Select text and graphics

You can select text and graphics by using the mouse or the keyboard, including items that aren't next to each other. For example, you can select a paragraph on page one and a sentence on page three.

Microsoft Word provides additional methods for selecting items in a table, drawing objects, or text in outline view (outline view: A view that shows the headings of a document indented to represent their level in the document's structure. You can also use outline view to work with master documents.).

Select items that aren't next to each other

  1. Select the first item you want, such as a table cell (cell: A box formed by the intersection of a row and column in a worksheet or a table, in which you enter information.) or paragraph.
  2. Hold down CTRL.
  3. Select any additional items you want while continuing to hold CTRL.

 Note   You can only select multiple objects of the same type, such as two or more text selections or two or more floating (floating object: A graphic or other object that is inserted in the drawing layer so that you can position it precisely on the page or in front of or behind text or other objects.) graphics, that aren't next to each other.

ShowSelect text and graphics by using the mouse

Any amount of text

Drag over the text.

A word

Double-click the word.

A line of text

Move the pointer to the left of the line until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click.

A sentence

Hold down CTRL, and then click anywhere in the sentence.

A paragraph

Move the pointer to the left of the paragraph until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then double-click. Or triple-click anywhere in the paragraph.

Multiple paragraphs

Move the pointer to the left of the paragraphs until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click and drag up or down.

A large block of text

Click at the start of the selection, scroll to the end of the selection, and then hold down SHIFT and click.

An entire document

Move the pointer to the left of any document text until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then triple-click.

Headers and footers

In normal view (normal view: A view that shows text formatting and a simplified page layout. Normal view is convenient for most editing and formatting tasks.), click Header and Footer on the View menu; in print layout view (Print Layout view: A view of a document or other object as it will appear when you print it. For example, items such as headers, footnotes, columns, and text boxes appear in their actual positions.), double-click the dimmed header or footer text. Move the pointer to the left of the header or footer until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click.

Footnotes and endnotes

Click the footnote or endnote text, move the pointer to the left of the text until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click.

A vertical block of text (except within a table cell)

Hold down ALT, and then drag over the text.

A graphic

Click the graphic.

A text box or frame

Move the pointer over the border of the frame or text box until the pointer becomes a four-headed arrow, and then click to see the sizing handles (sizing handle: One of the small circles or squares that appears at the corners and sides of a selected object. You drag these handles to change the size of the object.).

ShowSelect text by using the keyboard

Select text by holding down SHIFT and pressing the key that moves the insertion point. To select multiple areas that aren't next to each other, make your first selection, hold down CTRL, and then select any other items you want.

To extend a selection

SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW

One character to the right

SHIFT+LEFT ARROW

One character to the left

CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW

To the end of a word

CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW

To the beginning of a word

SHIFT+END

To the end of a line

SHIFT+HOME

To the beginning of a line

SHIFT+DOWN ARROW

One line down

SHIFT+UP ARROW

One line up

CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN ARROW

To the end of a paragraph

CTRL+SHIFT+UP ARROW

To the beginning of a paragraph

SHIFT+PAGE DOWN

One screen down

SHIFT+PAGE UP

One screen up

CTRL+SHIFT+HOME

To the beginning of a document

CTRL+SHIFT+END

To the end of a document

ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+PAGE DOWN

To the end of a window

CTRL+A

To include the entire document

CTRL+SHIFT+F8, and then use the arrow keys; press ESC to cancel selection mode

To a vertical block of text

F8+arrow keys; press ESC to cancel selection mode

To a specific location in a document

F8

Turn extend mode on

F8, and then press LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW

Select the nearest character

F8 (press once to select a word, twice to select a sentence, and so forth)

Increase the size of a selection

SHIFT+F8

Reduce the size of a selection

ESC

Turn extend mode off

ShowTip

If you know the key combination to move the insertion point, you can generally select the text by using the same key combination while holding down SHIFT. For example, CTRL+RIGHT ARROW moves the insertion point to the next word, and CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW selects the text from the insertion point to the beginning of the next word.

ShowSelect items in a table with the mouse

Some parts of a table (table: One or more rows of cells commonly used to display numbers and other items for quick reference and analysis. Items in a table are organized into rows and columns.) can only be seen if you display all formatting marks by clicking Show/Hide Paragraph mark Button image on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).

To select:

A cell

Click the left edge of the cell (cell: A box formed by the intersection of a row and column in a worksheet or a table, in which you enter information.).

Select table cell

A row

Click to the left of the row.

Select table row

A column

Click the column's top gridline or border.

Select table column

Multiple cells, rows, or columns

Drag across the cell, row, or column.

Or select multiple items that are not necessarily in order. Click the first cell, row, or column you want, press CTRL, and then click the next cells, rows, or columns you want.

Text in the next cell

Press TAB.

Text in the previous cell

Press SHIFT+TAB

The entire table

Click the table move handle, or drag over the entire table.

 Note   You can also select rows, columns, or the entire table by clicking in the table and then using the Select commands on the Table menu, or by using keyboard shortcuts.

ShowSelect items in a table by using the keyboard

TAB

Select the next cell's contents

SHIFT+TAB

Select the preceding cell's contents

Hold down SHIFT and press an arrow key repeatedly

Extend a selection to adjacent cells

Click in the column's top or bottom cell. Hold down SHIFT and press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key repeatedly

Select a column

CTRL+SHIFT+F8, and then use the arrow keys; press ESC to cancel selection mode

Extend a selection (or block)

SHIFT+F8

Reduce the selection size

ALT+5 on the numeric keypad (with NUM LOCK off)

Select an entire table

ShowSelect a drawing object by using the keyboard

If the insertion point is within text in your document, do the following:

  1. Press F10 to make the menu bar active.
  2. Press CTRL+TAB until the Drawing toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.) is active.
  3. Press the RIGHT ARROW key to choose Select Objects Button image.
  4. Press CTRL+ENTER to select the first drawing object.
  5. Press the TAB key to cycle forward (or SHIFT+TAB to cycle backward) through the objects until sizing handles appear on the object you want to select.

If the insertion point is within text in a drawing object, do the following:

  1. Press SHIFT+F10, and then use the keyboard to choose Exit Edit Text on the shortcut menu.
  2. Press the TAB key to cycle forward (or SHIFT+TAB to cycle backward) through the objects until sizing handles appear on the object you want to select.

 Note   To switch from selecting objects back to editing text in your document, press ESC.

ShowSelect text in outline view

A heading, its subheading, and body text

Click Symbol for heading with subtext next to the heading. Or, move the pointer to the left of the heading until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then double-click.

A heading only (without its subheadings and subordinate text)

Move the pointer to the left of the heading until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click.

A paragraph of body text

Click Body text symbol next to the paragraph. Or, move the pointer to the left of the paragraph until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click.

Multiple headings or paragraphs of body text

Move the pointer to the left of the text until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then drag up or down.

 Notes 

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003