When should you select text?
Before making any action on text in Microsoft Word, whether formatting it, cutting or copying it or deleting it, you must tell the computer exactly what is the specific piece of text that should be affected by the action.
For example: You want the words read this to be bold, therefore you must select these two words prior to applying them a bold format.
Another example: If you want the spacing between the lines of the whole document to be "single spaced", you should select the whole document, prior to applying the new line spacing.
Selecting text by using simple mouse clicks
Double clicking a word – will select that word.
Triple clicking a word – will select the whole paragraph surrounding the word.
Clicking on the left margin, can be even more useful:
A single click on the left margin will select the whole row.
A double click on the left margin will select the whole paragraph (as in triple clicking a word).
A triple click on the left margin – will select the whole document.
Cancelling the selection is simply achieved by a single click inside the text.
Selecting text using the keyboard
Using the arrow keys, you can move the text cursor around your document, until you reach the desired starting location for the selection.
Now, pressing down the [Shift] key while moving with the arrows, will select a specific region. Clicking on an arrow key alone (without the [Shift] key) will cancel any selection made.
Selecting whole rows using the keyboard:
Click the [Home] key. This will make the text cursor jump to the beginning of the row.
Now, Press and hold down the [Shift] key while clicking the arrow pointing down key.
Repeatedly pressing the arrow down key will select more rows.
Quickly selecting the whole document:
Press the [Ctrl] key together with the [A] key.
(“A” can stand for the word All).
Remember, you can cancel any selection by simply clicking an arrow key. Pressing the “arrow up” key will bring the text cursor to the beginning of the selected region, while the “arrow down” key will bring the text cursor to the end of the selected region.
How to select non-continuous regions
The following steps describe how you can easily select non-continuous regions of text:
- Select the first region as usual.
- Press and hold down the [Ctrl] key, while selecting more regions.
- When all the desired regions has been selected, release the [Ctrl] key.
A common mistake is to press the Ctrl key from the beginning, before making the first selection. This might cause things to get messed up.