Select items that aren't next to each other in Word

Applies to
Microsoft Word 2002

Do you want to select a word in the first paragraph, and a word in the fifth paragraph, but not all the words in between?

Now in Word, you can select items that aren't next to each other in your document. This is helpful if you want to perform the same task on multiple items, such as delete the items or change the formatting.

 Note   If you've used Microsoft Excel before, you may be familiar with a similar feature in Excel that allows you to select cells that aren't next to each other in a worksheet.

Selecting items throughout your document

In your Word document, you can select multiple instances of table cells, tables, drawing objects, and text. However, you can't simultaneously select both inline objects — such as text and tables that move with text, and floating objects — such as graphic objects that text flows around.

You can also click to select multiple pictures if they are set to "floating" so that text flows around them. If pictures are inline with text, then you would drag to select pictures as you would text, instead of clicking them.

Document with multiple text selections

Selecting items that aren't next to each other

  1. Select the first item you want, such as a table cell or paragraph.
  2. Hold down CTRL.
  3. Select any additional items you want.

 Note   If you want to remove a single item from your selection without canceling your entire selection, then simply click the item a second time while you continue to hold down the CTRL key.

Selecting text with the same formatting

Perhaps you want to locate all the words in your document that are formatted a certain way, such as with italic formatting.

It's easy to select all text with the same formatting in your Word document with the Styles and Formatting task pane. This can be helpful for viewing the text, changing its formatting, or deleting it.

Selecting text with similar formatting

Selecting all text with the same formatting

  1. If the Styles and Formatting task pane is not open, click Styles and Formatting on the Formatting toolbar.
  2. In your document, click in a word that's formatted like the text you want to select.
    The formatting description will appear under Formatting of selected text in the Styles and Formatting task pane.
  3. In the Styles and Formatting task pane, click Select All.

The text with the same formatting will be selected, so you can easily work with it.