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: Moving Text Using the Mouse.

Moving Text Using the Mouse

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 1, 2015)


Word incorporates many different tools you can use to edit your document. Perhaps one of the least used, but most unique methods of editing your document uses the mouse entirely. You can use your mouse to move text, the same way you would move another element, such as a graphic. To move text with your mouse, you need to first ensure that the feature is enabled. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the Edit tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the check box beside the Drag and Drop Text Editing option is selected.
  5. Click on OK to close the Options dialog box.

Once enabled, you can use the mouse to move text by following these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to move.
  2. Click on the text with the mouse and drag it to where you want it moved.
  3. Release the mouse button.

If you want to simply copy your text (instead of actually moving it) you can hold down the Ctrl key while using the mouse to drag the selection.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13) 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: Moving Text Using the Mouse.

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. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2016-09-20 17:28:44

S. Baxendale

I have drag-and-drop editing enabled, but sometimes Word won't let me drag and drop text. Instead, I get a circle with a line through it when I try to move the text. I can't figure out the circumstances when this occurs, but I've gotten it to stop by closing the document and/or Word and then I can drag-and-drop again. Any experience with this issue?

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