20 April 2014

Windows Phone 8.1–moving your cursor. Don’t panic!

No code today, but a simple how-to. I was caught off-guard by this, a lot of people – including people who I concern to be power users, are pretty much confused by the way you move your cursor around in Windows Phone 8.1. It used to be

  • Long press text
  • Wait for a cursor to pop up above the text
  • Then swipe a little down and move the cursor to the place where you actually want it to be.

Help! Long press does not show the floating cursor anymore. Your cheese has been moved! Now what? Here’s my advice

Keep calm and tap twice

  • Tap a word. That will select it, and show the well-known selection handles – two dots that you can grab and move to increase or decrease the selection
  • Tap the word again. This will deselect it again, place the cursor in front of it, with a single dot-handle below it.
  • Now tap on that dot and move your finger around. The cursor will follow your finger – even up and down.

See below. Left - after one tap, right – after the second tap. I added the red arrow to indicate the dot that I mean


It’s displayed in your phone’s accent color – mine is currently set to lime green. I find that kind of fitting with spring, don’t you think? ;-). Once you are used to it, it’s really easy. Double-tap, move the cursor. No more long pressing and swiping down.

For those who rather see it explained on video: see below.

How to move your cursor.


peSHIr said...

Noticed that this is how it works now (more like Windows 8, like most things) and that works. Takes a bit if getting used to. I just don't like the fact that this now takes multiple taps where previously simply putting finger down, moving and releasing where enough to get edit cursor at the right spot in one go.

Unknown said...

FYI: These new instructions only work when using txt messaging or sending email via windows phone 8.1. They DO NOT work when using your windows 8.1 phone and typing in say, comment sections on websites.

Pher said...

Thanks a lot. It worked!
I really hate my Windows Phone and all their developers. I can't believe that I need study an article in the web for something so stupid like moving the cursor.