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For Seniors: How to Select Content in Microsoft Office

Selecting content is an essential skill for any Microsoft Office application. Many commands in Office applications apply to whatever text or graphics you select. For example, to make some text bold, select it first and then click the Bold button.

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To select text in Word or PowerPoint, you can either

  • Drag the mouse pointer across it (holding down the left mouse button)

  • Click where you want to start and then hold down Shift as you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

When text is selected, its background changes color. The color depends on the color scheme in use; with the default color scheme, selected text is blue.

In Excel, you usually want to select entire cells rather than individual bits of text; when the cell is selected, any formatting or other commands that you issue applies to everything in that cell. To select a cell, click it. You can extend the selection to multiple cells by dragging across them or by holding down Shift and pressing the arrow keys.

To select a graphic, click it with the mouse. Selection handles appear around the outside of it. Depending on the graphic type, these handles are blue circles or black squares.

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When a graphic is selected, you can do any of the following to it:

  • Move it. Position the mouse pointer on the graphic (not on the border) and drag.

  • Copy it. Hold down the Ctrl key while you move it.

  • Resize it. Position the mouse pointer on one of the selection handles and drag.

  • Delete it. Press the Delete key.

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