by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 2, 2019)
In other issues of WordTips you learn that you can turn on extend mode (which allows you to make selections) by pressing the F8 key. Some people may wonder why anyone would bother to use F8 to make selections when simply holding down the Shift key or selecting with the mouse is just as easy, if not easier.
The answer is that using F8 enables a handy feature that is not available in other selection methods. If you press F8 to turn on the extend mode, you can then press any other key and Word will automatically extend the selection up to the next occurrence of that character. For instance, if you wanted to select everything from the current position of the insertion point through the next comma, simply press F8 and then a comma—the selection is automatically made. Press another comma, and the selection is extended to the next comma.
You can press any other key you want, except for F8 or Esc. Either of these will cancel the extend mode. If there is no subsequent occurrence of the key you press, then Word does not extend the selection.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1499) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
Want a quick way to select your entire document without taking your hand off of the mouse? Try clicking away using the ...Discover More
Many word processing programs include commands that allow you to select a line of text. Word doesn't, but you can use the ...Discover More
Need to select an entire sentence at once? You can do so by creating a short macro that does the task for you, or you can ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.
Visit the WordTips channel on YouTube