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Cursor Movement in iOS Article

Tips on editing text using the onscreen keyboard for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and VoiceOver.

Cursor movement can be confusing,but here’s what you need to remember:

1) Practice on Notes. Don’t get frustrated trying to edit something important. Write some junk in the Notes app you can fool with. Practice the rotor under the VoiceOver practice. Don’t use it until you can easily rotor left or right first.

2) Remember that flicking left and right moves to the previous or next element onscreen. It’s never used to cursor in an edit field, because that field is considered all one element.

3) Rotor to characters to start cursor movement. Then flick left or right to get yourself in the edit field. Double-tap if it is necessary to activate it. You know it is activated if VO says “editing”.

4) Flick up or down to move left or right in an edit field. Up is left, down is right. Flicking right or left will take you out of the field!

5) Double-tap to toggle going to the very start or the very end of the edit field.

6) When you flick up, you move the cursor left. It’s like using arrow keys in a word processor; you are always positioned LEFT of the character read out loud. Flick left to insert text before a character.

7) When you flick down, you are moving the cursor right. But this is different from a word processor. Instead of being placed before the character that is voiced, you are always placed AFTER that character. That’s why it seems so confusing. The delete acts like a backspace, it deletes to the left of the cursor. There is no single gesture to delete to the right.

8) To delete a character to the right of the cursor, flick until you hear the character you want to delete. Then flick left to be on the previous character, and flick right again so you are again AFTER the character to zap. Remember, you can’t directly remove anything to the right of the cursor! You need to have your cursor positioned after the character and not before to delete it.

9) Deleting to the left of the cursor is easy. Just double-tap until VO says you are at the end of the field. Then flick up until you hear the character to delete. Then find and type delete.

10) Did I mention that you need to practice this! Don’t forget or you’ll just get frustrated!

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