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This secret iPhone trick lets you turn your keyboard into a mouse cursor, and you'll love it

Todd Haselton
There's a trick in iOS for iPhones and iPads that lets you hold the keyboard space bar to turn your keyboard into a cursor, which makes it easier to edit typos and move around big blocks of text. Here's how to use it.

There's an Apple iPhone trick that people started talking about recently, and it's really useful for editing blocks of text after you begin typing.

Normally, if you're writing a long text message, entering a URL in a browser or typing out text in an email, you'd have to double tap an area of text and hold down to move your cursor to an area of text that you might want to edit. You're probably familiar with this tool, which brings up a tiny magnifying glass on the screen.

Now there's an easier way, and it allows you to move the cursor around a block of text like you would with a mouse. This is particularly useful since iPhones and iPads don't have a mouse at all.

To use it:

  • Start writing text in any app, whether it's Gmail, iMessage, Microsoft Word or anything else.
  • Hold down the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad.
  • The letters on your keyboard will vanish, and it'll turn into one large mouse-pad like mechanism, which lets you move your cursor all around a block of text.

It looks like this:


I've been using it since my editor pointed it out to me this morning, and it already seems like a much better way to hone in on a specific part of a document I want to edit. It's much easier than trying to accurately double tap to get the cursor between a couple of words, right where you want to fix a typo or make an edit.

If you want more iOS 12 tips and tricks, check out the video below.


Correction: This post originally said the feature may have been introduced in a previous version of iOS. It was introduced in iOS 12.