Being able to copy and paste text is a basic function of computers that has been around for decades. As you would hope, the feature is also available your phone and tablet, but it might not be obvious how to use it.

We show you the easy way to copy and paste things on Android.

How to copy text on Android

If you’re on a web page, email or see pretty much any text on screen that isn't part of an image or photo, you can copy it. If you want to quickly grab a phone number, name or any other piece of text, it’s very easy to do so. Press and hold down on the text you want to copy, and you should see two blue makers appear. Tap and hold the left one, then drag it to the beginning of the area you want to select. Tap and hold the right one and move it to the last character you want to include.

In some cases, being precise about where you tap and hold will select only the word, link or number you want to copy, so no adjustment will be needed.

How to copy and paste on Android: Copying text

When you’re happy that you have all of the text highlighted, let go and tap the Copy option in the floating box above the text.

How to paste text on Android

Once you've copied some text, it will be on your clipboard. It will stay there until you’re ready to insert it into a different app, but do note that it will be replaced if you copy something else in the meantime.

Switch to the app where you're going to paste the text, for example Gmail or Whatsapp, then tap where you want it to go. If it's in an email, tap on the blank area and you should see the floating box appear once more, but this time you need to tap Paste if you want to keep the formatting the same as it was originally or use Paste as plain text to just insert the words and figures you copied.

How to copy and paste on Android: Pasting text

In many cases, you need to tap on the field or text box where the text is to go and you should see the options appear. If not, tap and hold a bit longer.

How to copy and paste a link on Android

Links are handled slightly differently, in that there is a specific option you can use to copy them. Oen the document or webpage where the link can be found, then tap and press on the link until you see a menu appear. There are two main options:

Copy link address will take the underlying website URL and place it in your clipboard. This means that when you paste it into anything you will see the full https://www.whatever.com appear. This is useful if you want to either paste this into your browser and navigate to the page or share the destination with a friend via messaging or email.

How to copy and paste on Android: Copying links

The other option is Copy link text, which will just grab the words you see on the screen. This could be useful if it shows a shortened website address or has details you may find useful to include in a document.

In either case, the method for pasting the link is basically the same as for text. So, find the place you want to deposit the link, tap and hold the screen until the floating option box appears, then select Paste.

For more ways to get the most out of your device, read Android 10 tips & tricks and if you're thinking of upgrading your handset Best Android phones will show you our current favourites.