Join Alicia Katz Pollock for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting text for formatting, part of Word 2010: Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts.
Have you ever tried to select text and your document just starts running across your screen, never again. Dragging across text to select it for formatting is second nature, but that's just the beginning of the possibilities. Let's take a look at all the different ways you can select text. My first tip is that when you are going to select text, start at the end and then drag to the beginning. The end is a lot more forgiving, there's a lot more room to start, but if I start in the beginning I have to aim my cursor really carefully to get started. So it's a little bit harder.
Also, when you are dragging across paragraphs, if you are going to go to the top of something, go up first, then to the left, instead of going to the left and then up. Sometimes it really does make a difference. Now I do want to note, as I am showing you all of these selection tips, it doesn't matter at all where you are in your document, any text to practice on is just fine. Now let's take a look at some shortcuts for selecting text. If I want to highlight just one word, I can double-click on it. Now click anywhere else to get rid of that selection. This time hold down your Ctrl key and click on a word and it selects an entire sentence.
Try triple-clicking on a word and it highlights your whole paragraph. Now I do want to point out that in Word a paragraph is not defined like your elementary school teacher defined it; it has 3-5 sentences about one subject. A paragraph is anytime you hit the Enter key and I am going to use my Show/Hide Paragraph button to see our paragraphs. So each one of these is a paragraph including just the word Sincerely is a paragraph unto itself and Maria Ann Vitalia & the Entire Vitalia family, is a paragraph unto itself. So if I triple-click on it, that's what will get highlighted.
If I want to highlight the entire document, there is a keyboard command, Ctrl+A, and that will do the entire document. Alternatively, the very last button on the Home ribbon says Select and if I drop that down I can choose Select All and that will select the entire document as well. If you'd like to format your bullets, you can select just the bullets in the bulleted list by clicking on the bullet and I can see that they all went gray, and now I can apply any bullet formatting. When you have a table, I am going to scroll down to Page 18, when I hold my cursor over the table, a little four-headed arrow appears in the box in the upper left-hand corner and I can click on that and that selects the entire table and now I can apply any formatting to the entire table.
Let's take a look at another tool. The left margin is actually an invisible tool. Notice when I hold my cursor over it, the arrow points to the right, that's your visual indicator that you're in what's called the Selection Bar. If I click one time in the Selection Bar, it highlights a row. Now notice that this isn't a sentence or a paragraph, it's actually one horizontal row on the page, and if I click and drag, I can highlight multiple rows. If I double-click in the Selection Bar it highlights an entire paragraph, and if I triple-click in the Selection Bar it highlights the whole document.
So anytime you want to highlight the whole thing, for instance, to do a font change, all you have to do is move your cursor into the left margin, get the right headed arrow and triple-click. Now let's take a look at how to select multiple items. If I only wanted to highlight, for instance, this bullet point and this bullet point, I can highlight the first one and then hold down my Ctrl key and I can highlight anything else that I would like to add to that selection set. That way you can highlight multiple items to apply, for instance, a formatting to them.
Now I am going to go up to the top of the document, if you want to select multiple pictures, click on the first one, but instead of holding down the Ctrl key, hold down the Shift key and you can select multiple objects at a time. Now I am going to go to Page 2 for my next set of techniques. We are going to take a look at how to select things using the keyboard. The regular keyboard commands that we are going to use are navigation techniques, but we can add in the Shift key and that will start selecting the text. Take a look at your keyboard.
If you have an extended keyboard above the Up, Down, Left, Right Arrows, there is a six pack of keys that say, Insert, Home, Page Up, Delete and Page Down. If you don't have an extended keyboard they may still be available with function keys on your keyboard. So when I press Home it goes to the beginning of a row. When I press End it goes to the end of a row, so that's one navigation technique. Now let me click back in the middle again. If I hold down the Shift key, when I do that Home, it highlights to the beginning of that row. I will do the same thing Shift+End and it highlights to the end of the row.
Whenever I want to go to the beginning or end of anything that I have highlighted, you don't have to reach for your mouse and click. So if I want to put my cursor right back here again, I don't have to manually click there to go back. If I have my text highlighted, again I will do that Shift+End to demonstrate it again, all I have to do is hit my Left Arrow and I am right back to where I was. Shift+Home, Right Arrow, locates to my cursor at the end of the selection. So now let's take a look at some other ones. Ctrl+Home is a keystroke that takes you way back to the beginning of your document no matter where you are in it.
Ctrl+End takes you to the end of your document, again from wherever you are. Now if I hold my Shift key down, Shift+Ctrl+Home will highlight to the top of my document, so anything between my cursor and the top of the document will get highlighted, and in the same way Shift+Ctrl+End will highlight from my cursor to the end of the document. Let me jump back up to Page 2. Left and Right Arrows move you to the left and right in your document, but if you hold down your Shift key you can highlight characters to the left and highlight characters to the right.
And in the same way, that up and down moves you through a paragraph, Shift+Up and Shift+Down will highlight up and down. Shift+Page Up will highlight up a page, Shift+Page Down will highlight down page by page. And last but not least, Ctrl+Left and Right Arrow jump me one word at a time, so of course, Ctrl+Shift+Left and Right Arrow will allow me to highlight one word at a time. If I press F8, it's a keystroke known as Extend Selection.
So if I hit F8 one time nothing happens but it does trigger the effect. And if I hit F8 again, it will highlight whatever word my cursor is touching and if I hit F8 again, it will highlight the whole sentence and if I hit it again, the whole paragraph and guess what, if I hit it one more time, the whole document. Then when I'm done, I'll hit Escape and then I can click back into my document again. So F8 can be a fast way of highlighting content. With all of these options using your keyboard with Ctrl and Shift when you select text can be faster and more accurate than aiming and clicking your mouse.
- Opening recent files
- Using keyboard shortcuts and F keys
- Utilizing the Navigation Pane
- Inserting boilerplate text
- Editing the dictionary
- Inserting symbols and special characters
- Using styles creatively
- Replicating font formatting
- Mastering columns
- Adding captions to tables, figures, and charts
- Working with graphics
- Linking Excel objects
- Setting up page numbers and cross-references
- Printing a booklet
- Printing document metadata