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 an Entire Section.

Selecting an Entire Section

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 1, 2017)

You probably already know that you can press Ctrl+A to select all the text in an entire document. What if you want to select all the text in a particular section of a document, however? Does Word provide a shortcut to select just a single section?

A section is defined as the portion of a document between the beginning of the document and the first section break, between two consecutive section breaks, or between the final section break and the end of the document. There is no shortcut defined in Word that allows you to select a single section of your document. There are, however, some ways that you can perform the selection or you can create your own shortcut.

One simple way is to follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the beginning of your section.
  2. Press F8 to turn on extend mode.
  3. Press F5 to display the Go To tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Go To tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. In the left side of the dialog box, choose Section.
  6. Click Next.

The entire section should now be selected and you can do whatever you want to do next. You can also use a variation on these steps, in this manner:

  1. Position the insertion point at the beginning of your section.
  2. Press F8 to turn on extend mode.
  3. Click the Select Browse Object control. (The small, round ball below the vertical scroll bar, at the bottom-right of your program window.) A palette of available objects appears.
  4. Click the Browse by Section object.

That's it; the section should now be selected. It should be noted that neither of the previous techniques will work properly in selecting the final section of a document or in selecting the entire document if you have only one section in the document.

If you need to select the current selection quite regularly, then you should develop your own shortcut. You can create a macro, and then assign a shortcut key to that macro. The following macro will select the current section:

Sub SelectCurrentSection()
    On Error Resume Next
    Selection.Range.Sections.First.Range.Select
End Sub

The On Error statement at the beginning of the macro is just a quick-and-dirty way of suppressing the error raised if the insertion point is in a header, footer, footnote pane, or any other place where there are no sections defined.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (523) 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 an Entire Section.

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

Saving Worksheets in Lotus 1-2-3 Format

You can export an Excel worksheet in a variety of formats. One of those formats is Lotus 1-2-3, which is available as an ...

Discover More

Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document

AutoText can be a great way to add consistent, common text to a document. Unfortunately you cannot save AutoText entries with ...

Discover More

Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists

As you are typing away on a document, you may notice that Word automatically formats bulleted lists (or what it thinks are ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 Sentence

Need to select an entire sentence? It's easy by making one small adjustment to how you click the mouse.

Discover More

Selecting the Entire Document with the Mouse

Want a quick way to select your entire document without taking your hand off of the mouse? Try clicking away using 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 five more than 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.