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Selecting Text and Other Objects

Like most applications, Word works using the selection/action system. First you select some text or other data, and then you act upon that selection by issuing a command. For example, first you select text to be copied, and then you issue the command to copy it.

There are many ways of selecting text and other objects in a Word document, and you can use any combination of methods. However, some methods are much more convenient and well-suited for certain situations.

The most basic way to select text with the mouse is to drag across the text (with the left mouse button down). The selected text becomes highlighted.

There are also shortcuts for selecting certain objects or amounts of text with the mouse and keyboard, as described in Tables 3.3 and 3.4, respectively. To use keyboard shortcuts, first position the insertion point at the starting point for the selection and then use the keys indicated to extend the selection.

Table 3.3. Mouse Shortcuts for Selecting

To select...

Do This:

From the insertion point to any other point

Position the insertion point, then hold down Shift and click the end point for the selection.

The entire document

Triple-click in the left margin.

A word

Double-click the word.

A sentence

Ctrl+click the sentence.

A paragraph

Triple-click the paragraph or double-click in the left margin next to it.

A line

Click in the left margin next to it.

A table

Click in the table and then click the Table Selection box (looks like a four-headed arrow) in the top-left corner of the table grid.

A table cell

Click the left edge of the cell.

A table row

Point the mouse pointer to the left of the row, so the pointer turns into a white arrow, and then click.

A table column

Point the mouse pointer at the top gridline of the column, so the pointer turns into a black arrow, and then click.

A graphic

Click the graphic.

A text box

Click any outer edge of the text box.

A rectangular block (unrelated to paragraph or column divisions)

Hold down Alt and drag across the area to select.

Multiple noncontiguous selections

Make the first selection and then hold down Ctrl as you drag across additional selections.

Multiple graphics or non-text objects

Click the first object, and then hold down Ctrl as you click additional objects.

Table 3.4. Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting

To select...

Press This:

The entire document

Ctrl+A

The bottom of the window

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Page Down

The top of the window

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Page Up

The end of the paragraph

Ctrl+Shift+down arrow

The beginning of the paragraph

Ctrl+Shift+up arrow

The end of the document

Ctrl+Shift+End

The beginning of the document

Ctrl+Shift+Home

A rectangular block (unrelated to paragraph or column divisions)

Ctrl+Shift+F8+arrow keys

The beginning of the word

Ctrl+Shift+left arrow. Press the left arrow key again, still holding Ctrl+Shift, to extend to subsequent words.

The end of the word

Ctrl+Shift+right arrow. Press the right arrow key again, still holding Ctrl+Shift, to extend to subsequent words.

The entire line above

Shift+up arrow

The entire line below

Shift+down arrow

The end of the line

Shift+End

The beginning of the line

Shift+Home

One character, line, or table cell in any direction

Shift+arrow keys

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