Three basic questions about texting

I am an experienced VO user, but there are three things about texting that I just don't understand. The problem is that most of my friends are older and don't text, so when I do text someone I am out of practice.

If I compose a message, below the "To" field there is an "add contact" button. If I double-tap on it I'm in my contacts. But when I doubletap on one of them I get the regular contacts screen, and if I double-tap on the number of that contact, I'm now calling that person. How do I actually insert that contact in to my text?

Then, I sometimes am stuck in the "To" field. If I partly enter a contact's name, and a suggestion appears, I can double-tap on it and it gets filled in to the "To" field. But all that's on my screen besides the suggestions is the onscreen keyboard and I can't figure out how to get to the field for the message body.

The last problem I have is when a conversation is ongoing. If I originate the text, then I have a field for adding an attachment. But if the conversation continues, I am in a text field where I can type, or I can double-tap a button to "record audio". But there's no button to add an attachment. Usually someone wants my contact card or some other attachment and I can't figure out how to add one.

This is also a problem if I have a file and choose share, then choose to text the file. I get a To field where I can add a contact, but I'm stuck in the To field, and can't tell if it actually got added, and I can't get to the message body because the keyboard takes up most of the screen. If I try to share the file with someone where there's an ongoing conversation, I have the problem I mentioned above; I'm teleported to the ongoing text conversation and can't figure out how to add the file.

It seems like texting was way more straightforward in the days of iOS 5 and 6 but now with iOS 10 I'm lost. Is there a guide or something on this site that explains how it works?

Thanks for the help.

P.S. I'd happily pay someone a reasonable fee for an hour of their time to show me what I'm doing wrong, if you don't mind paypal.

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#1 message

What I do I go to compose and type the first letter of the name and go to contact and slide until I see who I want and tap on it. Also you can ask Siri to message someone.

#2 None of these things happen to me

I tried all the things you describe and did not have the same results. After the to field is filled in, the enter text area is about halfway down the screen, just above the keyboard. There are three icons in a row to the left of where text is entered. The first one is attach media. Its there if its a newly composed message and if its an ongoing conversation. Also I tried using the add contact button, and as you said my contacts app is launched. When I select a contact then double tap the phone number the number goes into the to field of the text message, no dialing occurs. I'm using the native imessage app on an iPhone 5 with current version of ios.

#3 ...

previous post was correct.
1) tap on the number in a contact should not cause the phone to dial the number, but you can make sure by using the "message" icon. just above the number, there are at least 3 icons: call, message and mail. if you have more apps integrated with callkit, you'll have more icons. if the contact has multiple numbers and email, tapping on the message icon will prompt you to choose which number or email to use.
2) when to contact is filled in, the cursor stays in the contact entry field, but below that there is the text entry field, explore and look for it.
3) when you say "on going conversation", i believe you mean the cursor is already on the text entry field. in this case, the text field is expended, so the attachment icon is hidden. left to the text entry field, there is a "show more" icon, tap on it to bring upthe attachment option.

#4 Some of this works

Yes, the "show more" is indeed there and works as you describe.

But when I'm in the "to" field, all that's on my screen is a list of contact suggestions -- after I've typed a few letters, and the keyboard. I tried three-finger scrolling but nothing new appears. The text body isn't there and I can't figure how to make the contact suggestions disappear so I can get to it.

I have an iPHONE 5C and I wonder if this is some weirdness with the newest iOS and that particular phone.

Also, if I press "add contact" and the contacts app appears and my next step is to pick a contact and select message, I am now composing a new message to that contact. That indeed works, but the original message I was trying to create (with the attachment I picked by choosing share) is gone.

I'm beginning to think this is some weirdness with the 5C with 16G and I'll be buying a new phone in a few weeks so maybe I will stop worrying about it.

I wonder if I need Apple care to visit a genius bar and get help with this if it still happens on my new phone. I didn't plan to buy Apple care.

I think I need to actually show the problem to someone.

#5 ...

"But when I'm in the "to" field, all that's on my screen is a list of contact suggestions"

because you didn't pick any of the suggestions? after typing in a few letters, you need to tap on one of the suggestions.

and if you select share, select sharing method, in this case message, and add the contact, the attachment will show up. if you have an older device, it might take a few seconds, so if you check immediately, you'll see nothing there, but it will sho up a few seconds later. and if you don't need to enter more text, you can go ahead and hit send, no need to wait for the attachment to show up, the attachment should go out just fine.