Tips and Tricks for Microsoft Word 2010

Want to make life easier when working with MS Word 2010? Check out the selection of tips and tricks below to develop your knowledge and skills.

Tip 1 – Control that mouse!
We all know how frustrating it can be when all you want to do is highlight a small selection of text and suddenly the mouse cursor shoots off to the edge of the screen. Next thing you know you’ve selected all of your work and somehow managed to delete it! How can you avoid this? The key is not to drag your mouse and, where possible, use keyboard shortcuts.

To use the keyboard, move the cursor to the beginning of the area you wish to select. Hold down the SHIFT key and use the down cursor key or the Pg Dn key to highlight the desired area. You can then edit as if you’d selected it with a drag of the mouse. If you absolutely have to use your mouse you can start in the same way by moving the cursor to the beginning of the required area. Then hold down SHIFT and move your cursor to the end of the required area. Left-click again and the area will be selected. Both of these methods avoid the hazardous drag.

Tip 2 – The magic of the F8 key
Another great selection tip is incremental use of the F8 key. Move to the beginning of the text you wish to highlight and press F8. This will enter Extended Selection Mode. Press it again and you’ll notice the first word is highlighted. Press it again and you’ll find the whole first sentence is selected. You can highlight the whole first paragraph with another push and then the entire document after that. Just remember to press ESC when you’ve finished editing to exit the Extended Selection Mode.

Tip 3 – The magic of the mouse button
You can perform a similar function to Tip 2 with the left mouse button. Double-click at the start of a sentence to select the first word. You can then triple-click to highlight the whole paragraph.

Tip 4 – Selecting non-contiguous text
If you need to select two or more words that aren’t together (i.e. non-contiguous) in a sentence or two individual paragraphs from a whole document you can use a combination of the CTRL key and the mouse. Let’s look at the latter as an example. This is one of the few processes where a drag of the mouse is required – you have been warned…

Move the cursor to the beginning of the first paragraph and use Tip 1 or Tip 2 to highlight it. Then move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph you wish to highlight but don’t click the mouse button. Press and hold the CTRL button and drag the cursor from the start to the end of the second paragraph. You will see that both paragraphs have been selected.

Tip 5 – Select all
Most of you will have heard of CTRL + c and CTRL + v to copy and paste text but you can also use the shortcut ‘CTRL + a’ to select all of the text in a document. Hold down the CTRL button first, continuing to hold when you press the ‘a’ key. This can be very useful if you need to change the font type or font size for an entire document. You will notice that this shortcut applies to all MS Office applications and to most functions within Windows Explorer.

Keep checking back to for more MS Office tips and tricks.

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