Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Selecting a Word.

Selecting a Word

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 28, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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If you are using a mouse, Word provides a shortcut to select an entire word. (There are also ways to select a word using the keyboard, but this tip refers to using the mouse only.) To select a word using the mouse, follow these two steps:

  1. Using the mouse pointer, point to the word you want to select.
  2. Double-click on the mouse.

If you want to select additional words, hold down the mouse button after the second click and drag the mouse across them. Word adds one word at a time to your selection. Once the words are selected, you can do any other editing function on those words.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10623) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Selecting a Word.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is seven minus 5?

2022-11-18 12:08:03

Scott Knitter

"If you want to select additional words, hold down the mouse button after the second click and drag the mouse across them. Word adds one word at a time to your selection. Once the words are selected, you can do any other editing function on those words."

Alas, I've used this for years but it's no longer working in my fully updated Microsoft 365. I could really use it on my current project but have to use slower techniques. I'm spending a lot of time looking for a setting or online advice about how to restore this. I can no longer drag after the second click to select another word. Won't select.


2020-11-28 11:56:38

Nora Abbott

Additional tips for selection: (1) if you wish to format a word, having the cursor within the word is all that is necessary. Just place the cursor within the word and then click the appropriate formatting selection, such as bold or a different font. (2) Select any amount of text by placing the cursor at one end of the text to be selected. Hold down the [SHIFT] key and click at the other end of the text. Everything between these two locations will be selected. THIS technique is a Windows process and is not confined to Word. It's especially handy when you want to select a lengthy amount of text - even several pages, because it avoids the possibility of the screen "scrolling" too much if you "drag."


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