MS Word, Apple Pencil and Text Selection

Discussion in 'iPad' started by newellj, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Searching provides no encouragement on this question, but I want to ask straight-up: will MS Word permit mouse cursor-like text selection with the Apple Pencil (for purposes such as cut, copy or paste) on an iPad Pro running iOS 11? Thanks for your answer(s).
  2. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    I don’t have Word, but in Pages from what I can tell the Pencil cannot select text; it can only make annotations and do things of that nature. It would be nice if it could optionally select text as well.
  3. LibbyLA macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    My iPP with iOS 11 needs charging but I tried with my iPP with iOS 10.3 and the pencil can be used to select text. In the Draw menu, the first option is Select Objects. When you use the pencil, you get the same choices you do when you select with your finger, although it is much easier to move the start/end markers with the pencil than with fingers.
  4. Mainsail, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018

    Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I use an Androit Dash 3 active stylus with iWork Apps on my iPad 2017. It is a fine point stylus that is more precise then the fat rubber tipped stylus. I paid $40 on Amazon. Unlike the Apple Pencil, it is not Bluetooth connected, so it does not have built in palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, and other smart features. On the plus side, it does not need to be paired and does work with pretty much any touch device.

    Anyway, it works just fine for marking up documents and taking simple notes.....pretty good for productivity apps and very simple sketches, but not great for art and drawing. With this “budget pencil”, I can easily double tap on a word and drag the handle to highlight text that can easily be edited, copied or moved. The fine point makes a big difference.

    Someday, I will need to update my iPad. At that time, I can decide if the Apple Pencil is worth the price premium over this less expensive alternative.
  5. wmadan macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2013
    I have the latest version of iOS and the Word app on my iPad Pro. It appears that by default drawing mode is invoked with the Pencil. There is a Select Objects option that when selected can select text. You have to press down on the text and then a pop up menu appears. You then press Select and then handles appear on the word you have selected. Then you can use the Pencil to select more text in the line or paragraph.
  6. newellj thread starter macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    I stopped at an Apple store today to give this a whirl - thanks for all your replies.

    I had mixed results. Experimenting with the template documents in Word, text selection worked very poorly. By default, it was selecting entire pages or sections of various documents.

    However, when I took a few minutes to create a document by typing up several paragraphs of text, both cursor positioning and text selection worked quite nicely. Selection felt slightly labor-intensive, compared to the desktop version with a mouse (just click and drag the cursor) - with the iOS version of Word I was using at the Apple store I had to tap a word, then tap "select" on the pop-up menu, then drag the highlight to select the desired section of text. That actually sounds worse than it seemed in real life. I suspect I would get even more fluent with keyboard shortcuts than I already am if I decide to supplement my MacBook with an iPad Pro for Word and Excel.

    Overall, much better than expected!
  7. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Double tap will select a word (triple tap selects a paragraph). You can use that as a bit of a shortcut to make it a bit better.

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