Tapping and Holding Buttons and Icons on Your iPhone

Part of the iPhone All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

On your iPhone, if you want to open an app, fill in a text field, or choose a command such as Print or Message, you tap the appropriate icon, field, or button. Tap a phone number and iPhone asks if you want to call the number, tap a URL and Safari launches to open the web page, or tap a date or time and a menu offers to create an event or show the date or time in Calendar.

The tap and hold gesture opens another world of commands on your iPhone:

  • Image: Tap and hold an image to see the Save Image or Copy buttons. Tap one of those options to perform that function.

  • Text: Tap and hold text to see editing buttons such as Copy, Define, Select, or Select All. Tap one of the buttons to perform the function.

  • Phone Number: A menu of options opens that includes Call (the number) along with Send Message (to the number), Add (the number) to Contacts, or Copy.

  • Any icon on the Home screen: Tap and hold these icons until they begin to wiggle and jiggle. Then tap the X in the corner to delete the app from your iPhone or tap and drag them to a new position.

  • Links in Safari: Tap and hold a link on a web page in Safari and then tap Add to Reading List to add the linked page to your Reading List without opening the link. Alternatively, tap Open to replace the page you're viewing or Open in New Tab to open the linked page in a new tab while maintaining the existing page open, or tap Copy or Save Image to perform those actions.

On the onscreen keyboard, rather than tap and hold, you tap and slide to do the following:

  • 123 key: Tap this key and without lifting it, slide your finger to the numeric digit or punctuation you want, and then let go. The number or punctuation is inserted in your text and the keyboard returns to letters, which saves you from having to tap the 123 key, tap the number you want, and then tap the 123 key again to return the keyboard to letters.

  • "Dot" (.) key: Not to be confused with the period, this key appears to the left of the Go or Return key when the cursor is in an email address field or a browser's URL field. Tap and hold when typing an email or web address to open a contextual menu with other domain suffixes, such as .com, .net, . org, or .eu. Slide your finger to the domain suffix you want to use and then lift your finger.

  • Letters and symbols: Tap and hold to reveal a contextual menu of accented letters or symbols. For example, tap and hold the S on the keyboard to see options for ß, ś, and š. Slide your finger to the letter or symbol you want to use; then lift your finger to insert it in the text you're typing.

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