Assuming a healthy phone, what is the normal procedure for cutting and pasting from editable text fields on Android?

On my iPhone this pops up after selecting text, but I cannot even select the text on Android. The whole process is so intuitive on iOS I cannot even remember how I do it, it just happens naturally. On Android I can't work it out!

I'm mostly interested in version 4.2.2 and the multi-line plain text input used on the Wordpress app, though I have equal trouble with Notes and Chrome's address bar.

I want to occasionally move sentences around within a chunk of text, without duplicating them (so Copy is of limited interest, though I note it is equally difficult).

I have a Sony XPeria Z1.

NOTE: this question is about cutting, not copying. Thanks.

  • 1
    On Android, it's normally almost the exact same process as iOS. Long-press the text. drag the end-points, then click the Copy/Cut options. The only difference between Android and iOS is that on Android, the Copy/Cut buttons are on the top of the screen. Although it's possible that Samsung/Whoever has made the process different on their phones. Could you please edit your question and add information about which phone you have?
    – dotVezz
    Dec 9, 2013 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


According to Sony, on their phones you double tap a word and some draggable gadgets will appear. Cut, copy etc appear at the top edge.

  • 2
    Wow. Changing from the OS standard long-tap to double-tap just makes things harder for no apparent reason. Good work, Sony.
    – Dan Hulme
    Dec 9, 2013 at 13:06
  • 1
    Worse, they left the standard in place half the time. For Chrome (and probably others) both standards on one screen. Dec 9, 2013 at 15:57

Android 4.2.2 already contains the advanced copy/cut/paste functions. Calling it up is intuitive too - just long press on a word, then use the field edge indicator gadgets to select the text you want to cut.

enter image description here

Then on top you will see some icons representing specific functions. There will be a copy one (Number 4 in the image above), a paste one (Number 5), and a cut icon too (Number 3).

Pasting works the same way, just long press where you want to paste, and press the button.

  • This answer is perfect, although "field edge indicator gadget" had me stumped for a moment. Is that the official name for the end-point things?
    – dotVezz
    Dec 9, 2013 at 12:59
  • 1
    @dotVezz No, they're called text selection handles.
    – Dan Hulme
    Dec 9, 2013 at 13:03
  • Thanks for the edit, yes, the official name evaded me a bit. Also, the image seems to be from a non-AOSP ROM - on AOSP the icons are a bit different, and cut has definitely no scissor icon (on my phone, running CM10.2 it is as I described before).
    – fonix232
    Dec 9, 2013 at 14:39
  • 1
    The image is from the Sony website linked in Mr Gibbs's answer.
    – Dan Hulme
    Dec 9, 2013 at 16:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .