Working With Text

Help Center Microsoft Word (Office 2007) Working With Text

This section will cover the basics of inserting, moving, and editing text.

Typing and Inserting Text

To enter text, simply start typing! Text will appear on the screen where the blinking cursor is located. To move the cursor, use the arrow buttons on your keyboard or select a location with the mouse. Below are some useful buttons and key combinations that will help you effectively manage the text of your document.


Movement Action Key Combination
Move cursor to the beginning of the line <Home>
Move cursor to the end of the line <End>
Move cursor to the top of the document <Ctrl> + <Home>
Move cursor to the end of the document <Ctrl> + <End>


Selecting Text

In order to change the attributes of your text, the text must first be selected. To select text, simply click and drag the mouse over the desired text.

The following table contains techniques for selecting specific portions of your text:

Selection Technique
Whole word Double-click within the word
Whole paragraph Triple-click within the paragraph
Several words or lines Click and drag the mouse over the words
Entire document Choose Edit > Select All from the menu bar, or press <Ctrl> + <A>

To deselect text, do one of the following:

  • Click anywhere outside of the selection on the page.
  • Press an arrow key on your keyboard.

Deleting Text

To delete a small portion of text, use one of the following keyboard options:
  • Backspace button - deletes text to the left of the cursor.
  • Delete button - deletes text to the right of the cursor.

To delete a large portion of text, follow these steps:

  1. Select the portion of text you want to delete.
  2. Press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Moving Text

To move text from one area of a document to another, you must first cut or copy the text, and then paste the text to its new location. When you cut text, it is removed from the document and placed on a clipboard. When you copy text, it is copied from the document and placed on a clipboard.

To cut text, do one of the following:

  • Select the text you want to cut. Click the Cut button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.
  • Select the text you want to cut, and then press <Ctrl> + X on your keyboard.

To copy text to the clipboard, do one of the following:

  • Select the text you want to copy. Click the Copy button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.
  • Select the text you want to copy, and then press <Ctrl> + C on your keyboard.

To move a small amount of text a short distance, the drag-and-drop method may be quicker.

  1. Select the text you want to move.
  2. Click the selection with the mouse, and drag the selection to its new location.

Pasting Text

To paste cut or copied text, move the cursor to the location where you want the text to be placed, and then do one of the following:

  • Click the Paste button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.
  • Press <Ctrl> + V on your keyboard.

The Clipboard

The last 24 items that you cut or copied are placed onto Word's clipboard. To add a clipboard item back into your document, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Home tab.
  2. Click the arrow on the bottom-right of the Clipboard group. The items that have been placed on the clipboard will open in the Clipboard pane on the left of the screen.
  3. Click the cursor where you would like the item to appear in your document.
  4. Click the item in the Clipboard pane. To add all the items to the document at once, click the Paste All button on the Clipboard pane.

To clear the contents of the Clipboard, click the Clear All button on the Clipboard pane.

Editing Text

The Home tab on the left of the ribbon contains the most common tools you will need to edit text. For example, it has tools for editing text font, type, size, color, and style.

Editing Tools

Format Paint Button

A useful feature for formatting text is the Format Painter button, located in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.

format painter

For example, if you have already formatted your text with a certain font size and style, and you want to format other portions of text the same way, you can use the Format Painter tool instead of manually adding the text attributes each time.

  1. Click the cursor within the text that contains the formatting you want to copy.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the Format Painter button from the Clipboard group. A paintbrush will appear beside the cursor.
  4. Select the text you want to format, and release the mouse button.

To add the formatting to multiple selections of text, double-click the Format Painter button instead of clicking once. The Format Painter will stay active until you press the <Esc> key to turn it off.

Undo an Action

If you make a mistake while formatting text, or if you are unhappy with your formatting choices, you can undo your last action by doing one of the following:

  • Click the Undo icon undo button in the top-left corner of the screen.
  • Press <CTRL> + <Z>.
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