Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Selecting a Text Block.

Selecting a Text Block

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 28, 2014)

When working with some forms of data in Word (particularly tabular columns of information), it is often helpful to select non-sequential text in a block. For instance, you might want to select the tenth through thirtieth characters on each of five lines, ignoring everything else. Word makes this easy to do, using either the keyboard or the mouse. If you want to select a block of text using the keyboard, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the position that defines the upper-left corner of the block.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+F8. The letters COL appear on the status bar.
  3. Use the cursor control keys to extend the block to include all the text desired.

If you would rather use the mouse to block the text, you can do so by simply holding down the Alt key as you make your selection.

Once your text block is selected, you can take any action desired. For instance, if you press the Del key, then the block of text is deleted.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Selecting a Text Block.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Setting Header/Footer Margins

Do you find that there is a lot of extra space around that data on your worksheet when it is printed? Changing the margins in ...

Discover More

Start Sharing Documents with Your Organization

The sharing and collaboration features of Docs can be quite a boon. In fact, if applied judiciously it can radically change ...

Discover More

Finding a Worksheet with a Specific Value in a Specific Cell

If you have a lot of worksheets in workbook, finding the exact one you want can be a bit tricky. This tip looks at various ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Quickly Selecting Text

Want a really quick way to select text? Just combine the Shift key with a simple mouse click.

Discover More

Selecting a Group of Words

Want to select a chunk of text in a document? Perhaps the easiest way to do this involves using the mouse in conjunction with ...

Discover More

Selecting a Line of Text

Many word processing programs include commands that allow you to select a line of text. Word doesn't, but you can use the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.