Weekly Computer Tip # 290
13 November 2009

Select text using your keyboard
(Word 2000-2007)

Earlier this week I was teaching a Word Introduction course to people who were struggling using their mouse. (Boy, were they lucky they were taught by the Queen of Shortcuts! ;-) So we soon moved from tricks and shortcuts for selecting blocks of text using your mouse (see tip_50.php) to tips on how to select text using your keyboard (see tip_51.php). OK, you might have been doing that since January 2004 (time flies when you have fun trying to help you make the most of your time while using your computer) but did you know you can use F8 to select large chunks of text?

Here's how:

  1. To select a word, press F8 twice. (It will select the word to the right of your insertion point.)
  2. To select a sentence, press F8 three times.
  3. To select a paragraph, press F8 four times.
  4. To select an entire document, press F8 five times.

You can also use F8 in conjunction with the left or right arrow keys to (de)select characters or lines.

By the way, you'll notice that when you've used F8 and click anywhere else it keeps selecting your text. Don't panic ... simply press ESC to turn off the "selection mode".