Microsoft Word 2007 to 2016

Section One: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Highlighting Text in Microsoft Word

It's a lot easier to show you what highlighting is, rather than explaining it. So examine the image below, which is what your letter should look like so far:

Two lines of a letter highlighted in Microsoft Word

The two lines with the blue background have been highlighted (the blue highlight will be grey in some versions of Word). When you highlight some text you can do things with it. You can change the size of the font, underline it, make it bold, delete it altogether, and many other things. But only the text that you have highlighted will change. The rest of your document will remain unchanged. So if we were to change the size of the font in the document above, only the two lines that have been highlighted will change size. Highlighting is very important in word processing.

So how do you highlight some text?

There are quite a few different ways to highlight text. We'll go through a few now. Practice them as you go along.

How to highlight an entire document

You can highlight your entire document from the Home tab at the top of Word. On the right hand side, you should see an Editing section:

The Editing panel in Word 2007 and Word 2010

Click on the Select item to see a menu appear:

The Select item on the Editing panel, Word 2007

In Word 2010 to 2016 you'll see an extra item on the menu, right at the bottom:

The Select item on the Editing panel, Word 2010 to 2016

Click Select All from the menu to highlight an entire document. To get rid of highlighted text, click anywhere in your document with your left mouse button.

An easier way to highlight all the text in your document is via a keyboard shortcut. Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard. Keep it held down and press the letter A. This is will select all text. (This shortcut works in other software, not just Microsoft Word.)

How to highlight an entire line

Most of the time, though, you won't want to highlight the entire document, but just sections of it. You can highlight an entire line with just one mouse click.

To highlight a single line, move your mouse over to the left margin of your document. As in the image below:

Highlight an entire line

If you can't see a ruler at the top of the page and the left of the page, click the tiny icon in the top right of Microsoft Word, for 2007 users:

Another way to display rulers is from the View tab in the Ribbon at the top of Word. Locate the Show/Hide panel, and the click the Ruler item:

Ruler in Word 2013

When you move your mouse pointer to the margins, it will turn into an arrow. When it does, click your left hand mouse button once, then let go. A single line will be highlighted.

A line highlighted

You can use the same technique to highlight more than one line at a time. Instead of letting go of the left mouse button, keep it held down. Then move your mouse upwards or downwards in a straight line.

Highlight several lines

Let go of the mouse button when you are satisfied.

 

Highlighting blocks of text

This one is a little trickier, but not too tricky. To highlight a block of text, do the following:

  • Click at the start of the block of text you want to highlight. (For practice purposes, click just before the letter "I" of "It has come …" on the first line.)
  • Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard (The Shift keys are the ones with the block arrows on them, pointing upwards. You hold down a shift key if you want a capital letter.)
  • With the Shift key held down, click your left mouse button at the end of the block of text you want to highlight. (Click after the question mark of " … premature?")
  • A block of text will be highlighted

 

Highlight by dragging

This is another tricky one, when you're starting out. A bit of practice, though, and you'll soon master it. To highlight some text by dragging, do the following:

  • Click with your left mouse button at the start of the text you want to highlight
  • Keep your left mouse button held down
  • Drag your mouse pointer across the screen (Your mouse pointer will change shape. It will be the shape of a capital letter I.)
  • You can drag in any direction you like
  • When you've reached the end of the text you want to highlight, let go of the mouse button
  • Your text is highlighted

 

Highlighting a single word

Highlighting a single word is easy. All you have to do is to double click on the word with your left mouse button. That's it!


Highlighting with the keyboard (no mouse needed)


For more precise highlighting, nothing beats the keyboard.

Line Highlighting

  • To highlight a single line, move your cursor to the start of the line you want to highlight. (You can move the cursor about with the arrow keys on your keyboard. Play about with them and see what happens.)
  • Hold down a Shift key on your keyboard
  • With the Shift key held down, press the End key on your keyboard
  • A single line is highlighted
  • To go the other way, from the end of a line to the beginning, move your cursor to the end of the line (or somewhere in the middle will do for. It works just as well.)
  • Hold down a Shift key on your keyboard
  • With the Shift key held down, press the Home key on your keyboard
  • Your text is highlighted

 

Paragraph Highlighting

To highlight a paragraph with the keyboard alone, do the following

  • Move your cursor to the start or end of the paragraph you want to highlight
  • Hold down a Shift key AND a Ctrl key (bottom left of your keyboard)
  • With the Shift key AND a Ctrl key held down, press the Up or DOWN arrows
  • A paragraph will be highlighted

 

Highlighting one word at a time

  • For practice purposes, move your cursor to the middle of a line of text
  • Hold down a Shift key AND a Ctrl key
  • With the Shift key AND a Ctrl key held down, press the Left arrow or the Right arrow key on your keyboard

 

Highlighting one letter at a time

  • For practice purposes, move your cursor to the middle of a line of text
  • Hold down a Shift key
  • With the Shift key, press the Left arrow or the Right arrow on your keyboard
  • A single letter is highlighted for every tap of an arrow key


And that ends the highlighting section. Practice the techniques outlined above using your library letter. It takes quite a while to master them all, so just pick a couple of highlighting techniques. The ones you find the easiest to do.

We'll now see how to open a file that you have previously saved.