Swipe on the iOS Copy/Paste menu to see hidden extra actions

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Instead of tapping those arrows, you should swipe the whole menu.
Instead of tapping those arrows, you should swipe the whole menu.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Are you still tapping the little arrows to scroll through the sections on your iPhone’s tiny copy/paste menu? Forget about that nonsense. This is 2018, the year of living dangerously, so may as well join in with the world. Did you know that you can just swipe that menu? You’ll never have to tap a tiny arrow ever again.

How to swipe the little copy paste menu

Don't' do it!
Don’t’ do it!
Photo: Cult of Mac

To be honest, a how-to is probably overkill for something so easy, but WordPress expects 300 words, so it’s going to get 300 words. And a GIF, and at least two images. Here’s the GIF, which will make my explanation even more redundant:

copy paste swipe

Whenever you select a word or words in iOS, you get a black bubble popover that gives you various options, depending on what you have selected. If you’re in a text-editing field, then you can cut, copy, paste, and replace text, but you can also tap the little arrows to get further options. For instance, you can look up the words in Siri’s cool lookup feature, you can often add bold or italic styling to a word or words, and you can share the selected words with other apps.

It’s not just text that can be manipulated this way, either. If you have selected a file in your Dropbox, inside the Files app, then you can swipe to reveal some extra Dropbox-only actions: Copy Link, and Open in Dropbox.

Swiping the Dropbox menu brings up these sharing options.
Swiping the Dropbox menu brings up these sharing options.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The obvious way to get to these extra sections of the menu is to tap the little arrows at either end of the bubble, but you don’t have to use those. You can just swipe the menu instead, in either direction. It’s quicker, and it’s definitely easier, because you don’t have to aim at such a tiny target.

I was amazed when I found this out. iOS has gone from being an operating system with no copy and paste whatsoever, to being so packed with features that they’re hiding everywhere, in plain sight. Which is great news, because discovering them and writing about them is exactly what keep me in a job.