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Do you find yourself reaching out to use your mouse, which is shunted to the side of your wide keyboard? Are you developing tightness in your neck and shoulders as you reach for the mouse? Spend less time with the mouse and relax your shoulders when you use keystrokes to highlight the text.

How to Highlight the Text: *

Use the following keystrokes instead of the mouse to highlight text in Microsoft Word.

  • One character  [Shift+Arrow (right or left)]

  • One word  [Shift+Ctrl+Arrow (right or left)]

  • One line, to the start or end  [Shift+Home or End]

  • One line, up or down  [Shift+Arrow (up or down)]

  • Next paragraph  [Shift+Ctrl+Down Arrow]

  • Previous paragraph  [Shift+Ctrl+Up Arrow]

  • One screen  [Shift+Page Up or Down]

  • Beginning or end of document  [Shift+Ctrl+Home or End]

  • Everything in the document  [Ctrl+A]

Use the following mouse tricks for highlighting:

  • One sentence  Control click.

  • One paragraph  position the cursor to the left of the paragraph until it turns into an arrow and double click.  Or, click three times on the paragraph to highlight it.

  • A large selection in a document  Click on the first word and hold down the Shift as you click on the last word.

Remember to take frequent breaks, regardless of using mouse or keystrokes.

* Adapted from Keyboard Alternatives to Using the Mouse which was compiled by the RET Project. We thank Ray Grott for these alternative keyboard suggestions.

The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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