Although your iPhone has a self-correcting keyboard that will fix many errors as you type, you will need to manually correct those errors that slip through. Being able to copy and paste text (or images) from one place on a computer to another has seemingly been a divine right since Moses, but getting to this Promised Land on the iPhone took a while.

Apple eventually added Copy and Paste (and Cut) — and, in its own inimitable way, brought pizzazz to this long-requested feature. Apple also has provided another helpful remedy for correcting errors: a Suggest pop-up option that appears when you double-tap a word. (A Define option is here, too.)

Here’s the pizzazz part. If you make a mistake while you’re cutting, pasting, suggesting, or typing, shake the iPhone. It undoes the last edit.


Magnify those errors.

A neat trick when manually correcting text is to hold your finger against the screen to bring up the magnifying glass shown. Use it to position the pointer to the spot where you need to make the correction.


Select a block of text to copy or cut.

Here’s how to exploit the copy-and-paste feature. Say you’re in the Notes app, jotting down ideas that you want to copy into an e-mail message. Double-tap a word to select it, and then drag the blue grab points or handles to select a larger block of text. (You can use the handles to contract selected text too.)

After you’ve selected the text, tap Copy. (If you want to delete the text block, tap Cut instead).


Paste the copied or cut text.

Now open the Mail program and start composing a message. When you decide where to insert the text you just copied, tap the cursor. Up pop commands to Select, Select All, and Paste. Tap Paste to paste the text into the message.


Use the Suggest feature to correct those typos.

Suppose that you notice a typo in what you’ve entered. For example, if you inadvertently typed their instead of there. By tapping Suggest, you can easily make a fix. Upon doing so, the iPhone serves up a few suggested replacement words. If the word you have in mind as a substitute is, um, there, tap it and the iPhone automatically makes the switch.

Another example: Say you inadvertently typed Freek. When you tap Suggest, the iPhone presents alternatives such as Greek, Freak, and Freed.

Meanwhile, if you want to know exactly what a word means, you can double-tap a word and choose the Define option instead. The first time you tap Define, you'll be presented with the option to download the dictionary.