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How to Remove Text from a Word 2010 Document

You both create and destroy text in Word 2010 by using the computer keyboard. Word uses two keys to delete text: Backspace and Delete. How these keys work, and how much of your text they can delete, depends on how you use them.

Deleting single characters in Word 2010

By themselves, the Backspace and Delete keys are used to delete single characters:

  • Backspace: Deletes the character to the left of the insertion pointer

  • Delete: Deletes the character to the right of the insertion pointer

After you delete a character, any text to the right or below the character shuffles over to fill the void. You can press and hold Backspace or Delete to continuously “machine-gun-delete” characters. Release the key to halt such wanton destruction.

Deleting a word in Word 2010

To gobble up an entire word, add the Ctrl key to the Backspace or Delete key's destructive power:

  • Ctrl+Backspace: Deletes the word in front (to the left) of the insertion pointer.

  • Ctrl+Delete: Deletes the word behind (to the right) of the insertion pointer.

These keyboard shortcuts work best when the insertion pointer is at the start or end of a word. When you're in the middle of the word, the commands delete only from that middle point to the start or end of the word.

After deleting the text, Word neatly wraps up the remaining text, snuggling it together in a grammatically proper way; deleting a word doesn’t leave a “hole” in your text.

Deleting more than a word in Word 2010

Beyond deleting a word or character, Word lacks keyboard-specific commands to delete lines or paragraphs of text. Word has ways to delete these things — those ways just aren't obvious:

  • A line of text: The easiest way to delete a line of text is to use the mouse. Move the mouse into the left margin of your document, point it at the line of text you want to obliterate, and click. The line of text is highlighted, or selected. Press the Delete key to send that line into oblivion.

  • A sentence: Point the mouse at the offending sentence, then hold down the Ctrl key and click the mouse to select the sentence. Press the Delete key to make the sentence vanish into thin air.

  • A paragraph: Point the mouse at the paragraph, click the mouse button three times, and press the Delete key.

    If clicking thrice is befuddling you, move the mouse pointer into the left margin next to the offending paragraph. When the mouse pointer changes to a northeasterly-pointing arrow, click twice. That action selects the entire paragraph, which you can now whack by pressing the Delete key.

  • A page: Press Ctrl+G to summon the Go To tab in the Find and Replace dialog box, type the number of the page you want to delete, and click the Close button. After the dialog box disappears, press the F8 key. Call the Find and Replace dialog box again by pressing Ctrl+G, then type the next page number and press Enter. The entire page is now selected. Press the Delete key.

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