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Anchor Your Word Selection

Thursday, December 15th, 2005 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Anchor Your Word Selection

Many of you may know that the F8 key will anchor the cursor for highlighting in MS Word. It’s a great trick that allows for text highlighting using only directional keys (arrows, page up/down) or a click of the mouse. It’s something that can really help people who aren’t so savvy when it comes to highlighting text in a document while holding down a multiple-key combination. And… let’s face it – a lack of good hand-eye coordination can really hinder your efforts while trying to use the left mouse button to drag the highlight.

But what about the people who aren’t so great at the memorizing key meanings but still want a way to anchor the cursor? Is there something Word has to offer that doesn’t require memorizing keys?

I’m happy to report that “yes” there is help for you too.

What you’re looking for can be found on the Status bar at the bottom of the Word program window.

Specifically, you’re looking for the EXT which stands for Extend Selection.


Place your cursor at one end of the text to be highlighted and double click on EXT.

Now either use the mouse to click at the other end of the text to be highlighted or start using your directional keys (arrows, page up/down, home, end). As you begin to create your selection you should notice that the EXT goes from gray to black meaning that the Extend Selection feature is active.

Once you’re got your text highlighted proceed as usual with your copy / paste, etc… the Extend Selection feature will turn itself off once you’ve finished this step.

Change your mind about the whole thing?

No problem. Hit the Escape key or double click again on EXT in the Status bar and the feature will be turned off without any changes to your document.

With this one, even those who usually have highlighting issues should be on easy street!

~ April

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