Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Backspace key: Deletes the character to the left of the insertion pointer
Delete key: Deletes the character to the right of the insertion pointer
In the following example, the insertion pointer is “flashing” (okay, it would be flashing on a
computer screen) between the z and the e in dozens. Pressing the Backspace key deletes the z; pressing
the Delete key deletes the e:
Duane made doz|ens of delightful things in his woodshop yet still
managed to retain all his fingers.
The touchscreen keyboard features only the Backspace key, which, ironically, supports the universal
symbol for the Delete key. Touching this key backs up and erases. There’s no Delete key equivalent
on the touchscreen keyboard to delete the character to the right of the insertion pointer.
After you delete a character, any text to the right or below the character shuffles over to fill the
You can press and hold Backspace or Delete to continuously “machine-gun-delete” characters.
Release the key to halt such wanton destruction, although I recommend using other delete
commands (covered in this chapter) rather than the machine-gun approach.
Special types of text in Word cannot easily be deleted using either the Backspace
key or Delete key. An example is an updating text field, which holds special text that always
shows, say, today’s date. This type of text appears shaded in a light gray color when you try to
delete it. That’s Word reminding you of the unusualness of the text. Press the Delete or
Backspace key a second time to delete such text. See Chapter 23 for more information on fields.
Deleting a word
To gobble up an entire word, add the Ctrl key to the Backspace or Delete key’s destructive power:
Ctrl+Backspace deletes the word in front (to the left) of the insertion pointer.
Ctrl+Delete deletes the word behind (to the right) of the insertion pointer.
These keyboard shortcuts work best when the insertion pointer is at the start or end of a word. When
you’re in the middle of the word, the commands delete only from that middle point to the start or
end of the word.
After you delete a word, the insertion pointer sits at the end of the preceding word (or paragraph)
when you use Ctrl+Backspace. Deleting a word by using Ctrl+Delete puts the cursor at the
beginning of the next word. This is done to facilitate the rapid deletion of several words in a row.
After deleting the text, Word neatly wraps up the remaining text, snuggling it together in a
grammatically proper way; deleting a word doesn’t leave a “hole” in your text.