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More effective text selection

A few tricks that will make selecting text with your mouse faster, easier and more accurate..

We often use a mouse to select text to delete or copy. However, you can make the process easier with a few tricks. Here are some I use.

Only the mouse

  • Double click to select a whole word. Double click on any word, and you select the whole word.
  • Triple click to select a whole paragraph!
  • Click and Hold on either the start of what you want to select or the end. Then keep holding down the left mouse key while moving to the other end. The mouse will select text as you move a letter at a time. This is what most people do.
  • Double click and hold is like the double click to select a word, but instead of releasing after the second click, keep the mouse button down and move to the other end of your intended selection. The mouse will select a word at a time, making it easier to grab whole words and being faster. I usually find this easier than the simple click and hold above. My selections are faster and more accurate. Because double clicking selects the whole word, you don't have to be accurate in being at the exact beginning or ending of a word. Double clicking anywhere in the word selects the word, then holding the button down lets you move word by word to the other end of your selection.
  • Triple-click and hold is like triple-clicking to select a paragraph, except you keep the mouse button down on the third click and when you move, you'll be selecting a paragraph at a time!
  • Left margin clicking is cool. In most programs you can click and hold in the left margin, just left of the first words then move up or down in the margin. You'll be selecting a line at a time.

Mouse and keyboard

  • Shift click. If you click at one end of the intended selection, then move to the other end and hold the shift key down and click again, you'll select all the text between the two points.

After you make selections, Ctrl-x will cut them, Ctrl-c will copy, ctrl-v will paste as well as using the right mouse button to select what you want to do from the context menu.

Date: October 2022

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