Often when I'm editing in a text box, I'm trying to insert text and specific location or delete text from a specific location. It usually takes me a few touches to get it right, but sometimes I just say screw it, delete the word and and retype.

Since I'm usually off by just one character, is there a way to move the caret to left or right by 1 character? Maybe a gesture of some sort?

I'm a little unsure if this falls under keyboard software functions(If it does then I'll take a closer look @ the alternative keyboard questions).

My device is a Droid which does have a hard keyboard, but I want to be prepared for the day I decide to get phone that doesn't have one.

6 Answers 6


In Froyo and later, there is a "cursor handle" that you can grab and drag to the right location.

cursor handle

Now this photo doesnt show it, but the actual cursor is still there blinking too. that handle will also bring up a quick action menu to select text or paste. and once text is selected, you can copy and cut too.

  • I'm quite sure that the text handle is added in Gingerbread, since my Froyo does not have the handle
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 13:06
  • That looks exactly what I'm looking for. I have Froyo, but i don't have that cursor handle. How do I enable it? Or does is it not available when a hard keyboard is available to the device? Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 13:09
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    oh, well maybe its part of TouchWiz then, or a "hack" added to my Rom... because I have it in my TouchWiz froyo Rom... i just assumed that it was part of froyo already... Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 13:18
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    I am running Froyo on my Galaxy S and the cursor handle is there too.
    – Edelcom
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 13:41
  • Motoblur has something like this. A long press and hold in a text field will bring up a small, magnified view of the cursor and text, allowing you to move it around the field freely.
    – shambleh
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 13:51

This depends on the phone you're using, on my Spica, for example, I can use the directional keypad to adjust the position of the cursor. On phones that have trackballs, the trackball does the same job.

Otherwise, the backspace key can be used as a workaround for left-arrow key (delete a few chars, then retype the word you're inserting and retype the deleted chars.

Another alternative, if you're typing in English or in one of the supported languages, you can try Swype. Swype is a word-based text input (as opposed to character based), and you typically delete or swipe one word at a time and the correction mode (double tap on the word you want to correct and pick or swipe the new word) make correcting errors a breeze.

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    I use the optical trackball on my HTC Desire to adjust the cursor position.
    – Alastair
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 15:21
  • Alastair, that should be an answer! Thanks for the tip, I'm using the Desire as well and didn't know about this.
    – jhwist
    Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 12:38

Providing this as an answer for those who don't want to install a custom ROM and want something close to the stock soft keyboard.

I installed Anysoft Keyboard (found it on this question). The android market doesn't have the current screenshots, but here's one that shows the small left/right arrows at the top of the keyboard: enter image description here


The Samsung keyboard and the Swype keyboard have arrow keys you can use for this; see this question.

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    ...as does the HTC Touch Input keyboard on my Desire HD.
    – Matt H
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:18
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    I did try Swype for a while and I love the idea,but I couldn't adjust to it. Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 10:32

As of 2017 and since 2016, in Gboard (previously known as Google Keyboard), you can swipe along the space-bar to navigate text and move the cursor.

Source (CNET)


MultiLing keyboard has arrow keys in there somewhere.

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