Getting from here to there in Word documents

Power User Corner

By Frank C. Rice

Making your way through long Microsoft Word documents can be tedious. But the Select Browse Object controls on the vertical scroll bar give you a number of helpful options for navigating among pages, sections, graphics, and more in your documents.

Applies to
Microsoft Word 2002

See all Power User columns
See all columns

Like some other writers I know, I think that using Word to create and manage long documents can be something of a love-hate relationship. Word provides numerous options and features that make writing lengthy documents a breeze. However, experienced Word users also know that it doesn’t take too many presses of the PAGE DOWN key in a long document before they’re lost in a maze of pages, footnotes, and images. Some users even resort to printing a hard copy of their documents and using sticky notes to help them navigate.

But like a compass and map to an explorer, the Select Browse Object controls can help you traverse a Word document by using the objects typically found in a lengthy paper.

 Note    Although the Select Browse Object controls haven't changed components between Word 97, Word 2000, and Word 2002, the layout of the controls has changed somewhat between versions. For this article, we'll focus on the controls in Word 2002. However, the function of the controls will be the same in these earlier versions of Word.

Using the Select Browse Object controls

Here's how to use these handy controls to make your way through a document:

  1. Start Word 2002. A blank document opens automatically.
  2. Locate the Select Browse Object controls at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar, in the lower-right corner of the Word screen. These three controls appear as a circle in the middle (the Select Browse Object control), and two chevrons that point up and down (the Previous and Next controls, respectively).

 Note    If the vertical scroll bar isn’t visible, on the Tools menu, click Options, click the View tab, and then select the Vertical scroll bar check box.

  1. Click the Select Browse Object control (the circle).
  2. Click the Go To icon, which is the icon with the arrow that points right. This opens the Find and Replace dialog box with the Go To tab already selected. In the Go to what list, click to move between items such as pages, footnotes, sections, or graphics.
  3. Close the Find and Replace dialog box, and then click the Select Browse Object control.
  4. Click the Find icon, which is the icon with the binoculars image. This opens the Find and Replace dialog box with the Find tab already selected. Type the word or phrase you want to find in the Find what dialog box to find specific text in your document.
  5. Close the Find and Replace dialog box, and then click the Select Browse Object control.
  6. Move the mouse and then let it rest on each of the remaining icons, one at a time, to see the remaining options. These icons allow you to browse among the items typically found in a document, including pages, sections, comments, footnotes, endnotes, fields, tables, graphics, headings, and edits.

The Select Browse Object options

  1. Click the Browse by Heading icon in the Select Browse Object box, and then rest your mouse pointer on the Previous control. Notice that the ScreenTip displays Previous Heading. The ScreenTip for the Previous or Next control changes depending on which item you are browsing for.
  2. Close the document.

Other features of the Select Browser Object controls

In addition to the ScreenTips that show what item you're navigating by, there is another feature that changes to assist in navigating your documents. Whenever you make a selection in the Select Browse Object control, the default keystroke mapping changes, so that the CTRL+PAGE UP key combination and the CTRL+PAGE DOWN key combination function the same as the browse Previous and browse Next controls. For example, if you click the Browse by Heading icon, you can move to the next heading in your document either by clicking the browse Next control on the vertical scroll toolbar or by pressing CTRL+PAGE DOWN.

These options allow you to easily navigate within your documents by moving precisely between particular items. They also really come in handy when they are used after using the Find command. To demonstrate, do the following:

  1. Start Word, and then open an existing document that includes text.
  2. On the vertical scroll bar, click the Select Browse Object control, and then click the Find icon.
  3. In the Find what box, type a common word used in your document, such as the word the, and then click Find Next.
  4. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.
  5. Press CTRL+PAGE DOWN. Next, press CTRL+PAGE UP.
    Notice that you can move back and forth between the searched text in your document without the need for the Find and Replace dialog box.

You can see that the Select Browse Object controls make it easy to navigate your long Word documents with precise control.

Keep sending that e-mail!

We look forward to receiving your e-mail messages at We really want this to be your column, so please send us your comments and favorite handcrafted Office solutions. Remember, we will not be able to feature every Office solution that we receive, we will not have the time to respond to all of your e-mail, and we are not technical support representatives. But we may feature your solution in an upcoming column.

About the author

Frank C. Rice works for the Office Developer Center team. In addition to contributing to the Office Power User Corner column, Frank writes developer articles for the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

If you like this column and want to hear about more fun and useful Office offerings, sign up for our newsletter.

See all Power User columns
See all columns