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: Using Extend Mode.

Using Extend Mode

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 23, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you press the F8 key, you enable what Word refers to as extend mode. This is the keyboard method of anchoring the cursor in preparation for making a selection. When you move the cursor using the cursor control keys, the size of the text selection changes and the letters EXT appear on the status bar. You turn off the extend mode by pressing the Esc key.

One of the handy things to do in extend mode is to search for other text. For instance, let's say you wanted to select everything between the current cursor position and the next occurrence of the word "echo." All you need to do is turn on extend mode (press F8) and then search for "echo." Word selects everything between the two points.

When you press the F8 key multiple times, you can select different parts of your text. For instance, when you press F8 once, you simply turn on extend mode. Press it a second time, and the current word is selected. A third time results in the current sentence being selected. A fourth time selects the current paragraph, and a fifth time selects the whole document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (25) 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: Using Extend Mode.

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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