Any tricks for selecting text? The cursor moves too fast for any precision

I do ALOT of cutting/copying and pasting, and so far, selecting blocks of text has been a nightmare. Being able to select the text I want without under or overshooting is near impossible. I’ve never experienced this problem with other software. This could actually end up being a deal killer for me unless I find there’s some sort of trick to doing this that I’ve yet to figure out. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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I have this on virtually every app; my fairly severe essential tremor doesn’t help. So I use an external keyboard if I’m working with text on my iPad; I have a Logitech bluetooth keyboard which I bought very soon after I got my first iPad over 10 years ago. It’s brilliant, it works as a cover for transport and has a groove which functions as a stand, though when I’m at home I use an IKEA stand so the screen is further away from the keyboard itself.



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That is certainly unusual behavior for an iOS device. Clipboard features surely controlled by iOS and not Scrivener.

Perhaps first step is to re-start the device (power-off/on). Then if that does not resolve it confirm you have an up-to-date iOS version. If not, upgrade. Last might be to get (if available) advice from Apple Support.

And @xiamenese advice to use an external keyboard is good. I normally use Scrivener with a foldable Microsoft keyboard. Works well and portable.

I experience the same with iOS Scriv. As there are occasionally similar threads, apparently some folks have challenges with this and some do not --perhaps it’s device dependent.

As already mentioned, bluetooth keyboard would do the trick. You can also gain precision by using iOS Scriv’s Extended Keyboard Row. Here’s how mine is configured:

Use the left-most button to enable selection mode, then the various arrows to expand your selection.

Enable the Extended Keyboard Row via Settings > Scrivener > Editor > Keyboard Row.
Swipe the Extended Keyboard Row for 3 variations. Long press a button to configure it.



Hi. Apologies in advance if I have got the wrong end of the stick, but the attached screenshot may help.

I could not work the highlighting by using my finger. Someone helped me and showed me that I need to use the tools, which I show at the bottom of the screenshot.

This is on my iPhone 7, but I am guessing it will be similar elsewhere. I hope this helps.


I have the same problem on my iPad (8th generation). What works for me is to double-tap at the end of what I want to copy, and move the stylus backwards along the text until everything I want is highlighted. If I start at the beginning, the highlighting accelerates and an excessive amount of text gets highlighted in a split second.
It isn’t a perfect solution, but seems to give me better control. I hope this works for you as well.

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I think @Themis has the start of the most effective idea here.

But, in Scrivener at least, the trick is not to use the Stylus…

What works very smoothily is to use your finger – iPads like finger action, often.

  • double-tap a word in your desired selection
  • then, simply pull the end markers with your finger also, to where you want them

Doing this way, the action is smooth, and with much less tendency to run away. Also, you get on recent iPadOS versions a very nice magnifying glass showing just where your selection is ending up.

I note that different apps prefer different ways of making the initial word selection. Scrivener wants the finger double-tap, while others will use a long press with the finger.

The magnifying glass is also present when you just want to move a single cursor, and is particularly nice for that.

Enjoy – between this and the many keyboard methods, you’ll find something to like.

I often use the arrow keys in close situations, to move the cursor, or to select while moving by holding the Shift key while you arrow away.

Would mention for @xiamenese or anyone else with tremors or stiffness reducing control that we can get at any age, the Apple Magic Keyboard is the nicest by far I have ever used.


Thanks for the tip. I’ll bear it in mind if my little “Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover i5”

gives up the ghost!