Written by: Craig Haynie

The internet is full of handy tricks, and you may have heard of this one already. But, I just accidentally stumbled upon it when I fat fingered the wrong key while trying to use another trick I learned a million years ago and thought I might share.

Type a sentence and then assume that you want to highlight some part of it, either to copy, cut, delete, or just to see how it looks highlighted (who knows, I bet there is someone out there that really enjoys that?) Anyway, use your arrow keys to get to the beginning or end of the text you want to highlight. Hold shift and continue to use the arrows to highlight the text you want to cut/copy/look at highlighted. Then you can do whatever you want with it. CTRL C to copy, CTRL X to cut, spacebar, the delete key, backspace to delete, or even CTRL V to paste something from the clipboard over the highlighted text (ooh, advanced!). This I have used forever. I try to stay off the mouse unless I need the cursor to travel some great distance, like down to the start button (even though there are shortcut keys for that too …… I could also mail order toilet paper but some things are just meant to be done with your own two hands … or in the case of the mouse, or if you were missing a limb, with your own one hand.

So, the thing that I accidentally learned today was to hold CTRL while holding shift, while using the arrow key. (Breathe, it ain’t that complicated). The result is that you highlight an entire word at a time. So, if I wanted to go back to the word “highlight” I could hold CTRL and Shift, and hit the left arrow 12 or 29 times, depending on which “highlight” I want to go back to. (Or, just hold the arrow down until you got to where you wanted to be.) Also, in case you didn’t figure this part out you can use either of the left or right arrow keys while still holding CTRL and Shift if you want to highlight more or less text. So if you go too far just keep holding CTRL and Shift and hit the arrow key in the other direction. You can also hold Shift and use the up or down arrows to select entire lines of text. Also, also, while holding Shift you can use the Home or End key to jump to the beginning or end of a line as well.

Play with it. Get in the middle of a paragraph and while holding shift, play with all the arrow keys, the Home key, and End key. Then you can hold CTRL and Shift and do the same. CTRL and Shift while hitting Home or End will take you to the top or bottom of the document. The same thing works with Shift and Page up or Page down.

Have fun! If anyone appreciates this trick I might consider giving a few of my others away. : )

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