Selecting Text

When selecting text Office 2003 offers you several options. Learn what they are in this free lesson.

Introduction

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

Selecting text

When creating a file, you might want to change the way text appears.

Before you can change the font style, size, or color—or replace or delete text—you must first select, or highlight, it. There are many different selection techniques.

Remember:

  1. First, select the you want to change.
  2. Then, edit text.
  3. Click anywhere outside the selected area to deselect text.

First method: Click and drag to select text

  • Move your pointer until the I-beam is next to the text you want to edit.
  • Click the left mouse button.
  • Without releasing the mouse button, drag the insertion point to select text.
  • Release the left mouse button when you have selected the text you want to change.

Click and drag to select text

Pros:

  • Highlights letters, words, and even entire documents.
  • Lots of control with individual letters, words, and phrases.

Cons:

Lack of control may cause:

  • Selecting the entire file when you don't want to
  • Selecting text to the right when you want to select to the left, and vice versa

Second method: Use the pointer to select the entire line of text

To select a single line of text:

  • Move the I-beam to the left margin until it becomes a right-slanted white arrow pointer.
  • Position the arrow pointer to the left of the line you want to highlight.
  • Click once to highlight a single line.
  • Click and drag up or down to select as many lines as you want to edit.

Selecting a single line of text

Pros:

  • Quick and easy

Cons:

  • Selects the entire line of text when you may not want it to
  • May take some practice to position the arrow pointer correctly

Third method: Select All

Select All is helpful when you want to select the contents of an entire file.

To select an entire file:

  • Choose EditSelect All from the menu bar (Ctrl+A).

    Choosing Select All from the Edit menu
  • All of the text in your file will be selected instantly.

Select All

Pros:

  • Great when you need to quickly select all text in a file (ideal for changing font style or size)

Cons:

  • Selects all text when you may not need it

Fourth method: Use the keyboard

Many people use the keyboard to select text.

Shift+right arrowCharacter to the right of the insertion point
Shift+left arrowCharacter to the left of the insertion point
Shift+HomeAll of the current line to the left of insertion point
Shift+EndAll of the current line to the right of insertion point
Shift+PageUpA screenful of text from insertion point up
Shift+PageDownA screenful of text from insertion point down
Ctrl+Shift+Right ArrowOne word to the right of insertion point
Ctrl+Shift+Left ArrowOne word to the left of insertion point
Crtl+Shift+HomeAll text from insertion point to the beginning of document
Crtl+Shift+EndAll text from insertion point to the end of document
Alt+Ctrl+Shift+PageDownAll text from insertion point to end of the displayed window
F8 and arrow keyFrom insertion point in the direction of whichever arrow chosen
F8 turns on selection modePress Esc to leave selection mode
Crtl+ASelects entire file

Troubleshooting selection techniques

When using the click-and-drag method to select text, have you ever selected a lot of text without meaning to?

What can you do to avoid this frustration? Use the Shift key.

  • Click once at the starting point of the text you desire to be selected.
  • Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard while clicking at the ending point of the text you desire to be selected.
  • The text in between those two points should be selected.

When text is selected, pressing any key will delete it. The Undo button often comes in handy for this common mistake.

Challenge!

  • Open Word 2003.
  • Open an existing file.
  • Practice selecting text using each of the methods described in this lesson:


    • Click and drag to select text.
    • Use the pointer to select the entire line of text.
    • Try Select All.
    • Use the keyboard.
  • Close the file and exit Word 2003.