Tag Archives: selecting text

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 4

Selecting Text

This may seem straightforward, but there are important shortcuts here too, which can save you tons of time of the long run. Every shortcut helps in doing your job faster. The faster you can work, the more money you can earn.

Selecting with the Mouse

  • double click with your mouse on a word and it will select the word.
  • triple click and you select the entire paragraph.
  • move your mouse to the left side of the screen and it turns into an arrow near the edge. Click at that point and it will select the entire line to the right of it. Hold it while dragging it up or down will select other lines as well.
  • hold your mouse just above the top of a column of a table and it will turn into a downward pointing, black arrow. Click and you will select the entire column.
  • move the mouse to the far left of a row of a table and it will turn into the standard white arrow. This will select the entire row.
  • move the mouse near the left side of a table cell until it turns into a dark arrow pointing up right and you select just that cell.
  • or if selecting a larger amount of text, a useful trick is to place the cursor at the starting point, scroll up or down to somewhere else in the document, hold the Shift key and then click somewhere else. That will select the text between the start and end points.
  • or a real fancy trick, which I stumbled on accidentally, hold the Alt key and select a square area with your mouse. This will create a box selection, which can be useful to precisely isolate what exactly you want to select (ie- to make bold certain text or format certain text within a hanging indent paragraph).

Once any text is selected, click into the selected area, do not let go and move your mouse to somewhere else, to move that selection. You will notice a semi-visible cursor as you are moving about.

But sometimes it is faster using your keyboard. After all, as you translate, your fingers are already in place on the keyboard, and moving one of your hands away from it to grab the mouse can lose precious time. Here are some principles how you can navigate the cursor using the keyboard only, or select text with the keyboard only.

Selecting with the Keyboard

  • ctrl+right arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the next word
  • ctrl+left arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word, or the existing word if the cursor is not already at the beginning
  • ctrl+down arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
  • crtrl+up arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the existing or previous paragraph
  • ctrl+home – moves the cursor to the beginning of the document
  • ctrl+end – moves the cursor to the end of the document

Now if you include the Shift key in any of the above, you will select that portion of text from the start until the end.

For example, place your cursor in the middle of a word, then hold ctrl+shift while pressing left arrow three time. The resulting selected text will be from the middle of the starting word until the beginning of the second word before it. Practice these principles for a while and you will see that it can be quite useful when proofreading/editing a document, when you need to move around (ctrl+x) words or phrases within a paragraph. Reaching over for your mouse takes significantly longer, and all this adds up over the long term.

Logically, pressing shift+up arrow will select lines as the cursor moves upwards, or ctrl+shift+up/down arrow will select paragraphs at a time, while shift+page up/down will select pages at a time. Keep pressing down onto the ctrl or shift keys and move your cursor around with the up/down/right/left arrow key to adjust your selection as you wish.

For example, you are provided (or you OCR a PDF file<) with a Word file which is already formatted, so you only have to type over the source text with your translation. You are about half way through, and you are curious how much text you have left to translate. Press ctrl+shift+End and it will select the rest of the document. Press ctrl+c to copy your selected text. Press ctrl+n to create a new, blank document. Press ctrl+v to paste the selected text into the new document. Press alt+s (custom shortcut key) to view the document statistics (press ctrl+tab to move to the tabs to the right or ctrl+shift+tab to move to the left – as with all such windows). This will give you a word count of what you have left to translate. Or Home instead of End to calculate what you have translated so far. ctrl+w or ctrl+F4 will close your new document, taking you back to your translation file. Then press the left arrow key to return the cursor to the beginning of your selected text (the right arrow will always place the cursor at the end of a selection).

Once you get used to this, if you are proofreading, for example, you will find that this approach can be much faster. Time is money!

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