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Android-style text selection handles
Stage Landed
Status Complete
Release target Firefox 7
Health OK
Status note Some follow-up bugs being fixed in Firefox 8 and 9


Product manager Thomas Arend
Directly Responsible Individual Thomas Arend
Lead engineer Mark Finkle
Security lead `
Privacy lead `
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead Aaron Train
UX lead Madhava Enros, Ian Barlow
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members `

Open issues/risks


Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview


2. Users & use cases


3. Dependencies


4. Requirements




Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification


6. User experience design

If we could use the native method, we'd do so, so, instead, we have to mimic it, much as we do with the Android Menu.

This page here has a description of the behavior: http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-2.3-highlights.html

One-touch word selection and copy/paste
When entering text or viewing a web page, the user can quickly select a word by press-hold, then copy to the clipboard and paste. Pressing on a word enters a free-selection mode — the user can adjust the selection area as needed by dragging a set of bounding arrows to new positions, then copy the bounded area by pressing anywhere in the selection area.


For text entry, the user can slide-press to enter a cursor mode, then reposition the cursor easily and accurately by dragging the cursor arrow. With both the selection and cursor modes, no use of a trackball is needed.


Text Overflow

We should also consider cases where text flows off the edge of a field, and how to get back to that to make changes. Android's native form fields handle this in two ways, as shown in this mockup: http://cl.ly/3y3u123U410L1L0u2W1n

1. Pressing and holding to activate a cursor, and then dragging that cursor to the edge of the field to scroll text.

2. Dragging the text back and forth through the field, and then long pressing to insert a cursor.

Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan


8. Reviews

Security review


Privacy review


Localization review




Quality Assurance review

Operations review


Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation

Finkle has a restartless add-on that is being used to prototype the selection handle behavior and technical implementation.

  • bug 652168 - Add cursor positioning thumb controls to edit boxes
  • bug 661388 (FIXED) - Support selecting text in web content
  • bug 659022 (FIXED) - Implement copy from content

Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria


Feature details

Priority P2
Rank 999
Theme / Goal `
Roadmap Firefox Mobile
Secondary roadmap `
Feature list Mobile
Project `
Engineering team Mobile front-end

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` `
Engineering ` `
Security sec-review-complete reviewed by: imelven
Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance ` `
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `