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

Understanding WIZ Files

A file that uses the WIZ extension will open just fine in Word. What are these files, however, and how do you create them?

Discover More

Defining Styles

Styles are a powerful component of Word. You use them to determine the way that your text should appear. This tip ...

Discover More

Using the Format Painter with Editing Restrictions in Place

Word allows you to apply protection to your documents that can affect which tools users can access. If you want to exempt ...

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)

Understanding Hard and Soft Returns

Did you know that there are different types of returns in Word? Here's the inside scoop.

Discover More

Adding Serial Commas in a Sentence

Part of the job of an editor is to apply standards of grammar to text written by someone else. One standard that may need ...

Discover More

Viewing Your Entire Document Width

The Zoom tool is very useful to help you see all of your document information. Here's how to make sure you can see all ...

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 4 - 0?

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.