Copy & Paste

A powerful yet completely hidden feature is easy to use once you find it.

Those of us who have been using Android for many months and years may take it for granted, but the ability to copy and paste text on our phones isn't the most discoverable feature in the OS. Android has steadily marched away from "hidden" features behind long-press actions since Ice Cream Sandwich was released, but copy & paste is one of the last big features holding on.

Adding to some of the confusion are different apps and manufacturer software customizations that handle copy & paste differently, which certainly isn't helping new users. Hang tight after the break where we quickly break down using one of the more useful features of your Android phone or tablet.

Copy & Paste Copy & Paste

Although there are some small differences in implementation, the general process of using copy & paste is quite simple. Find the block of text that you'd like to copy, and do a long press on it. A menu will pop down from the top of the screen and you'll see small tabs and a highlight on the selected text appear as well. Drag the tabs to select the desired text you wish to copy, and look up to that new menu.

In the top bar, from left to right are options to select all text, copy selected text, share the selected text and perform a Google search on the selected text. The buttons aren't the most intuitive, but once you're used to what they do this copy & paste menu becomes quite useful. When you want to paste the text you copied, simply do another long press in a text field and select the "paste" option that pops up.

As we noted before, many of us are already pros with copy & paste and other basic functions on Android, but remember that many of us are also new to the platform. Use this opportunity (and guide) to show someone you know how to better take advantage of the copy & paste functions on their own Android, and they'll be on their way to power user status in no time.