How to select a rectangular fragment in Word

In Word, one can select rectangular fragments

Word offers a lot of commands for selecting text fragments. They are very well-chosen and easy to memorize:

Symbols:

  • SHIFT + →  — one symbol to the right
  • SHIFT + ←  — one symbol to the left

Words:

  • CTRL + SHIFT + →  — one word to the right
  • CTRL + SHIFT + ←  — one word to the left

Lines:

  • SHIFT + END  — from the cursor to the end of the line
  • SHIFT + HOME  — from the cursor to the beginning of the line
  • SHIFT +  ↑ — one line upward
  • SHIFT + ↓  — one line downward

Paragraphs:

  • CTRL + SHIFT +  ↑ — one paragraph upward
  • CTRL + SHIFT + ↓  — one paragraph downward

Pages:

  • CTRL + SHIFT + END  — from the cursor to the end of the page
  • CTRL + SHIFT + HOME  — from the cursor to the beginning of the page

As we see, the distinctive feature all these commands share is the usage of the SHIFT key.

Apart from these selection methods, Word offers another astonishing opportunity known to a few: one can select random rectangular text fragments.

Where can this feature come in handy?

Let’s say you have a text fragment like this:

2018-09-18_17-44-55

And you need to delete the bullets—those circles in the list lines. How to do it quickly?

You can delete them one by one. You can use AutoCorrect—replace “a circle with a space” with “nothing.” And you can also take advantage of the circles being placed aside the text, select them all at once and delete them all at once.

In other words, there are only two actions to do:

1. Press and hold the ALT key (not SHIFT!), select an area in the file capturing all the circles and leaving the text untouched:

2018-09-18_17-51-17

2. Press the DELETE key:

2018-09-18_17-53-14

And that’s it—all the circles are gone.

The only thing is that it’s impossible to do this rectangular selection without a mouse.

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