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.

The Top 5 Wrong Reasons For Not Hiring Testers

Considering whether or not your software company should hire a dedicated team of testers? Here... Read More

An Introduction to .NET Framework

.Net Framework is a platform or development environment to seamlessly create web-applications that are accessible... Read More

Dreamweaver vs FrontPage

There are two major WYSIWYG(What You See Is What You Get) editors available for beginners.... Read More

Daffodil DB: Web Database

What is a Web Database?A web database is a database for... Read More

Recovering Microsoft Great Plains Customization ? Tips for IT Director

Remember nice and prosperous Clinton era? When you implemented innovative those old days accounting application... Read More

Marketing Your WinRunner Team

It won't matter how effective your WinRunner Team is if no-one outside your immediate organization... Read More

Benefits of Shareware

Shareware has been fighting the stigma of being misunderstood for decades. While corporate software giants... Read More

A Case Study on Selecting Contract Management Software

Professional services firm cuts costs and improves productivity with integrated software system."I could satisfy the... Read More

Device Driver Basics

Most people understand that the "hardware" part of their computer is the real physical parts,... Read More

Outlook... Not Just for Email! Using Your Outlook Calendar

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most widely used software programs for email, but if... Read More

Chinese Input - Step by Step Instruction on How to Input Chinese Characters in English Windows XP

Enabling Chinese input is quick and easy, there are only a few steps you need... Read More

Choose your Java Wisely

Java has come along a long way. Many would agree with this. I did not... Read More

Healthcare Preventive Maintenance Software

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

String in Java

Handling character strings in Java is supported through two final classes: String and StringBuffer. The... Read More

Microsoft CRM Programming Secrets ? Tips For Developers

This article is for advanced Microsoft CRM SDK C# developers. It describes the technique of... Read More

Upgrading Great Plains Dexterity Customization ? switching to new technologies: SQL, Crystal, eConne

1. Replace Dexterity cursor with SQL Stored Procedure Dexterity was designed as multiplatform technology... Read More

Navision Attain C/ODBC Crystal Report ? Customization Example

Microsoft Business Solutions Navision is main ERP application for European, Brazilian markets plus it serves... Read More

When is a Software Engineer Not a Software Engineer?

The title of "software engineer" has got to be among the most highly abused in... Read More

RFID: Strengthen the Position for SAP; United States

SAP Inc., a global leader in client/server enterprise application software that for years been the... Read More

Are You Waiting for Microsoft Longhorn Operating System

I love new technology. I am still ready to wait long for Longhorn. I have... Read More

Fundraising Software ? How Can That Help Me?

Fundraising software lets you connect with donors in a way that is unlike any communication... Read More

Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS) SQL Customization ? Overview for Programmer

Microsoft Retail Management System serves retail single store as well as retail chains clientele. The... Read More

Who Is Minding Your Sensitive Data?

Stealing company information used to be the specialty of spies and conspirators. It was something... Read More

Crystal Reports - Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is the leader for inexpensive and middle size SQL solutions. Plus it... Read More

Great Plains Custom Development: Dexterity, VBA, SQL, Crystal, eConnect ? Overview For Programmer

Microsoft Great Plains is main Microsoft Business Solutions accounting package for the US market. It... Read More

Spyware - The Internet Devil Of Our Times!

Spyware and Adware infest over 90 percent of computers in use today. Internet linked computers... Read More

Cisco Certification: Five Things To Do DURING Your CCNA Exam

There are plenty of articles out there about how to prepare for the CCNA exam.... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Implementation ? Overview for IT Director/Controller

What is installation in the language of technology? Installation has server and client sides.... Read More

Groupware: Avoid the Ad Hoc Shuffle

GroupwareEfforts are continually made to manage the unavoidable ad hoc business process, but ad hoc... Read More

Helping Newbies Understand Professional Software

The Windows registry is a huge database that ensures normal computer operation. Installing... Read More

6 Easy Steps for a Smoother CD/DVD Order

It's all about turn times in the eMedia industry! The speed with which your vendor... Read More

How To Choose A Fire Wall Software Program

In the real world a "fire wall" is a fireproof wall that is built to... Read More

Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software is used to find, remove or fix files that are infected with computer... Read More

Is Your Computer Sick?

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

These Items Are A Must Before Making The Decision To Purchase Any Off-The-Shelf Software

1. What determines the software price? Is it Per Seat or Per User or Per... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Interest Calculation Example ? Stored Procedure for Crystal Report

This is intermediate level SQL scripting article for DB Administrator, Programmer, IT SpecialistOur and Microsoft... Read More

The Dreaded Paper Label - Should it be Used?

While paper labeling CDs and DVDs may appear to be a cost effective solution for... 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

The Truth: Netzero 3G

We've all seen the ads on TV for Netzero 3G. You know the ones, "speeds... Read More

How to Get The Best Accounting Software For Your Small Business

Buying accounting software is a major investment. It's an important decision and you need to... Read More

Linux Vs. Windows

This article will not attempt to advocate the use of Linux over Windows or vice... 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

Great Plains Sales Order Processing and Invoicing Modules ? Tips For Consultants

We'll give you non formal view, based on our consulting practice.Common Features. SOP and Invoicing... Read More

eCommerce development for Microsoft Great Plains: tools and highlights for programmer

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, former Great Plains Software Dynamics and eEnterprise was designed in... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains eCommerce ? Stored Procedures Approach

Since Version 8.0 Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains & Great Plains Standard are available on... Read More

Keeping Track

One of the things we can be as certain of as death and taxes is... Read More

3 Reasons Why Medical Billing Software is Leading the Way

Since technology changes so quickly, it is hard to begin by saying "in the old... Read More

Software Engineering: An Introduction

Software Engineering is the Systematic Approach for analysis design implementation and maintenance of Software .It... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains customization ? Freight Forwarding/Transportation industry example

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains version 8.5, 8.0, 7.5, Great Plains eEnterprise/Dynamics 7.0, 6.0, Dynamics... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Integration with Legacy Systems ? Overview For Developer

Looks like Microsoft Great Plains becomes more and more popular, partly because of Microsoft muscles... Read More