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MS Word: How to Select Vertical Rectangular Area

Selecting arbitrary rectangular block in MS-Word
Samyak Lalit | November 28, 2013 (Last update: July 31, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

“Hi there, I remember that during my MS-Word course, my teacher had told me how to select arbitrary area in a document. Meaning you can select any area; starting in the middle of a line and then going vertical. But I have forgotten how to do this.”, thus spoke a colleague in the office.

Microsoft Word is an extremely powerful word processing software from Microsoft Corporation. Most of the personal computers around the world have a copy of this software installed and it helps millions of people to do their office work faster.

Selection of text is one of the most basic task in MS-Word. You can issue a lot of commands that work only on a selected piece of text. Such commands range from simple copy or cut to doing calculations among a number of other things.

To select a piece of text in MS-Word, the most common method is to use mouse and drag it while holding its left button down. Alternatively, you can do the same task with the help of keyboard by using left and right arrow keys while holding SHIFT key down.

But how about selecting a vertical and arbitrary area?

Let’s say, if you want to select only first few words of ten lines in a document –can you do it?

Yes, you can!

SEE ALSO: Our MS-Word guide that helps you do work faster!

It is possible to select area of any rectangular size in MS Word. To do this free-form selection, just hold down ALT key and left button of your mouse. Now drag the mouse to make arbitrary selection of any area in your document. Here is an example:

Selecting arbitrary rectangular block in MS-Word

The blue area shown in this image was selected using above mentioned method. Isn’t that what you also wanted to do? I hope it answered your query. Please let me know if you have any questions about it. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


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