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: Quickly Deleting Words.

Deleting Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2016)

2

While editing documents, it is not uncommon to delete words, phrases, and the like. Different people take different approaches to the task. For instance, some people just select the text and press Delete, while others may simply hold down the Delete or Backspace keys until the unwanted characters disappear.

If you are in the latter group, and you spend a lot of time pressing Delete or Backspace, you may be interested in a handy shortcut provided by Word. All you need to do is hold down the Ctrl key to speed up your deletions. Using Ctrl+Delete deletes text from the insertion point to the end of the next word. For instance, if you wanted to delete four words to the right, simply press Ctrl+Delete four times. Likewise, Ctrl+Backspace deletes words to the left of the insertion point.

An interesting use of these shortcut keys is to speed up editing tasks, not just mass deletions. For instance, let's say you wanted to change the word "sidestep" to "sideways." Normally you would find some way to simply delete "step" and type "ways." This could involve pressing Delete or Backspace four times to get rid of the unwanted portion of the word. You can make your edit faster if you just position the insertion point at the beginning of "step," press Ctrl+Delete once, and then type "ways."

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (487) 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: Quickly Deleting Words.

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

Determining if Overtype Mode is Active

Your macro may need to determine if the user has overtype mode turned on. You can find out the overtype status easily by ...

Discover More

Searching for Special Hyphens

Word allows you to use a couple of different types of hyphens in your document, each with a different purpose. If you want to ...

Discover More

Formatted Merging

When you use the mail-merge capabilities of Word, the information merged takes on the formatting of your source document, not ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

If you use justified paragraphs, you know that if you press Shift+Enter, it can lead to some odd spacing between words and ...

Discover More

Pasting Clean Text

One of the most helpful tools in Word is the ability to paste straight text into a document. This is used so much on my ...

Discover More

Plain Text Pasting as the Default

Pasting 'plain text" into a document is one of the most common ways of pasting information. Wouldn't it be great if this ...

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. 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 five less than 5?

2017-02-01 13:13:38

Barbara Didier

trying to delete "of the following" throughout a document, do not want to replace it.


2011-11-22 21:59:07

G H Dimon, Jr.

A really neat tip! I wish I had known it before I started editing the set of by-laws that I just finished editing!


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.