Microsoft Office Selecting Secrets

Stop the Runaway Mouse

What's the "runaway mouse?" You've seen it...you may have even yelled at your computer when it happened. All you want to do is select (highlight) some text or data in a Microsoft Office document by dragging your mouse. Suddenly, your mouse has a mind of it's own and moves too far too fast. I've even heard people shout out "Whoa!" as they try to handle the out of control mouse.

What should you do? First, stop dragging your mouse! To stop the "runaway mouse" add some keyboard shortcuts. To begin, move to the top of the area you want to highlight. Then, press and hold down [Shift]. Move to the end of the area by pressing any directional keys such as the [Down] arrow or [Page Down]. Keep holding down [Shift] and continue moving to the end of text or data that you want to highlight. When you have the area you want then perform the next action: formatting, editing, etc.

Still like the mouse? Press and hold [Shift] and click to pick the end of the selection area even if it is at the end of the document. The key is not to drag; use the scroll bar if you need to make big moves.

Excel bonus: Okay, I admit there is a dragging trick in Excel. Instead of pulling harder on the mouse to move to the end of the selection, stop on the scroll bar. If you hop on and ride the scroll bar and gently pull the mouse, you can easily maintain control.

Easy Keyboard Selection Secret

Even better than the [Shift] key is a hidden selection trick. I compare this to taking the measurements of a large room--it's much easier with a friend holding the measuring tape at one end while you take your time to move to the other end. Ever have a measuring tape snap back when you try this yourself? The hidden trick is the [F8] function key.

To use this selection trick, simply:

1. Move to beginning of the selection area.

2. Press [F8] once.

3. Look in the bottom center or left corner of your status bar for EXT; don't expect anything to flash or pop up; EXT stands for Extend Selection.

4. Take your time moving to the end of the selection area with your keyboard and/or the mouse.

5. Perform the action to the selected area such as formatting, cut, copy, etc. The EXT mode turns off as soon as you do an action. Just move anywhere to clear the highlight. What if you change your mind and you want to turn off the Extend Selection without continuing? In Excel, press [F8] again or press [Esc]. In Word, press [Esc] to cancel. Move anywhere to clear the highlight.

Selecting Multiple Items

To select more than one item such as 2 different paragraphs in Word, 4 cells in Excel, 3 graphics in PowerPoint, or 10 files in Windows Explorer, choose either [Shift] or [Ctrl]. The basic steps work in Microsoft Office, Windows Explorer, and many other Windows programs.

To select a contiguous (touching) area use [Shift]:

1. Click once on the first item.

2. Press and hold [Shift].

3. Click on the last item that you want to highlight and everything in between will also be selected.

4. Perform an action such as formatting.

To select non-contiguous (unrelated) items use [Ctrl]:

1. Click one on the first item.

2. Press and hold [Ctrl] and, click on each of the other items, press [Ctrl] again to unselect.

3. Perform the action to finish working with the highlighted area. Some ideas for these options:

? Pick files from File > Open to open all of these at the same time in your Microsoft Office program.

? Choose multiple slides in the PowerPoint slide sorter to apply a transition.

? Highlight groups of cells or sections of text and apply formatting.

? Select drawing objects to group, move, or change formatting.

Selecting Tricks in Word With the Selection Bar

Have you ever used the selection bar? Just think of this as the left margin of your Word document. To locate the selection bar area, move your mouse to the left of text until it changes from an upper case "I" to a white arrow. Selection tricks to try with the selection bar:

? Click once to highlight entire line.

? Double-click to select the whole paragraph.

? Triple-click (can you do it?) to highlight the entire document (great for overall changes such as font formatting).

Easy Select All

To make changes to an entire document or file, press [Ctrl] + A to Select All or choose File > Select All (if available).

© 2004 by Dawn Bjork Buzbee

Dawn Bjork Buzbee is The Software Pro? and a certified Microsoft Office Expert and Microsoft Office Specialist Master Instructor. Dawn shares smart and easy ways to effectively use software and technology through her work as a speaker, trainer, and consultant. Visit http://www.SoftwarePro.com for great Microsoft Office software tips and tricks or to contact Dawn.

Microsoft RMS ? Great Plains Integration ? Overview For IT Specialist

Microsoft Great Plains and Microsoft Retail Management System (Microsoft RMS) are getting new market share... Read More

Collaboration Software: Index of Collaboration Software Technologies

Collaboration SoftwareCollaboration Software, also known as group collaboration software or groupware, is software which allows... Read More

Microsoft Business Solutions Partner ? How to Launch New IT Consulting Practice

In the new era of internet marketing the problem of severe competition comes into... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Furniture & Fixtures ? Implementation & Customization Highlights

Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Software Dynamics / eEnterprise was introduced in 1993 as... Read More

Microsoft Moves to Small Business Accounting/Retail Market ? Stakes and Thoughts

In this small article we will be looking at the new opportunities for Microsoft Small... Read More

Inherent Dangers Of File Sharing Via The Internet.

Cyberspace has opened up a new frontier with exciting possibilities of "File Sharing." We can... Read More

Can Group Collaboration Software Meet Business Needs?

According to a survey conducted by InfoTrends/CAP Ventures entitled "Content-Centric Collaboration," 51 percent of businesspeople... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Verticals - Wholesale Order Entry center ? overview

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has substantial market share and strong support by Microsoft on... Read More

Healthcare Preventive Maintenance Software

Healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, and biomedical laboratories can benefit greatly if up to... Read More

Cisco Certification: Introduction To ISDN, Part IV

In part III of this ISDN primer, we learned that PPP has two main methods... Read More

Create A Flash Presentation For Free With Open Office

The intentions of this short tutorial are not to teach you how to use Open... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Integration Manager: Using Continuum ? Overview for Developer

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has I'd say end user integration tool ? Great Plains... Read More

Microsoft CRM Modification ? Overview for IT Specialist

Microsoft CRM is now on the scene and it is increasing its market share, due... Read More

Microsoft CRM Conversation Gateway: VoIP - Implementation & Customization

Microsoft CRM is winning market share step-by-step from such the traditional CRM providers as Siebel,... Read More

Know-how in Microsoft Publisher

For those who still don't know, Microsoft Publisher helps computer users to easily create, customize... Read More

New SQL Delta Version 3.1

COMMAND LINE FUNCTIONA powerful command line script processor has been introduced to SQL Delta 3.1.... Read More

Create ASP in Minutes

DBxtra goes ASPGetting to the information hidden within corporate databases has always been... Read More

Lotus Domino: Application Integration ? A Programmer View

There are two approaches for application integration:? Programmer's approach ? for applications integration it is... Read More

The Hidden Power of Online Manual

Writing software manuals is boring, isn't it? We often think: "My software is easy to... Read More

A Simple Guide To Wikis

A wiki is an editable text-based website. But you don't need to understand any complex... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Installation ? Overview for IT Director/Controller

Microsoft Great Plains is main mid-market application from Microsoft Business Solutions. This is short article,... Read More

Software Piracy - Global Increase

Pirated software is on the increase and now accounts for over one third of the... Read More

Will Adobe Manage to Replace Industry Work Horse Quark Express by Giving Adobe InDesign for Free?

Heard about the Quark "killer"?Adobe InDesign CS2. Will it really "kill" Quark? Adobe has been... Read More

Internet Security Threats: Who Can Read Your Email?

Before being able to choose a secure Internet communication system, you need to understand the... Read More

Programming Language Migration Path

While I was preparing some personal background information for a potential client, I was reviewing... Read More

Antivirus Software ? Get The Bugs Before They Get You!

You turn on your computer, and it doesn't look quite right. Maybe your icons have... Read More

Is Your Computer Sick?

Viruses and spyware usually show up on your computer one of two ways.Either they invade... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Offshore Customization & Development ? Overview for Consultant

When you visit department stores and see that majority of the apparels are produced in... Read More

Business Planning Software

Once a business idea is selected, it is highly recommended that we sharpen the concept... Read More

What is a Document Manager without Version History?

Document Manager and Version HistoryIn previous articles I have discussed the usefulness of a document... Read More

Unofficial Windows 98 SE Service Pack 2.0 RC2

Microsoft has never released a service pack for Windows98 SE, but I made a Service... Read More

Mapping Software: Putting Data Visualization on the Map

Mapping Software Improves Data VisualizationFrom the outset, it is important to clarify exactly what mapping... Read More

Pros and Cons of Using FREE Software in Your Business

It???s easy to understand why you might be drawn to the allure of free software.... Read More

How to Choose the BEST Charting Software

I suggest that you do not spend a lot of money on charting software as... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains IV: Inventory Management

Great Plains Inventory Management (IV) module gives your business a competitive edge. By achieving accurate... Read More

Instant Messenger Clients

If you have been using the Internet for any amount of time you have probably... Read More

Five Reasons for Using an O/R Mapping Tool

So, why should you use any O/R mapping tool? I am not talking about a... Read More

Crystal Reports For Microsoft RMS ? Overview For Developer/Report Designer

If you are software developer or database administrator - we would like to... Read More

Resume Software ? Advantages Revealed

The various resume software offered, particularly on the internet, can seem very attractive to job... Read More

ERP Consulting: Microsoft Great Plains Partner Future Directions

In the Clinton era the status quo was simple: you serve your local clients and... Read More

Free Software - Powerful Alternatives to Budget-Busting Software

When you buy a computer, it most likely comes with Microsoft Windows preinstalled. And when... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains PM: Payables Management

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is marketed for mid-size companies as well as Navision (which... Read More

Reporting for Microsoft Great Plains/Dynamics/eEnterprise: RW ? ReportWriter ? Tips for Developer

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is written in Great Plains Software programming tool: Great Plains... Read More

Demand More From Your Lead Tracking Software

An integral part of any quality CRM system is lead tracking software. This is the... Read More

Microsoft Navision Integration with Microsoft RMS - Overview for IT Specialist

Microsoft Business Solutions Navision serves both European and American megamarkets. It was originally written by... Read More

Linux ? Keyboard Or Mouse

Just stress testing one of the latest Linux distributions. Been testing it for about two... Read More

Lowering The Risks In Developing Do-It-Yourself Software Projects

Mike Dunville* had a decision to make. As the new operations manager for Alpha Staffing,... Read More

Screenshots Vista Windows

Features Additionally, Vista will include many other new features.Aero Vista will include a completely re-designed... Read More

Examining the Substance of Studio MX

To all web designers out there, this article is for you! I guess you already... Read More

Make or Break Factors - When Considering Estimating Software

Make-or-Break Factors in Success and ProfitabilityFor quick printers, estimating can prove to be a major... Read More