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Selecting Text in Microsoft Word

Before executing many Word commands, you need to highlight, or select, the section of text to which a command applies. When you select text, all punctuation, blank lines, and special characters within the highlighted area are included.


To select text, drag the mouse pointer over the desired text. When the mouse pointer is positioned over an area that has been selected, the pointer changes from an I-beam to a diagonal left pointing arrow. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard method to select text, which requires placing the insertion point in the desired location and then using the arrow keys to highlight the text. Word also lets you use mouse shortcuts, outlined in Table below, to select text. To deselect selected text, simply click anywhere outside the selected area in your document or press a directional arrow key.


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Selecting Text in Word



Mouse Text Selection Shortcuts

Mouse Shortcut Result
Double-click a word Selects the word.
Hold Ctrl and click in a sentence Selects the sentence.
Triple-click in a paragraph Selects the paragraph.
Move the pointer in the left margin until it changes to a diagonal right pointing arrow, then click Selects the corresponding line.
Move the pointer in the left margin until it changes to a diagonal right pointing arrow, then drag up or down Selects the corresponding lines.
Move the pointer in the left margin until it changes to a diagonal right pointing arrow, then triple-click Selects the entire document.

 


Method to select text

 

To select text:

Keyboard method

  1. Place the insertion point where you want to begin selecting.
  2. Press and hold Shift.
  3. Use the directional arrow keys to highlight the desired text.

Mouse method

  1. Position the mouse pointer where you want to begin selecting.
  2. Drag the mouse to highlight the desired text.

 

Mouse shortcut method

  1. Position the mouse pointer over any part of the desired text.
  2. Position the mouse pointer over the appropriate location in the left margin until it changes into a diagonal right pointing arrow.
  3. Drag or click the mouse button the appropriate number of times.

To deselect text:

  1. Click anywhere outside the selection.
    or
  2. Press any directional arrow key.



Also see Moving and Copying Text in Word.



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