else's paragraph -- not one of my own.

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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: Anonymous on Mar 18, '10 08:51:35AM

I've been doing this on Mac OS X since before the iPhone was released. What's new, aside from the smaller hardware and crippled OS?



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: asmeurer on Mar 18, '10 08:19:05PM

Um, do you even have an iPhone/iPod touch? The selection mechanism is completely different from the one on a computer.



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Select entire paragraphs while editing text on the iPhone
Authored by: jimk on Mar 20, '10 08:44:39AM

I agree whole-heartedly with: "Authored by: soundsgoodtome on Thu, Mar 18 2010 at 5:39AM PDT
i just wish this worked on non-user-input text, such as text in mobile safari or incoming email messages, etc. in all of those cases, while it's possible to select text in the usual ways, the method in this hint doesn't work.

ironically, it's far more common that i need to copy someone else's paragraph -- not one of my own."

Additionally, I've found that, if I do it carefully in just the right place (bottom of screen, somewhere around the bottom of the text/top of the bar, and to the left of center) and hold it longer than just a tap, it "selects all."



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