Clipboard options disappearing after adjusting text selection handles - or not showing up at all


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May 30, 2019
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Hi there, new to the forums and new to Android in general! I switched from iPhone earlier this year. I have a Samsung Galaxy S9. Getting used to the keyboard and text selection has by far been my biggest pain point so far, but there's one particular issue that has been inconsistent enough that I feel like I'm encountering a bug in the system software.

There is a web page that has an embedded PDF and there is a sentence in that PDF that I would like to copy from Chrome, and paste into another app.

When I long press on a word in that sentence in that PDF, 1 of 5 things happens (I'll call them cases from here on out):
  1. A window pops up on the webpage that shows the URL to just the embedded PDF and the following buttons are listed beneath the URL.
    • Open in new tab
    • Open in incongnito tab
    • Copy link address
    • Download link
    • Share link
  2. A single word is selected with the draggable handles on either side of the word, but no clipboard options appear (Copy / Share / Select All / 3 dots). They still do not appear when I adjust the handles by dragging one or both of them.
  3. A single word is selected with the draggable handles on either side of the word, but the clipboard options do appear for some reason, and those options remain after dragging the handles.
  4. A phrase or a string of words are selected with clipboard options visible, but as soon as I make an adjustment to the draggable handles to encompass the whole sentence, the clipboard options disappear.
  5. A phrase or a string of words are selected with clipboard options visible, and those options remain after adjusting the text selection.

I cannot reliably reproduce case #1 , it just kind of happens when it happens which isn't often but I don't know why that's the case. I'm guessing weirdness with the embedded PDF. I opened the webpage on Desktop Chrome, inspected the element and found that the PDF is being directly referenced in an iframe.
Case 2 - I thought I had narrowed that down to consistently happening only if I long press the blank space between paragraphs, but then like 1 in 6 times it happens when pressing on a specific word.
Most of the time cases 3 and 4 prevail.

Is there any official Android documentation that might explain these inconsistencies? It's frustrating when the clipboard options don't appear because it's really not obvious why that is. Usually if I long press in a different spot on the document it works better, but again it's unclear why some parts of the text seem to to show clipboard options more reliably than others. But even then, it's not 100% reproducible, even then 1 out of 10 times long pressing the same spot can produce different results for me.

I think it's worth being said too that this phone is only a small handful of months old, 3-4. I've only removed Verizon bloatware and installed some productivity office apps and a couple games, and that's really about all I've done with it.


Sorry I know this is a long post and I'm a newbie but every search I made trying to find an answer or some enlightenment here brought me to other issues people had where pressing the copy button doesn't actually copy as expected - which is not my issue here.

Along those same lines I've seen people suggest reset settings to factory defaults and / or rooting the device, or installing a new keyboard, and while those might be adequate workarounds, if the solution is to implement a workaround, then isn't that a bug that ought to be addressed so people don't have to go out of their way to implement a workaround?

I'm trying to provide as much context here because I don't think I can post links as a new member and there doesn't seem to be a way to attach pics.

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it! Looking forward to some enlightenment here by seasoned Android users :)

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