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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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