Selecting Text

When selecting text Office XP 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 and replace or delete text, you must first select it. There are many different selection techniques.

Remember:
  1. Select what you want to change.
  2. 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 (insertion point) 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've selected the text you want to change.

Click and drag to select text

Pros:
  • This method highlights letters, words, and even entire documents.
  • There's a lot of control with individual letters, words, and phrases.
Cons:

A lack of control may cause you to:

  • Select the entire file when you don't want to
  • Select 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:
  • This method is quick and easy.
Cons:
  • It selects the entire line of text when you may not want it to.
  • It 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:
  • This method is great when you need to quickly select all text in a file, such as for changing the font style or size.
Cons:
  • It 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+HomeThe current line to the left of the insertion point
Shift+EndThe current line to the right of the insertion point
Shift+PgUpA screenful of text from the insertion point up
Shift+PgDnA screenful of text from the insertion point down
Ctrl+Shift+Right ArrowOne word to the right of the insertion point
Ctrl+Shift+Left ArrowOne word to the left of the insertion point
Crtl+Shift+HomeAll text from the insertion point to the beginning of the document
Crtl+Shift+EndAll text from the insertion point to the end of the document
Alt+Ctrl+Shift+PgDnAll text from the insertion point to end of the displayed window
F8 and arrow keyFrom the insertion point in the direction of whichever arrow is chosen
F8 (selection mode)Press Esc to leave selection mode
Crtl+ASelects the 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 Select All in the Edit menu (Ctrl+A).

OR

  • Use the Shift key for more control.
  • Click once at the starting point of the text you want to be selected.
  • Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard while clicking at the ending point of the text you want to be selected.
  • The text in between these 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 2002.
  • 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
    • Use Select All
    • Use the Keyboard
  • Close the file, and exit Word 2002.