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Selecting and editing text

From: Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Selecting and editing text

As a writer my favorite part of any word processor is its editing features. Document text can be removed, added to, moved around, and changed in a multitude of ways. This makes it possible to fine-tune your documents to perfection and then fine-tune them again when they turn out to be not as perfect as you originally thought. But before you can go nuts editing or even formatting text, you need to know how to select it. Let's look at some techniques I think you'll find useful in Word. Now as you might expect, Word supports all the usual ways to select text.

Selecting and editing text

As a writer my favorite part of any word processor is its editing features. Document text can be removed, added to, moved around, and changed in a multitude of ways. This makes it possible to fine-tune your documents to perfection and then fine-tune them again when they turn out to be not as perfect as you originally thought. But before you can go nuts editing or even formatting text, you need to know how to select it. Let's look at some techniques I think you'll find useful in Word. Now as you might expect, Word supports all the usual ways to select text.

For example, you can use your mouse pointer to drag through text to select it. So you could drag through part of a word and it selects it. What you might notice here though is if you start in the middle of a word and you drag through that word, and start going into the next word, all of a sudden Word selection jumps to select entire words. Selecting entire words is a default setting in Word. I find it annoying and I am willing to bet that you will too. So let's go turn that off. Let's go up into the Word menu and choose Preferences or press Command+Comma.

In the Word Preferences window that appears, click the Edit button. Now the option that we want to turn off is When selecting, automatically select entire word. Just turn that off and it won't act like that anymore. While we are in here, let's look at two other settings. The very first setting, Typing replaces the selection, which is turned on by default, lets you replace any selected text with whatever you type. This is pretty standard and you will probably want to leave it turned on. This setting here, Include paragraph mark when selecting paragraphs, is also turned on by default.

This ensures that the entire paragraph is selected and this is important because paragraph formatting is stored in the paragraph mark. I will tell you more about that in the chapter about basic paragraph formatting, but for now you'll probably want to leave this checkbox turned on too. So the only change I made was to turn this option off. I want to save that setting so I will click OK. Then let's go back to this document and try to select parts of words. I will start in the middle of the word grandparents and select down to the middle of the word United States and you'll see that I am selecting just parts of words. It doesn't automatically select entire words.

So now I can select any amount of text that I like just by dragging. You can also use a technique called Shift+Click. You start by positioning the insertion point at the beginning of whatever you want to select. So I am going to start up here front of the word grandparents and then I'm going to hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and click at the end of what I want to select. So I want to select through the words United States. I will hold down the Shift key and click and everything between that first insertion point position and where I Shift+Clicked gets selected.

This technique is called Shift+ Click and it works in most applications. To select a single word, just double-click it. So I've double-clicked that word. It selects the word and any spaces after it. To select a sentence hold down the Command key and click the sentence. The trick with this is that you can't have anything selected when you do this. So I want to click somewhere else and nothing is selected, then I'll hold down the Command key and I will click in this sentence and it gets the entire sentence. Again, I'll make sure nothing selected and I will try up here. Same thing.

Not only does it get the entire sentence, but it gets any punctuation at the end and also any spaces. To select a paragraph, you can triple-click anywhere in the paragraph. So maybe I want this paragraph selected. Nothing selected now. Triple-click, one, two, three, so it's all selected. To select the line of text you can position the mouse pointer in the selection bar to the left of the line. Now the selection bar is this area here right to the left of the text. You know you are in the selection bar because your mouse pointer points up and slightly to the right.

That's the selection bar. When the mouse pointer is there click once and you'll select an entire line of text. If you double-click, you'll get the whole paragraph and if you triple-click you'll get the whole document. Another way to select the whole document is to pull down the Edit menu and choose Select All or press Command+A, and that will also select the entire document. If you need to select more than one block of text at a time, you can select multiple discontinuous blocks.

Just select the first block, however much text you want, hold down the Command key, select another block, and you can do this as many times as you like and select text all of your document. I am not sure how often you'll use this. I don't use this technique much at all, but it's good to know in case you need it. There are more ways to select text but that should be enough for now. I use all of these techniques as I work with Word. Now once text is selected, you can modify it.

This includes deleting it. For example if I want to scroll down to the end of the document, maybe I want to delete this whole line, select it, just clicked in the selection bar and press Delete and it's gone. You can also use this technique to replace text with other text. Let's scroll back up to the beginning of the document. So for example, I want to replace the word families with great-grandparents. So I will start by double-clicking that word to select it and then type-in the replacement text, and that brings up an important point.

As I mentioned in the text entry basics chapter, when you type you need to know where the blinking insertion point is because that's where your text will go. I selected the word family and typed great-grandparents and it replaced that word. Now if there is no blinking insertion point, that's because text is selected. For example if I just double-click this word and select it, there is no blinking insertion point right now because that word is selected. Only when nothing is selected will there be a blinking insertion point. What happens when text is selected and your= type? Whatever selected is overwritten.

So don't be careless in accidentally overwrite text you wanted to keep. As for selecting text, it's also important when you use the Copy and Cut commands, which I'll discuss in the next video, and also when you are formatting text, which I discussed later in this course. So in general, selecting text is the first step to changing it. I have given you a handful of ways I find useful for selecting all kinds of text in Word documents. Experiment with them to see which ones you like best.

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This video is part of

Image for Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training

95 video lessons · 20622 viewers

Maria Langer
Author

 
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  1. 5m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Word processing basics
      3m 9s
    3. Using the exercise files
      49s
  2. 21m 53s
    1. Menus, shortcut keys, and toolbars
      3m 43s
    2. The Ribbon
      2m 32s
    3. The Toolbox and the Media Browser
      2m 27s
    4. The Sidebar
      1m 42s
    5. Document views
      5m 24s
    6. Navigating windows and documents
      6m 5s
  3. 13m 40s
    1. Using the Document Gallery
      4m 51s
    2. Creating documents
      1m 51s
    3. Opening, saving, and closing documents
      6m 58s
  4. 14m 20s
    1. Entering text
      5m 33s
    2. Inserting and deleting text
      2m 34s
    3. Using Click and Type to enter text
      3m 26s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      2m 47s
  5. 27m 28s
    1. Selecting and editing text
      6m 34s
    2. Copying and moving text
      7m 1s
    3. Using the Scrapbook
      4m 38s
    4. Undoing, redoing, and repeating actions
      4m 36s
    5. Finding and replacing text
      4m 39s
  6. 24m 50s
    1. Font formatting basics
      9m 0s
    2. Applying font formatting
      7m 12s
    3. Using the Font dialog
      4m 35s
    4. Formatting with the Find and Replace dialog
      4m 3s
  7. 27m 18s
    1. Paragraph formatting basics
      9m 39s
    2. Setting justification and line spacing
      2m 17s
    3. Indenting paragraphs
      4m 37s
    4. Using list formats
      5m 41s
    5. Setting paragraph formatting options
      5m 4s
  8. 14m 33s
    1. Understanding tab tables
      4m 15s
    2. Creating a tab table with the Ruler
      5m 20s
    3. Creating a tab table with the Tabs dialog
      4m 58s
  9. 20m 31s
    1. Understanding styles and themes
      2m 36s
    2. Applying styles
      6m 32s
    3. Reformatting with Quick Style sets and themes
      2m 37s
    4. Modifying styles
      4m 28s
    5. Creating and deleting styles
      4m 18s
  10. 13m 22s
    1. Revealing formatting
      4m 24s
    2. Using the Format Painter
      1m 38s
    3. Creating drop caps
      3m 34s
    4. Using AutoFormat on text
      3m 46s
  11. 27m 29s
    1. Setting margins
      4m 3s
    2. Adding page and section breaks
      4m 54s
    3. Setting multiple columns
      8m 11s
    4. Varying page orientation within a document
      2m 43s
    5. Inserting page numbers
      2m 47s
    6. Adding watermarks and background images
      4m 51s
  12. 13m 39s
    1. Using built-in headers and footers
      5m 34s
    2. Manually creating headers and footers
      4m 0s
    3. Setting multiple headers and footers in a document
      4m 5s
  13. 18m 54s
    1. Creating a cell table
      3m 42s
    2. Entering and formatting table text
      4m 16s
    3. Modifying table structure
      5m 34s
    4. Using table styles
      2m 49s
    5. Converting between tab and cell tables
      2m 33s
  14. 18m 12s
    1. Adding borders to text and paragraphs
      5m 38s
    2. Adding borders to table cells
      3m 47s
    3. Setting page borders
      4m 13s
    4. Applying shading
      4m 34s
  15. 16m 56s
    1. Using the Media Browser to insert media
      3m 24s
    2. Inserting media from a file
      2m 36s
    3. Formatting images
      4m 30s
    4. Wrapping text around an image
      2m 27s
    5. Inserting and formatting a text box
      3m 59s
  16. 13m 17s
    1. Using AutoCorrect and AutoFormat As You Type
      9m 26s
    2. Using AutoText and AutoComplete
      3m 51s
  17. 17m 28s
    1. Building an outline
      4m 26s
    2. Rearranging outline components
      3m 39s
    3. Viewing outlines
      4m 9s
    4. Numbering outline headings
      5m 14s
  18. 26m 49s
    1. Checking spelling and grammar
      8m 19s
    2. Using reference tools
      4m 30s
    3. Inserting footnotes and endnotes
      6m 27s
    4. Using the Word Count feature
      2m 49s
    5. Compiling a table of contents
      4m 44s
  19. 17m 44s
    1. Adding comments
      2m 46s
    2. Tracking changes
      7m 45s
    3. Merging and comparing documents
      4m 28s
    4. Sharing documents with others
      2m 45s
  20. 18m 54s
    1. Using letter templates
      8m 5s
    2. Creating envelopes
      6m 23s
    3. Creating labels
      4m 26s
  21. 12m 36s
    1. Setting Document Security options
      9m 0s
    2. Using Privacy options
      3m 36s
  22. 14m 31s
    1. Setting Page Setup Options
      4m 12s
    2. Previewing a document
      2m 13s
    3. Printing to a printer
      4m 11s
    4. Printing to PDF
      3m 55s
  23. 11m 9s
    1. Using Word's Macro Recorder
      9m 18s
    2. Understanding macro security
      1m 51s
  24. 12m 28s
    1. Customizing toolbars and menus
      6m 0s
    2. Customizing Word's shortcut keys
      3m 38s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      2m 50s
  25. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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