Select for Focus

What We'll Learn

  1. Various ways to select text and pictures
  2. Practical uses for selected text

How To Select

A key concept in using computers is the act of selecting text.  It allows you to focus the computers attention on specific information on the screen.
The most obvious way to select text is to drag your mouse across the text or picture you wish to copy or move.The selection should then be highlighted on your screen as in the example below:


Here is some text that we selected in a sentence.


Exercise 1 - Selecting Text With Your Mouse

Try to select some text in this tutorial to see how Selecting works:
  1. Click and drag your mouse across some text.  Note how it is "highlighted" in blue showing what you have selected.
  2. Try selecting a couple of lines by dragging across and down or diagonally.

Selecting When Editing

Selecting is particularly useful in places where you can enter text or type in.  In these situations, you will have an Text Cursor in addition to your normal Mouse Cursor.

The Mouse Cursor keeps track of where the mouse is on the screen and lets you point at things.

The Text Cursor keeps track of where you are working on the text and where new letters are inserted.

To move the Text Cursor, you simply place your Mouse Cursor where you want it to go and then Click your mouse.

Exercise 2 - Selecting Text With Your Keyboard

Many users find it easier and faster to select text with the keyboard rather than with the mouse. Let's try this out:
First we'll open the WordPad program:
  1. Click Start
  2. Start typing the word wordpad, click WordPad as soon as it appears in the menu above.
  3. Now type some text, a sentence or two.
Then let's place the Text Cursor and use our keyboard to select text
  1. Click to place the text cursor at the start of the text you want to select
  2. Hold down the <Shift> key and then press the <Right-Arrow-Key> to begin selecting text to the right.
  3. Note how the text is highlighted. While still hoding <Shift> try pressing the <Down-Arrow-Key>
  4. Finally, practice clearing a selection by simply Clicking somewhere to reset the text cursor.


Exercise 2 - Working With Selected Text

Selecting text tells the computer exactly what information on the screen you want to work on.  Here are some of the things you can do with selected text.  Give them a try, using your WordPad window: 
  1. Delete Text - Easily delete selected text by pressing the <Delete> key on your keyboard
  2. Move Text - Put your mouse over any selected text and then drag it to move it to another place.
  3. Format Text - Use the format menu to change the colour of the   selected text
  4. Replace Text -Typing will automatically replace any selected text 
Selecting Text is a vital step in using the Windows Clipboard, which we will cover in the next Tutorial

Exercise 3 - More Selection Shortcuts

Since selecting text is so common in computer work, here are some other quick selection tips to try:
  1. Double-Click to automatically select a word
  2. Triple-Click to automatically select a sentence
  3. Hold down the <Ctrl> key and press the letter A on your keyboard to select all text.