8/25/209:00 am 10 Tips For Selecting Text On Your Mac Basic text selection can be done with a quick click and drag. But you can use these advanced techniques to select by word, lines, rectangular areas or make non-contiguous multiple selections at the same time. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at ten tricks for selecting text on your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 700 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So you probably already know the basics of selecting text on your Mac. You can click anywhere and drag and select characters of text. My first tip is that you could double click to select a word. For instance if I wanted to select this word right here I just double click and it selects the entire word. I don't have to mess with selecting before the first character and dragging to exactly the end of the last character. But in addition to that if you triple click it will select the entire paragraph. So three clicks like that selects everything here on that paragraph or line. Now you can still drag after doing the double click or triple click. So I can double click on a word here and after the second click I'm still holding down. Now I can start dragging and it's going to select by word and I can go as far as I want in the document to select just by word. I can even go and select previous words as well. The same thing works with triple click. So I can triple click here and continue holding down after the third click. Now I can select by paragraph. Now if you would rather use the keyboard you can do that by indicating that you want to make a selection by holding down the Shift key. If I just move the left and right arrow keys you can see it just moves the cursor. But if I hold the Shift key down and move it will select as I move using the arrows. Now you could modify this by holding the Option key as well. That selects by word. So if I put the cursor at the beginning of a word there and hold the Shift key down to indicate that I want to select something and I hold the Option key down to indicate that I want to select by word. Now I can use the right arrow to select by word. I can also do it with the left arrow. The same thing works with the up or down arrow. So Shift, then Option, then down arrow goes to the end of this paragraph and every down arrow after that will continue to select more paragraphs. I could do the same thing with up arrow. Now Command, plus left and right arrow will go to the beginning or end of a line. Not the paragraph but the actual line of text. So if you hold the Shift key down and then Command then you can select everything from the current position to the beginning of the line. Likewise Shift Command right arrow will select to the end of the line. There's an unusual combination of these. If you use Shift Command left arrow and then right arrow you get the entire line. You could do the same thing with up or down. It goes to the beginning or end of the document. So I can Shift Command up arrow is everything from the cursor position to the beginning of the document. Shift Command down arrow will select everything to the end of the document. So if you've been typing and you decide not to use the last couple of paragraphs and go back to say here you do Shift Command down arrow and a quick delete to delete to the end of your document. Now you can also use the Shift key to select a range. So I can put the cursor here and then before I click anywhere else I can hold the Shift key down and it will select that entire range from the text cursor position to the point that I clicked. The same thing works going backwards. I can select here and then Shift click here to select everything from this character to that character. Now I've been demonstrating using this in TextEdit. But all of the things I've shown so far work will in other places where you select text. So they'll work in Pages, for instance, or Mail when you're composing a message. But these next two tips will only work in TextEdit. They don't work in Pages. They don't work in Mail. They don't really work in other apps at all. But you could always Copy text and Paste it into TextEdit and use this technique and then Copy and Paste it back. The first is you can select a rectangular area of text by holding the Option key down. So with the Option key down click here and drag and you could see how it selects characters in a rectangle. This is really bizarre especially if you're going to hit the delete there and it's going to delete all of that stuff. If you hold the Option key down and double click then drag it will do a rectangular area but selecting complete words. Now here's an example where that could be useful. Say you have a table like this. It's just a text document with tabs. You want to select just some of the columns. Like maybe just the first four columns here. You can hold the Option key down, click and drag and just select these columns. Then you could copy that and in a new document paste those in. Now here's another one that only works in TextEdit. That's to be able to select non-contiguous portions of text. So you could do this by using the Command key. I'll select some text here. Then I'll hold the Command key down and select some other text. You could see both pieces of text are selected. I could continue to do that. Select all sorts of pieces of text. You could do things like this to make them all Bold or a certain style. You can Copy these. You can see if I go to a new document it pastes them all in. It keeps the paragraphs there. So each one is separated into its own paragraph. Or I can simply hit Delete to delete this selection. So I can kind of select a few things that I think I might want to delete. Think about it for a second and then delete to get rid of them all. So the last trick I want to show you is the simplest. Most Mac users know this but some don't. Some people know it but forget it's kind of there. That's to simply use Command A to select All. You could always see that under Edit. There's usually Select All, Command A, in just about any app. This is really handy to be able to quickly select all of the text and Copy and Paste that into another document. Maybe this is just a portion of text that you're writing and you want to quickly copy it from this little document into a bigger one. Command A and Command C will quickly select all and copy. Or Command A and Delete will clear out a document. Here's a bonus one. You can select some text and you can do a Search based on that text. If you look under Edit and then Find there's usually a command for Use Selection for Find. Command E is the default shortcut for that. This is there in TextEdit and Pages. It's there in Mail. If I select that nothing seems to happen because it basically is using this selection for a search and it's just showing you the first one. But if I do Command G, for Find Next, you could see it quickly finds the next one there. So I can select some text, do Command E, Command G to find each one after that. So there's a look at some tricks you can use when you're selecting text. Related Subjects: Productivity (58 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: One Response to “10 Tips For Selecting Text On Your Mac” Stephen 3 years ago Just to clarify: when you want to select successive words or paragraphs, you must double CLICK, as Gary says. Double tapping, which is what I usually do, doesn't work. Comments Closed.