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Navigating Through Text

As you're typing a document, you will surely want to revise what you've written. Maybe you want to add a paragraph earlier in the document, change some wording, or delete a sentence or two. Before you can edit your text, however, you have to move the insertion point (navigate) to the location where you want to make the change. Word enables you to navigate with both the keyboard and the mouse. In the remainder of this chapter, you practice both types of navigation techniques.


It's important to differentiate between the insertion point and the I-beam (see Figure 3.8). The insertion point is the flashing vertical bar that shows where text will be inserted or deleted. When you navigate with the keyboard, the insertion point moves as you press the navigation keys. The I-beam is the mouse pointer that appears when you move the mouse over text. It does not show you where text will be inserted or deleted. In fact, its sole mission in life is to move the insertion point when you click. (If you're using the click-and-type feature, you need to double-click. This is discussed in Chapter 4's "Inserting Text" section.)

Figure 3.8Figure 3.8 The insertion point shows you where text will be inserted or deleted; the I-beam lets you move the insertion point.

Navigating with the Mouse

To navigate with the mouse, simply point to the location where you want to place the insertion point and click. If the location is currently offscreen, you need to use the scrollbars or the Browse buttons to scroll the location into view, as described in the next two sections.

Using the Scrollbars

Word provides a vertical scrollbar on the right side of the Word window and a horizontal scrollbar across the bottom of the window. You will frequently use the vertical scrollbar to scroll up and down through your document. By default, the entire width of your document is visible in the Word window, so you rarely need to use the horizontal scrollbar.


When you use the scrollbar to scroll a document, the insertion point doesn't move to the portion of the document that you've scrolled onscreen until you click.

You can click the up and down arrows at either end of the vertical scrollbar to scroll approximately one line at a time. To scroll more quickly, point to the up or down arrow and hold down the mouse button. To move longer distances, it's faster to drag the scroll box along the scrollbar. As you drag, a ScreenTip tells you what page you are on, and, if your document has headings, what section of the document you're in (see Figure 3.9).

Figure 3.9Figure 3.9 Page 8 of this nine-page document is scrolled into view.


To scroll up one screen at a time, click directly on the scrollbar above the scroll box; to scroll down one screen at a time, click the scrollbar below the scroll box.

Using the Browse Buttons

Browsing is a fast way to move sequentially through your document. You can use several types of objects as the focus point for browsing—including pages headings, graphics, and footnotes—and you can change the browse object at any time. To browse, you use the three Browse buttons in the lower-right corner of the Word window (see Figure 3.10).

Figure 3.10Figure 3.10 The Browse buttons let you move sequentially through your document.

The default option is to browse by page, so the ScreenTips for the Next and Previous buttons are Next Page and Previous Page. Click the Next Page button to travel directly to the top of the next page; click the Previous Page button to go to the top of the previous page.

If you want to browse by a different type of object, click the Select Browse Object button. Word displays a grid containing various browse objects (see Figure 3.11). Point to each square to see its description in the gray area at the bottom of the grid. Some objects, such as Field and Comment, are useful only if you have used certain features in your document. The two squares on the left end of the lower row, Go To and Find, display the Find and Replace dialog box. (Go To is described in "Jumping to a Specific Page" later in this chapter, and Find is described in Chapter 8's "Editing Shortcuts" section.) Select the object that you want to use, and click OK.

Figure 3.11Figure 3.11 Click the Select Browse Object and choose an object to browse by in the grid.

As soon as you choose a browse object other than Page, the Next and Previous buttons turn blue, and their ScreenTips change to reflect the currently selected object (Next Heading and Previous Heading, for example). Clicking these buttons now takes you to the next or previous instance of the browse object you selected.

Navigating with the Keyboard

You can, if you like, move the insertion point through an entire document by using only the four arrow keys (see the first four items in Table 3.1), but you won't get anywhere fast. To navigate more efficiently, use the keyboard shortcuts listed after the arrow keys in Table 3.1. Learning these shortcuts will save you huge amounts of time later as you're editing your documents.

Table 3.1. Keyboard Techniques for Moving the Insertion Point

Keyboard Technique

Moves the Insertion Point

[Down Arrow]

Down one line

[Up Arrow]

Up one line

[Right Arrow]

One character to the right

[Left Arrow]

One character to the left

Ctrl+[Right Arrow]

One word to the right

Ctrl+[Left Arrow]

One word to the left

Ctrl+[Down Arrow]

Down one paragraph

Ctrl+[Up Arrow]

Up one paragraph


To the end of the line


To the beginning of the line

Page Down

Down one screen

Page Up

Up one screen

Ctrl+Page Down

To the top of the next page

Ctrl+Page Up

To the top of the previous page


End of document


Beginning of document

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