Microsoft Word is the handy word processor for all of us. When working on a document, you can change the format of a text by changing the font family, font size or font color. However, in many cases you first need to select the specific text before applying the format change. Therefore, quickly selecting the text can improve your productivity. In this article, we will explain how to select text in Microsoft Word using different options.
Related: How to change default font in Word?
How Does Selection Work in Word?
Using mouse is the easiest way you can use for selecting text in Word. However, you can also use the keyboard and selection mode (F8) options. Here we will explain the possibilities with all three options. Word will highlight selected text content in gray color and apply the formatting changes only to the selected text.
1. Selecting Text with Mouse
This is a super easy option and all of us use frequently.
- Click before the text you want to select in your document.
- Hold the left mouse button and drag your selection until the end of text you want to select.
- Release the mouse button when you are done with the selection.
However, you have different other ways to select text using mouse.
- If you want to select a single word then simply double click on it.
- In order to select a single sentence, hold the control key and click anywhere on that sentence. Word will highlight the entire sentence in gray color.
- For selecting a single line (not a sentence), first move the mouse to the left margin of the document. You will notice the cursor changes into an arrow symbol. Now, click the line and Word will select the entire line. You can hold the left mouse button and move up or down to select multiple lines of text.
- Instead of selecting a single line, you can select a paragraph by double clicking on the left margin next to that paragraph. Alternatively, click three times on a paragraph text to select the entire paragraph.
- Sometimes, you may need to select the entire content on your document. You have two options for doing that with your mouse.
- Press control key and then click on the left margin of the document.
- Alternatively, click three times on the left of the text.
Using Key Combination and Mouse
- It is not necessarily, you always select consecutive words, lines or paragraphs. In order to select non-consecutive words, lines, sentences or paragraphs, select the first text element. Then hold the control key and select the next text element. Word will highlight all selected text content in gray color. Now, you can delete, copy, bold, italicize or do any other formatting with all selected content at once.
- Do you ever wonder, how to select text in a vertical block? Yes, you can easily do that in Word. First, hold one of the alt keys and select the text block using your mouse. This will select the text in a vertical block and you can apply colors and highlight that content. However, you can’t copy or cut the vertically selected text block.
- You can quit the vertically selected text block by clicking anywhere on the document or simply pressing one of the arrow keys.
2. Selecting with Keyboard
Don’t get panic when your mouse suddenly stopped working. Use the following shortcuts keys to select text content with your keyboard.
|Text Selection||Shortcut Keys|
|Characters right side of the cursor||Shift + Right Arrow|
|Characters left side of the cursor||Shift + Left Arrow|
|Words right side of the cursor||Control + Shift + Right Arrow|
|Word left side of the cursor||Control + Shift + Left Arrow|
|Words from cursor position to start of the line||Shift + Home|
|Words from cursor position to end of the line||Shift + End|
|Words from position of cursor to start of the text||Control + Shift + Home|
|Words from position of cursor to end of the text||Control + Shift + End|
|Entire paragraph starting from cursor position down||Control + Shift + Down Arrow|
|Entire paragraph starting from cursor position top||Control + Shift + Up Arrow|
|Select all text in the document||Control + A|
3. Selecting Text With Selection Mode
As part of using keyboard, you have another selection option using F8 key This will activate the selection mode in Microsoft Word document which you can use for text selection. First, move your cursor to the start of the text that you want to select and then press F8 key. You have the following options with the selection mode:
|F8 Selection Mode||What Happens?|
|Press F8||Activates selection mode|
|Press F8 twice||Selects an individual word|
|Three times||Selects an individual sentence|
|Four times||Selects an entire paragraph|
|Five times||Selects the entire text|
- When you press F8 every time, Word will select another text passage and add to the previously selected content.
- In order to select text, first press F8 key to start the selection and use the mouse click to end of the selection. With this Word will select the text starting from the cursor position before activating the selection mode till the position where you have clicked using the mouse.
- Press the escape key to deactivate the selection mode. However, Word will continue to highlight the selected text content after deactivating selection mode.
- If you find the F8 selection mode is useful, you can add a shortcut in the status bar to disable it quickly. Right click on the status bar and enable “Selection Mode” option. Whenever, you press F8 key, Word will activate the selection mode and show the “Extended Selection” option in status bar. You can click on it to deactivate the selection mode. After deactivating the selection mode, the “Extended Selection” display on the status bar will also disappear.
Select Text with Similar Formatting
Word also offers a quick solution to replace the formatting of similar text. Let us take an example that you have highlighted 10 words with bold in different places on your document. Suddenly, you feel that showing them in red makes sense. It is a tedious job to select all 10 words one by one and change the formatting. Word allows you to select all the instances of 10 bold formatted words in your document and change to another formatting.
- First, select a single formatted text (in our case it is a text with bold formatting).
- In order to select all similar bold formatted text, go to “Home” tab and click on the “Select” option under “Editing” group.
- Then select the option “Select All Text With Similar Formatting (No Date”.
- Now, Word will select all similar formatted text in your document.
- You can now assign new formatting to these selected text passages. For example, you can remove the bold formatting, apply red color, and italicize.
This is very useful function to correct formatting mistakes you have done on entire document.