Selecting text using Voiceover

iOS & iPadOS


Can anybody tell me how to best select text using Voiceover? I want to copy from a mail and paste it in an other document. I have an Iphone 5s. My problem is that I don't know how to see what's selected and how to select what I want.



Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

To select text using voiceover.
First switch the rotor to either words or characters.
Next move the voiceover cursor to the word or character you want to select.
Next do a reverse pinch.
That means instead of pinching you're fingers together spread them apart.

Submitted by Mister Kayne on Sunday, October 12, 2014

Have tried it many times but it always difficult to select text

Submitted by Johndoe168 on Thursday, December 29, 2016

In reply to by Mister Kayne

Work for me.
position yourself to the first word you want to select then slowly move your finger apart, words are added to the selection. Once you reach the edge of the screen, take off your finger, reposition them in the middle of the screen and continue doing the reverse pinch.

If not, there is a "text selection" tool in the rotor. you might need to add it under settings-->accessibility-->voice over-->rotor.
first, use the rotor and set it to word. then go to the word you wish to select. then use the rotor and set it to "Text Selection". then use swipe up and down to set how you want to select text (by word, character, line, etc). Then use swipe left and right to add and remove word from your selection.

Hope this helps

Submitted by Luke on Thursday, January 19, 2017

I will second the above comment about using the text selection rotor. It is an absolutely fantastic improvement over the previous selection method and if you aren't using it you should be.

The only problem with iOS is, the edit rotor option doesn't always appear. It is always available in text entry fields, but sometimes you want to copy static text from an app or webpage and you are kind of at the mercy of iOS whether or not it wants to let you use the edit rotor item. One thing I discovered about a year ago is, if you three finger quadruple tap it will copy the last spoken item into the clipboard. This has been a very useful trick in those situations where you don't get the text selection and edit rotor items.

Submitted by Kelsey Nicolay on Sunday, March 4, 2018

I just tried using the pinch gesture to select text. This is a difficult gesture to do. Even on an iPhone 8, it took multiple attempts to get the text selected. I found too that having my fingers spread all the way apart Horta my wrist. I’ll stick with the text selection option in the rotor. Yes it’s a bit more swiping to select text this way, but I’d rather do that than have my hand hurt from using the pinch gesture. I may not have done it right, but I’m glad we have the text selection option now.

Submitted by tripolice on Monday, March 5, 2018

Could there be some way to extend the selection? I move to a particular word, then switch to the edit rroater and then select the Select option. The particular word does get selected. But when I move to the next word the previous selection gets unselected. I wish I could seleft consecutive words without the neethe to select the entire text.

Submitted by Kelsey Nicolay on Saturday, February 23, 2019

Yes, the three finger quadruple tap is a very handy gesue. I use it quie a bit, especialy when I want to slect a hone number or email address but don’t want to go through the trouble of using text selection. When I need to slect onger texts, text slecton is my best friend.