How to Edit Text on the Nexus 7 Tablet - dummies

How to Edit Text on the Nexus 7 Tablet

You’ll probably do more text editing on your Nexus 7 tablet than you realize. That includes the basic stuff, such as spiffing up typos and adding a period here or there as well as complex editing involving cut, copy, and paste. The concepts are the same as you find on a computer — but without a keyboard and mouse, the process can be daunting.

How to move the cursor on the Nexus 7 tablet

The first part of editing text is to move the cursor to the right spot. The cursor is that blinking, vertical line where text appears. On most computing devices, you move the cursor by using a pointing device. The Nexus 7 has no pointing device, but you do: your finger.

To move the cursor, simply touch the spot on the text where you want to move the cursor. To help your precision, a cursor tab appears below the text, as shown in the margin. You can move that tab with your finger to move the cursor around in the text.


After you move the cursor, you can continue to type, use the Delete key to back up and erase, or paste in text that you copied from elsewhere. In fact, if text is ready to be pasted, the Paste button appears above the cursor tab. You use this button to paste in text.

How to select text on the Nexus 7 tablet

Selecting text on the Nexus 7 works just like selecting text in a word processor: You mark the start and end of a block. That chunk of text appears highlighted on the screen.

Text selection starts when you long-press or double-tap the text. Upon success, you find a single word selected. Further, you see the Text Selection toolbar appear.


Drag the start and end tabs around the touchscreen to expand and define the block of selected text. Or you can touch the Select All command at the top of the screen to mark all the text as a single block.

After you select the text, you can delete it by touching the Delete key on the onscreen keyboard. You can replace the text by typing something new. Or you can cut or copy the text.

  • To cancel text selection, just touch anywhere on the touchscreen outside the selected block.

  • Seeing the onscreen keyboard is a good indication that you can edit and select text. Even so:

How to select text from a web page on the Nexus 7 tablet

Grabbing a bit of text from a web page works similarly to selecting text elsewhere on your Nexus 7. The difference is that you must long-press the text to start the selection process. (Double-tapping a web page zooms in.) After long-pressing, you can drag the selection tabs to mark the block or use the Select All command on the Text Selection toolbar to select all text on the page.

On a web page, the Text Selection toolbar lacks the Cut command but instead supports two other commands: Share and web Search.

Choose the Share command to send the chunk o’ text to another app, send it in an e-mail message, or post it to a social networking site.

Choose the web Search command to perform a Google search on the selected text.

Touch the Done button on the far left end of the Text Selection toolbar to cancel the web page text selection.

How to cut, copy, and paste on the Nexus 7 tablet

Selected text is primed for cutting or copying, which works as it does in your favorite word processor. After you select the text, choose the proper command from the Text Selection toolbar: To copy the text, choose the Copy command. To cut the text, choose Cut.

Just like on your computer, cut or copied text on the Nexus 7 is stored in a clipboard. To paste any previously cut or copied text, move the cursor to the spot where you want the text pasted. The Paste command appears above the cursor tab, indicating that text can be pasted; touch the Paste button to paste in the text.

  • The Paste command can be used anywhere that text is input on the Nexus 7, such as in an e-mail message, a Twitter tweet, or any text field. Odds are good that if you can type, or whenever you see the onscreen keyboard, you can paste text.

  • If you don’t see the Paste button above selected text, you can use the Paste command on the Text Selection toolbar.

  • Pasted text replaces any selected text on the screen. If you want to paste in text but not replace text, move the start and end block tabs together and then choose the Paste command from the Text Selection toolbar.