Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
These shortcuts are great time savers, but don’t let them stop you from
experimenting with text selection. Sometimes you’ll need to be more precise, and will
need to select text the long way.
Selecting text using the keyboard
If you ﬁ nd it hard to use the mouse, you can use the keyboard to select text. You
use the same controls you used to move the cursor around (see Table 1.1), but
hold down the Shift key at the same time. If you want to select the character to the
left of the cursor, hold down the Shift key and press the left cursor key. If you want
to select the word to the left of the cursor, hold down Shift and Control and press
left, and that word will be selected and highlighted in blue. If you want to select
the line you’re at the end of, hold down Shift and tap the Home key.
Sometimes this technique seems to select odd chunks of text. If you’re in the
middle of a line and you press Shift and up, it will select all the text to the left of
the cursor on the current line, and all the text to the right of the cursor on the line
above, and will then move the cursor to the line above. Figure 1.6 shows what
happens if I position my cursor before the word ‘zebra’ and then use Shift and up
to select text.
The way to understand what you can select with each combination of keys, is to
experiment with using the left and right arrows to move through your document.
What happens when your cursor reaches the end of a line of text? It goes to the
start of the next line. What happens when you reach the left hand side of a line of
text? The cursor goes to the right hand side of the line above.
Text selection using the keyboard does the same thing. Although you tap the up
key and see it move instantly, imagine the cursor is going back along the line
you’re on, selecting characters as it goes. When it reaches the left-hand side, it