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: Automatically Selecting Words.

Automatically Selecting Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 8, 2017)

When you are editing your document, there are many times that Word tries to guess what you are doing and then complete your task for you. This helpfulness can be aggravating at times. One such instance is when you are trying to use the mouse to select text from the middle of one word to the middle of another. Whenever you click inside a word and then start dragging the mouse, Word assumes you want to make a selection. As soon as you move the mouse pointer outside the word, the program assumes you wanted to select the entire first word in which you originally clicked.

If you want to ensure that Word doesn't make that assumption, you need to follow these steps to turn off the offending feature:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. This displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the When Selecting, Automatically Select Entire Word check box is cleared.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1258) 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: Automatically Selecting 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

Restoring the Analysis ToolPak

Add-ins for Excel, such as the Analysis ToolPak, are stored in files on your hard drive that can be deleted. If you delete ...

Discover More

Setting Default Options for Track Changes

The Track changes feature in Word is a great help in editing documents, particularly if you are working with others or your ...

Discover More

Engineering Calculations

Need to normalize your data in some way so that all your values are in a given format? This tip presents a number of ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Selecting a Word

Selecting text is a critical skill to possess when you want to work with a Word document. This tip explains how you can ...

Discover More

Selecting an Entire Paragraph

Paragraphs are an elemental building block for documents. This tip explains the different ways you can select entire ...

Discover More

Selecting a Text Block

Word has an interesting way of allowing you to select a rectangular block of text, without reference to what may be within ...

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 for this tip:

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 two less than 3?

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.

Links and Sharing