Honeycomb Text Entry, Copy & Paste

June 25, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Getting to grips with your first tablet computer might prove to be challenging at first, but thanks to the excellent user interface provided in Honeycomb, you should find that you’re quick off the mark. Along with the basic gestures of swiping and tapping, Honeycomb also features an excellent on-screen keyboard that is both fast and responsive, allowing you to enter text just as you would with a standard hardware keyboard. The keyboard also comes with some useful settings that can be adjusted as to your personal requirements.

Editing text is also made easy with Honeycomb thanks to the easy to use copy and paste system, which allows you to copy a selection of text-based content from one app and paste it into another app; common uses might include phone numbers, for instance, which you might copy from an email into the contacts tool.

Honeycomb Text Entry, Copy & Paste

Launching and Using the Honeycomb Keyboard

By default, the keyboard in Android Honeycomb is hidden, and only appears when you tap into a text entry field, or open an editable document (such as an email). When it appears, the keyboard will be displayed as per your regional settings (you can check and alter this via Apps > Settings > Language & Input > Select Language), typically in QWERTY format for English speakers.

When you first view the keyboard, the letters will be in uppercase – this is to prepare for the beginning of a sentence, and they will automatically switch to lowercase as you begin to type; you could also tap the SHIFT key to switch case. If you’ve noticed the lack of numbers, don’t worry – while there is no numberpad there is a secondary keyboard (accessed with the ?123 button) which provides access to numbers and symbols. The choice of symbols can be increased via the More button, and you can return to the standard keyboard via the ABC key.

Typing might seem slightly unusual at first, but with the Sound on key-press option activated (via the Settings key below left-shift) you should quickly get the hang of it! Meanwhile, if you have any need to hide the keyboard, you can do this via the down arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen; this replaces the Back button when the keyboard is active.

Using Copy and Paste in Android Honeycomb

No mobile productivity and web browsing platform is complete without the ability to copy and paste text within single apps and from one app to another, and this is made extremely easy with Honeycomb.

To select text, simply double-tap the word you want to copy, and it will be highlighted. If you wish to expand the selection, drag the placeholders at either end of the selection and then when you’re ready, tap either the Cut or Copy buttons in the top-right corner; note also that you can choose Select all to capture the entire passage of text.

Pasting is a simple task of tapping-and-holding within the app that you wish to copy the text to, and selecting Paste. This can be done multiple times, too, useful for pasting the same information into multiple fields!

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