Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Using Extend Mode.

Using Extend Mode

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2018)

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If you press on the F8 key, you enable what Word refers to as extend mode. This is the keyboard method of anchoring the cursor in preparation for making a selection. When you move the cursor using the cursor control keys, the size of the text selection changes and the status bar starts to show how many words are contained in the selection. You turn off the extend mode by pressing the Esc key.

One of the handy things to do in extend mode is to search for other text. For instance, let's say you wanted to select everything between the current cursor position and the next occurrence of the word "echo." All you need to do is turn on extend mode (press F8) and then search for "echo." Word selects everything between the two points.

When you press the F8 key multiple times, you can select different parts of your text. For instance, when you press F8 once, you simply turn on extend mode. Press it a second time, and the current word is selected. A third time results in the current sentence being selected. A fourth time selects the current paragraph, and a fifth time selects the whole document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13335) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Extend Mode.

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 5 + 9?

2018-08-29 08:06:01

Surendera M. Bhanot

Me too struck up with the same situation as Steve Susoyev is in. I am also on word2010!!


2015-06-13 18:11:43

Steve Susoyev

Hello, and thanks so much for all of your great information.

Since my office converted to Office 2010, F8 no longer works for selecting text between the current location and the next occurrence of a word I want to Find. This was such a handy tool, Word 2003. This tip says it is for users of Word 2007, 2010 and 2013, but I'm thinking there must be some steps missing in the instructions. I'm usually pretty good at figuring these things out, but this one has me stumped. Thanks!


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