How to Copy and Paste on the iPad

The copy and paste function was something that took a while to be ported over to the iOS, yet now it is a standard feature on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.  It is on the iPad, however, that it becomes even more critical because of the more extensive type of work and typing that often occurs on this type of tablet device.  With this you can copy and paste content from the Internet or text messages, send them in emails or iMessages, and a host of other functions.  For newcomers, it may be difficult to figure out how to copy and paste on an iPad since they are just coming into the touch screen dichotomy and how to interact with content.  Here is a step by step guide on how to copy and paste on the iPad.

The main thing you have to do when first trying to copy and paste is to identify what can be copied and what cannot.  Items in iMessages can be easily copied, as well as text from the internet on websites.  There is not a hard and fast rule for what cannot be copied, but generally it is text that cannot be identified as being separate.  So if the text is part of an image as a whole it can not be highlighted and identified as separate, and this is similar to how it works on a home computer.  This can create problems when trying to copy text from PDFs and other things, though this is not necessarily a hard and fast rule.

To start figuring out how to copy and paste on an iPad you will press down on the text you are looking for, just as if you were clicking on a mouse.  If you just press and hold in the same place for a moment you will get a few options, such as Select, Select All, and Paste.  If you choose Select All you will highlight all the text in a given field, which will let you later Paste it in its entirety.  If you have already selected and copied a text field you will just do the simple press and hold to get the Paste option, which you will select to place the copied text in a given location.

If you want to highlight the text, which allows you to control the text you copy, you will just press and then drag over the text.  Once the text is highlighted, either through a drag and highlight or the Select All you can press on it and be given the Cut, Copy, and Paste options.  You can just select Copy for a simple copy of the text, or Cut if the text actually has the ability to be removed from a field.  If the text is built in, such as on a website, then you will not be able to simply Cut it away.  You can also Paste text that has already been Copied or Cut here.  Once you Copy something you can continue to keep it loaded for a Paste as long as you do not Copy an additional text field.


The process of using the Copy and Paste function on the iPad is difficult to get the hang of at first, but after you use it for quite a while you can begin to integrate it into regular typing and iPad usage.  Once it has become a normal part of using your iPad it can actually speed up many of your tasks.

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