How to Manipulate Blocks of Text in Word 2010 - dummies

How to Manipulate Blocks of Text in Word 2010

By Dan Gookin

Word 2010 allows you to manipulate entire blocks of text at once. You must select the block of text before you can manipulate it, but after you mark it, various Word commands affect only the text in that block.

Copying a block of text

After a block is marked, you can copy it into another part of your document, to duplicate the text. The original block remains untouched by this operation:

  1. Mark the block.

    You can select a block of text in a number of ways, such as positioning the mouse cursor in a paragraph you want to select and clicking three times.

  2. From the Home tab, select the Copy tool from the Clipboard area.

    Or you can use the common Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut for the Copy command.

    You get no visual clue that the text has been copied; it remains selected.

  3. Move the insertion pointer to the position where you want to place the block’s copy.

    Word inserts the block into your text, making room for it.

  4. Select the Paste tool from the Clipboard area.

    Or you can use the common Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut for the Paste command.

The block of text you copy is inserted into your text just as though you had typed it there by yourself.

Moving a text block

To move a block of text, select the text, and then cut and paste. This process is almost exactly the same as copying a block, described in the preceding section, although in Step 2 you select the Cut tool rather than the Copy tool (or press the Ctrl+X keyboard shortcut for the Cut command). Otherwise, all steps are the same.

Don’t be alarmed when the block of text vanishes! That’s cutting in action; the block of text is being moved, not copied. You see the block of text again when you paste it in place (as described in Step 4).

Setting the pasted text format

When you paste text in Word, the Paste Options icon appears near the end of the pasted block of text. That button allows you to select formatting for the pasted block because occasionally the block may contain formatting that, well, looks quite ugly after it’s pasted in.

To work the Paste Options button, click it with the mouse or press the Ctrl key on the keyboard. You see a menu of options. Just press the keyboard shortcut for the option you want to use.


Paste Options
Keyboard Shortcut Name Description
K Keep Source Formatting The formatting is fine; don’t do a thing.
M Merge Formatting Reformat the pasted block so that it looks like the text
it’s being pasted into.
T Keep Text Only Just paste in the text — no formatting.

Using the Paste Options icon is utterly optional. In fact, you can continue typing or working in Word and the icon bows out, fading away like some nebbish who boldly asked a power blonde to go out with him and she utterly failed to recognize his existence. Like that.

Copying or moving a block with the mouse

When you have to move a block only a short distance, you can use the mouse to drag-move or drag-copy the block. This feature works best when you’re moving or copying a block to a location that you can see right on the screen. Otherwise, you’re scrolling your document with the mouse while you’re playing with blocks, which is like trying to grab an angry snake.

To move any selected block of text with the mouse, just drag the block: Point the mouse cursor anywhere in the blocked text, hold down the mouse button, and then drag the block to its new location. Copying a block with the mouse works just like moving the block, except that you press the Ctrl key while you drag.