Text Selection Shortcuts



Working with text is a big part of using a Mac. Fortunately, almost every Mac app handles text in a similar manner: namely, first you select some text, and then you do something to it (apply bold formatting, delete it, cut it, change the font, etc.). The selecting is the slow part, but there are text selection shortcuts and techniques that will make you a much faster text selector. Try these things today!

Yes, you can drag through the text to select things. But that’s slow, and prone to errors. So don’t do that unless you have too.

Double-click to select a word

Double-click anywhere in a word to select that word. Yes, anywhere! Pretty smooth, and a lot faster than click-and-drag. Want to select more than one word? Hold the Shift key down and click (once) anywhere on the next word. Or, hold the Shift key down and click (once) several words away. The selection will extend, and it will always be “whole words,” so it doesn’t matter where in the next word(s) you click. That’s nice! And fast.

Triple-click to select a paragraph

Triple-click anywhere in a paragraph to select that paragraph. Yes, anywhere! Pretty smooth, and a lot faster than click-and-drag. Want to select more than one paragraph? Hold the Shift key down and click (once) anywhere on the next paragraph. Or, hold the Shift key down and click (once) several paragraphs away. The selection will extend, and it will always be “whole paragraphs,” so it doesn’t matter where in the next paragraph(s) you click. That’s also nice! And also fast.


These text selection techniques will make a big difference in your daily work. Try them in Mail, Word, Pages, Text Edit, InDesign, Safari, and anywhere else you’re working with text. They’ll quickly become second nature and from then on you’ll save gobs of time and effort.



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