WordPerfect Win: Moving and Selecting

WordPerfect Win: Moving and Selecting

by Kendall Callas

Progress usually happens not all at once, but in many small steps. WordPerfect made one such winning stride when it moved from DOS to Windows and streamlined two key tasks. We'll look at how you select a block of text and how to move the cursor within a document.

Any version of WordPerfect For Windows offers wonderfully simple and flexible techniques for selecting a chunk of text. Selecting text (also known as "highlighting" or "blocking") is what you do first to alter a cluster of words that you've already typed in. Once text is selected, then you press one or two keys to perform an action on it, such as delete, underline, bold, capitalize, cut, copy, move, change font, etc.


If you've used any Windows software, you're probably familiar with using the mouse to mark text by dragging shading across the screen. That's one way you can do it in WordPerfect: Use the mouse to point to one edge of the desired text, then hold down the left mouse button as you move the mouse pointer to the other edge. As you move your mouse, shading will expand to highlight the text you select.


The most elegant and precise way to select text is with the keyboard. In a sense, selecting text is just another aspect of moving the cursor, so selecting can be done by adding a special key to any movement keystroke. Instead of simply moving the cursor, hold down the Shift key also to select as you go.

Here's the concept: Shift key + movement = selecting.

For example, to move the cursor right one character, press the Right arrow; to select the character to the right, use Shift+Right arrow. To move to the right edge of the line, press End; to select to the right edge, use Shift+End. To move to the bottom of the document, use Ctrl+End; to select the remainder of the document, use Shift+Ctrl+End.

Get it? Selecting or highlighting text is just as easy as moving the cursor -- you simply add the Shift key.

Consequently, knowing your movement keystrokes pays off doubly. So here's a quick review of ways to move the cursor efficiently.


To move the cursor to Use this keystroke
Next word Ctrl+Right arrow
Previous word Ctrl+Left arrow
Next paragraph Ctrl+Down arrow
Previous paragraph Ctrl+Up arrow
Line beginning Home
Line end End
Document beginning Ctrl+Home
Document end Ctrl+End
Screen top PgUp
Screen bottom PgDn
Next page Alt+PgDn
Previous page Alt+PgUp

In sum, use these keystrokes to move the cursor. Use the Shift key with these keystrokes to select text for alteration.


Like the Block key in DOS versions of WordPerfect, the F8 Select key turns on shading -- and shading stays on until you tap F8 again to turn it off. This allows selecting with a more "hands-free" approach since the Shift is not required. This key also offers a special 1-key search feature; once you've activated F8, tap any letter, number, or punctuation key and the shading will stretch forward to include it. Of course, you may also use the movement keys as discussed above to adjust the shading.


Instead of pointing, sometimes it's handiest to select logical sets of words, that is, a sentence, paragraph, or page. To do this, use the menu command Edit Select to choose the current Sentence, Paragraph, Page, or All of the document.


One last way to select text is by clicking with your mouse. Move your mouse to a point in your text, then click the left mouse button:

Click this many times To select the current
2 word
3 sentence
4 paragraph


After you've selected text, click the right button on your mouse to see the QuickMenu. It offers a selection of handy actions to perform on the shaded text:

Cut - remove shaded text for later pasting.
Copy - duplicate shaded text for later pasting.
Delete - erase shaded text.
QuickFormat - copy format from shaded area to another point.
Speller - spell check shaded text.
Bullets - add a bullet and indent at left of paragraph.


Now let's work through some task examples:

BOLD - Let's say you need to apply bold to a heading. Begin with your cursor on the heading. Press the Home key to move to the left edge of the line, then select the line this way: Hold down the Shift key and tap the End key to move to the right edge of the line -- the entire line is now shaded. Now that you've selected the heading, release the Shift key. Apply bold with Ctrl+B -- hold down the Ctrl key and tap the letter "B". (Use Ctrl+U to turn underlining on/off, Ctrl+I to turn italics on/off.)

Notice that the shading remains on. The text will remain selected -- for further manipulation -- until you click or move the cursor. Tap the End key, for example, to turn off the shading.

CAPITALIZE - Working on a contract, you'd like to capitalize the first clause of your lead sentence. (We will assume the clause ends with a comma.) Starting at the beginning of the clause, tap the F8 Select key. Tap the right arrow a couple of times and you can see that shading is on. Now tap the comma (,) key and the 1-key search function will expand the shading to slide forward to include the comma at the end of the clause. Now select capitalization from the menu: Edit Convert Uppercase. (In WP Win 6.x you may also choose Initial Caps.) Voila! (Tap an arrow key to turn off the shading.)

CENTER - Let's center that pesky heading. Use your mouse to shade the heading: Point to the left edge with your mouse, then hold down the left mouse button as you slide your mouse pointer to the other edge of the heading. Since the mouse is in hand, use it to select from the menus: Layout Line Center (You may also use Shift+F7.) (Click with your left mouse button to turn off the shading.)

COMMENT CREATE - You have included the phone number along with the address in the letter you've just finished typing. Now you're ready to print, but of course you don't want the phone number to print. Instead of deleting the phone number, convert it into a comment! That way you'll still have the phone number visible in front of you when you later follow-up on the letter.

Use your mouse to point to the phone number and double click. (Two clicks select a word, 3 select a sentence, and 4 select a paragraph.) Now use the menu to select Insert Comment Create. (In WP Win 5.x, this command is under Tools.)

COPY/CUT & PASTE - Now you want to add the address from a letter to your list of correspondents. Point with your mouse to the beginning of the address, hold down the left mouse button, and shade the address with a downward movement. (Alternatively, hold down the Shift key and tap the Down arrow three or four times.)

With the address selected, release the left mouse button (or Shift key) and click your right mouse button. A QuickMenu will pop up with a menu of commands appropriate to the task at hand. Click on Copy or simply press the letter "O". (Alternatively, you may use the menu command Edit Copy.) Now the shaded text has been copied into a memory buffer from which we can "paste" it. (Tap an arrow key to turn off the shading.)

Now open your address file, position your cursor where you want to make this addition, click your right mouse button and choose Paste (or use the menu command Edit Paste). Voila!

ERASE - It's easy to delete text. Select it by dragging your mouse pointer as you hold down your left mouse button. Remove all the shaded text with a tap of the DELete key (or Backspace). Gone!

FONT - Let's say you've just typed a word and decide that you want to double underline it. Hold down the Shift key and press Ctrl+Left arrow to shade the word. Now tap F9, the shortcut key for the Font menu. Use your mouse to click the "Double Underline" entry in the Appearance box just above the center of the screen. Click on OK and it's done. (Now click elsewhere in your document to turn off the shading.)

ITALICS - A paragraph of your screenplay needs italics. Begin with your cursor at the beginning of the paragraph. Hold down the Shift key and press Ctrl+Down arrow to shade the whole paragraph. Now use Ctrl+I to italicize the entire paragraph. (Tap the Home key to turn off shading.)

PRINT - You are about to leave for an appointment and need to take the address and driving instructions with you on paper. Open your client list where this information is stored, locate the information you need and use Shift+Down arrow to shade it. Now tap F5, the shortcut key for File Print. Note on the left that the Selected Text item is marked; simply press Enter to choose Print. (Tap any movement key to turn off shading.)

SORT - Priorities have changed and you've adjusted the rankings of items in your "to do" list:

5 Fax to Smith
2 Letter to Jones
1 Call plumber
4 Outline Roberts project
3 Rewrite agreement

Since this list is at the bottom of the file where you keep your notes. You can't sort the entire file. To sort just your to do list, start with your cursor at the beginning of the list. Hold down the Shift key and press Ctrl+End to shade the remainder of the file. Choose from the menu Tools, Sort, then simply press Enter to sort the shaded area. (By shading, then sorting, the remainder of the document is left undisturbed.)

SPELL CHECK - After finishing your latest proposal, you revisited a key section and touched up the wording in a couple of paragraphs. To check spelling in just that area (and not have to wade through the entire document again), shade the two paragraphs by holding down the Shift key and using Ctrl+Down arrow to move paragraph by paragraph. Choose Tools Speller to spell check just the shaded area (or click your right mouse button to choose Speller from a QuickMenu).

UNDERLINE - You've just added the words "Personal and Confidential" to the address on your letter. To underline it, use your mouse to shade the words: Point to one edge, hold down the left button, and drag the pointer to the other edge, expanding the shading as you move. When you're ready, press Ctrl+U to underline the shaded area. If you wish to bold the words as well, press Ctrl+B. (Turn off the shading with a click of your mouse or any movement key.)

Copyright (C) 1995 by microCounsel, (415) 921-6850. All rights reserved.

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