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Quick and easy ways to select text in MS Word

Here are a few tips to save some time while working in a Microsoft Word document. Once you type out the text in Word, if you want to work on a portion of the text, like say apply some kind of formatting, you need to first select the text. The most common way is to click and drag the mouse to select text. But this may not be the easiest or quickest way to select text at all times. Here are a few tips/shortcuts for the different ways you can select text in Word.

  • Use [Shift] plus the arrow keys. Hold down [Shift] and press an arrow key to select text in the desired direction. To select a whole word at a time, press [Ctrl][Shift] and the left or right arrow key. Pressing the up or the down arrow will select the sentence above or below upto the point where the cursor is placed.
  • Every one of us must have experienced the frustration when we try to select text which is more than what is visible on the screen. If you use the click-drag method then the selection leaps past what you want to select and it takes quite a few attempts before you can actually get to the right spot. Here is a better way. Click at the point where the text you want to select starts and release you mouse button. Scroll the document down upto where you want to select the text. Make sure that you don’t click within the document. Now, press [Shift] and click at the point where the selection should end. The whole text in between the two clicks is selected.
  • To select a whole word, Double-click on it. If a space immediately follows the word you select, the space gets selected too. Punctuation is ignored.
  • To select a sentence, hold down [Ctrl] and click anywhere in the sentence.
  • The fastest way to select a paragraph is to Triple-click within the paragraph. Another way is to move the mouse just past the left margin of the paragraph and when the pointer changes to a right pointing arrow, double-click to select the whole paragraph.
  • Select a table by holding down [Alt] and double-clicking anywhere in the table.
  • To select all the text between the insertion point and the end of the current line, press [Shift][End]. To select the text from the insertion point through the end of the current paragraph, press [Ctrl][Shift] and the down arrow. To select the text from the insertion point to the end of the document, press[Ctrl][Shift][End].
  • To select an entire document press [Ctrl]+A. (like you didn’t know this already 😉 )