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Understanding Click and Type

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Understanding Click and Type.

Word includes a feature known simply as Click and Type. This feature means that when you are working in Print Layout view or Web Layout view, you can double-click your mouse in any open area of your document (where there is not text) and begin typing right away.

Normally, you begin typing at the left side of the screen. If you later want to adjust your text to the right margin or center it on the screen, you do so by using the tools on the various ribbon tabs. Click and Type, however, allows you to quickly format and enter text at the same time. The result is faster editing and formatting.

You can tell if Click and Type is active by how the mouse pointer behaves on screen. If the mouse pointer, when moving within the document window, looks like a simple I-beam insertion pointer, then Click and Type is not turned on. If, instead, it looks like an I-beam with some horizontal lines near by, then Click and Type is active and ready. These lines indicate the formatting of the text that you can insert. There are four possibilities:

  • Left aligned. If the horizontal lines are near the upper-right side of the I-beam, then it indicates that double-clicking your mouse will result in a left-aligned paragraph where you click.
  • Left aligned, first line indent. If the horizontal lines are near the upper-right side of the I-beam, but there is also a very small arrow at the left side of the first horizontal line, then double-clicking will result in a left-aligned paragraph where you click, with the first line of the paragraph indented.
  • Centered. If the horizontal lines are directly beneath the I-beam, then you can enter a centered paragraph by double-clicking your mouse.
  • Right aligned. If the horizontal lines are near the upper-left side of the I-beam, then it indicates that double-clicking will add a right-aligned paragraph where you click.

Remember that Click and Type only works if you are viewing your document in Print Layout view or in Web Layout view.

If you don't like or don't use the Click and Type, you may want to turn it off. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box, click Advanced.
  3. In the Editing area of the dialog box, make sure the Enable Click and Type check box is cleared. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Editing area of the Word Options dialog box.

  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 (5999) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Click and Type.

Related Tips:

Create and Merge! Using Word's mail merge tool you can quickly and easily combine data from a variety of data sources to create great individualized documents that incorporate your data in ways that you control. WordTips: Mail Merge Magic is an invaluable source for learning how to harness the full power of Word's mail merging capabilities. Check out WordTips: Mail Merge Magic today!

 

Comments for this tip:

JB    06 Nov 2012, 12:55
Well done...I have had questions from my students about this I-beam with the lines and haven't been able to tell them just what it meant. Thanks! I wondered why sometimes I could get to blank areas and other times not! I KNEW MS had done something but never saw the explanation before!

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