Select Data

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Before you can perform different operations on data, such as deleting it, changing its font or alignment, applying a border around it, formatting it as a list or copying and pasting it elsewhere in a file or into a different file altogether, you must select the data. Selected data appears highlighted.

Depending on what program you are using, Office offers several different techniques for selecting data. For example, in Word, PowerPoint and Publisher, you can use your mouse or your keyboard to select a single character, a word, a sentence, a paragraph or all the data in the file.

Click and Drag to Select Data

Click and Drag to Select Data

  1. Click to one side of the word or character that you want to select.
  2. Drag the cursor across the text that you want to select.
    Word selects any characters that you drag across. You can use this technique to select characters, words, sentences and paragraphs.
    To deselect selected text, simply click anywhere outside the text or press any arrow key on your keyboard.
    Note: This technique also works for selecting images in your Office files. You can also select an image simply by clicking it.

Select Text with a Mouse

Select Text with a Mouse

  1. Double-click the word that you want to select.
    You can triple-click a paragraph to select it.

Select Text from the Margin

  1. Click in the left margin.
    Word selects the entire line of text next to where you clicked.
    You can double-click inside the left margin to select a paragraph.
    You can triple-click inside the left margin to select all the text in the document.
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