Copying and Pasting AlphaNumeric sequences

iOS & iPadOS

Sometimes, I get email or messages with alphanumeric sequences I need to act upon. I find this cumbersome, and am looking for more efficient ways of performing the task.

For example, we were driving home and my husband asked me to text our arrival to one of his friends. He had messaged me the friend's number before we had started driving. I pulled up the text, but couldn't select the number nor simply double-tap on it to create a new text to that friend. I had to repeat the number to myself over and over, ccreate a new text, then try to go back to the original text to see if I got the number correctly. It's easy to text people in your contacts, but if someone texts you a number, isn't there an easier way to simply send a text back to that number?

For another example, I was using an app's identity verification, and the site emailed me a long alphanumeric string I had to type in to an app to activate it. If this was an email I was composing, it would have been easy to select that string, but I couldn't figure out how to select it in a read only field. I wanted to paste it in to the edid box in the app, and ended up switching tasks multiple times and trying to memorize the random sequence three or four characters at a time. It was very frustrating.

For another example, my husband emailed me a long reservation confirmation number I had to read over the phone, again while we were driving. Before we left, I had used Microsoft Exchange's sync feature to insure his entire email was in the iOS notes app just so I had it in two places. But when it came time to read the number, his email showed up in the notes all on one line, with the important code deep within the paragraph. The code showed on a separate line in his email, but VO kept saying it was a phone number and trying to call it when I touched it. I was trying to do this all on a bumpy rode, and it was hard to look up the info wwhile on a call.

For my last example, I keep a text file in my dropbox with low-security information like serial numbers, social networking logins and various user names. One section of the file contains all the bar codes on my library cards. When I have to enter one of these codes, like a library card bar code, in to a website, it seems like I should easily be able to select that line of text and paste it. That's two keystrokes in Windows. But on my phone, looking at the file in the DropBox viewer, the text selection features seem to be missing from the rotor. So how do I perform this task? Would it be easier to keep files with alphanumeric sequences I need to paste in to other places in a different cloud storage? Does Google Drive or One-Drive's viewer work better for this task?

iOS makes it so easy to get directions, create an appointment, send an email, send a text or make a phone call when it recognizes a phone number, address or date on some screens. But other times it seems like a giant struggle to perform a needed action on an alphanumeric sequence. What are others' thoughts, how can I be more effective?



Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Saturday, July 23, 2016

Struggle no more!

I'm not sure if anyone has ever told u about this but there's a nifty little trick in VoiceOver called the roter. It's like the old-fashioned rotery phones with the dial. What you do is just place your 2 fingers on the screen & turn it as if you r turning a dial. It'll say different settings or actions souch as speech rate & edit which is what u want. Turn it until u hear charicters. Then u can turn it again until u get 2 edit function once u r @ the beginning of your line of numbers. In the edit menu if u swipe down you'll hear select, copy, paste & select all.

I'm a noobie @ this but I'm slowly figuring it out. The roter is 1 of those things I had 2 figure out mostly by myself. I hope this helps you.

Submitted by Brian Tew on Saturday, July 23, 2016

I would try something like this:
1. put your rotor on "words"
find the string you want by moving your pinky on the screen.
3. when voiceover reads it, tap 4 times rapidly on the screen with 3 fingers

This will copy the last item spoken by voiceover to your clipboard.

Now to paste it where it needs to go:

1. get into the proper place
2. move your rotor to edit
3. swipe up untip it says paste
4. double-tal

I use linux and keyboards for anything complicated, but I think this will work.

Submitted by a woman on Saturday, July 23, 2016

Since no one else has suggested this, I have something to add also.

Of course, the 'copying the last thing spoken by VoiceOver' also works. But to do that, you have to find the text you want to copy first, and I have found that extremely cumbersome - I'm just not very successful with it :-) .

I know it's ridiculous, but I haven't found any faster way to do this.
When I get an email with a phone number, I double-tap the number, then I get the option to call. I double-tap „Call“ but then immediately hang up before there's any signal. (And just to be sure it's 'risk-free', I have just tested this with my landline.) If you hang up immediately after you've double-tapped the Call button, no actual call will be made. But the number will still show up in the phone app as if you had called it, so you can then copy it, create a new contact, send a text and so on.

When I get an email with a serial number or something that VoiceOver recognises as a 'phone number', I use the same 'trick': just double-tap and call that number (to keep this 'risk-free', I still hang up immediately).

When I want to copy text other than a number from a read only field of an email I received, I think the fastest way is to 'reply' to that email. Then the text of the original email will be in a text field, from where I can quickly find the text I want to copy. Then I double-tap „Cancel.“, so no 'risks' there.

That's what I can suggest.
I hope it's somewhat useful.

And if someone has found an actual work around... Please share your knowledge :-) .