I would like to edit some text on my way home, however I found that in Android there is no way to simply select some text to delete or change it. You have to first locate the cursor or long press the screen to enable selection, then drag the cursor for selection. This is quite inconvenient.

I tried Jota Text Editor, 920 Editor, Note Everything and Evernote - no one offers a simple method to select text directly.

Is there any way to do this?

  • What is the version of your device?
    – Narayanan
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:10
  • I'm using Samsung P1000 with Android 2.3.3
    – Deqing
    Jul 26, 2012 at 8:15

3 Answers 3


The feature of selection of text is a topping added by phone manufacturers. For an instance, in my LG Optimus One (P500) which was running 2.2.2 did not have any text selection feature. As you had said, I have to manually move the caret to a favourable position to erase a text. However during an update to 2.3.3, the manufacturer had enabled me to select a text by double tap (and in some places, a single tap or long press is required).

When I was discussing this with my friend who had Samsung Galaxy Ace running 2.2.2, I was surprised to know that the feature I got in 2.3.3 was already available in his phone.

I guess with Android 3.0 onwards, this has been baked in as standard feature.


As we deal with touch screens, which allow for a bunch of gestures: it would be hard for the system to decide whether you want to select text, just move the "pointer" (e.g. to insert text), move the word under your finger to a different position, scroll, or switch to a different screen... Think of your desktop and moving the mouse, which also wouldn't select anything -- unless you click and hold the button while moving.

So usually, selecting text is done the way you described: Long-Press (or double-tap, or single-tap -- may depend on the app used) on the word you want to start marking, then move the markers to include the text you want to select.

  • If you had tried on Palm OS you will find selecting text with touch screen is fairly easy. A simple scroll bar (or even a scroll handle) is enough for app to decide whether you are selecting or scrolling screen. Actually the screen of old Treo 650 phone is quite small, but it can still be able to show the scroll bar.
    – Deqing
    Jul 26, 2012 at 8:13
  • I had a Palm for years (first m505, later T5), so I know what you mean. But other than with PalmOS, on Android you can tap-and-move anywhere to move the screen around (horizontally as well as vertically), which conflicts with that concept.
    – Izzy
    Jul 26, 2012 at 9:30

In addition to Android's built-in features, it's possible for apps to change the way you copy text. One popular app for this is Copy Text, which lets you select and copy text that is normally not selectable. If you want to copy text in different ways, browsing the Play Store to see what's available is a good idea.

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