Selecting Text in iOS 9: new rotor command

Featured Image: 
Pages homework document with words selected.

When using VoiceOver on an iOS device, selecting text has been a chunky process in the past; however, there is a new way to select text in iOS 9!  Simply add Text Selection to your rotor settings; go to Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Rotor and check "Text Selection".  

Now, go into a document, email, or Internet article.  Place your cursor to the left of the first character that you want to select.  Turn the rotor, stopping on Text Selection.  (Rotor gesture: with two fingers on the screen, twist as if you were turning a dial; Bluetooth keyboard rotor command: up + right arrow; braille display rotor command: 5+6+space.)  Once the rotor is on Text Selection, use one finger swipe down to choose how much text will be selected.  The options are: character selection, word selection, line selection, page selection or select all.  Next, use a right swipe to select or a left swipe to deselect.  Example:  If you used the down swipe to select by words, a right swipe will select one word at a time.   Right swipe will again will select the next word, etc.  If you used the down swipe to select by lines, a right swipe will select the entire line.

Once the text is selected, you can copy or cut by:

  1. Turn the rotor to Edit then a one finger swipe down will go through the options of copy or cut.  Additional options may be available depending on which app you are in.  Example:  If you are in a Pages document and have selected text, when the rotor is set to Edit, you now have the options of style, copy, comment, cut, paste, select all, delete and highlight.
  2. Use the Bluetooth keyboard command to copy (cmd + C) or cut (cmd X).
  3. Use the refreshable braille display command to copy (C Chord) or cut (X Chord).



Posted by Diane BraunerAug 10, 2016

FaceBook currently does not support the Text Selection and Edit rotor options.  You can still copy FB articles:

Place your VO cursor on the desired text. 1 finger, double tap and hold; this usually opens to the group's FB page.  Double tap and hold again to select the text.  You will hear the two tone VO hint that tells you that the text has been selected.  Just above the selected text a popup menu will appear with the options Copy and Speak.  Unfortunately, swiping right or left currently will not find this popup, so you need to drag your finger around above the text to find Copy.  Move the VO cursor to the Copy option.  Then, double tap.  This will copy the highlighted text.

With most websites, the rotor option Text Selection and Edit are available. These rotor options are not currently available on FB.

Normally, using VO+C will copy, VO+V will paste, VO+X will cut, VO+A will select all.  However, this does not seem to work on FB.