Learn how to interact with text on your Android device

On a touchscreen device, the way we enter text to type a message or enter some information is by using a touchscreen keyboard, the keyboard activates and displays onscreen whenever you tap into a textbox or other text field. You may have already done this before if you setup your Android device but we’ll cover some of the basics of using the onscreen keyboard and interacting with text.

For demonstration, we are using the google search bar from the home screen, most Android devices will come with a Google search bar or button on the home screen.

The following is a diagram of all the basic features on the touch keyboard.

Quick selecting numbers and symbols

On most devices when you’re looking at the letters on the keyboard there is often numbers or symbols above the letters, these are there to provide quick access to them. To access a number or symbol instead of just tapping a letter, tap and hold, you should see a popup as pictured below. Sometimes there can be more than one symbol in this menu and you can drag your finger to select the one you want.

Selecting, copying, and pasting text

You can select text by tapping and holding on a word until you see the text turn blue and two blue markers pop up, this indicates that the text is selected. The first blue marker indicates the start of the selection and the last marker indicates the end of the selection.

If you want to select more than one word of text then you can drag either marker to select more text, alternatively, you can tap the “Select All” option that pops up to select all the text.

After copying the text you can paste text by tapping and holding in a text field until you see a paste option pop up, once you see the option you can tap paste and the text will be inserted.

Inserting Symbols

There are quite a number of symbols available for use and they are scattered across three separate screens, the following graphic will help in understanding the flow between the different screens and the different symbols that are available.

Inserting emoji

Emoji are little icons that effectively show emotion in messages, sometimes it can be hard to send an emotion as text, this is something emoji solves by sending little icons to help illustrate the message you are sending. To access emoji tap on the smiley face icon.

The following image shows you the emoji selection screen, there are hundreds to choose from with a number of different categories to help you find them.


Thumbnail created by LukeTeachesTech