Software

Two useful Word shortcuts for quickly deleting text

Editing text is tedious work. Use these two shortcuts to delete whole words instead of single characters.

Many users delete text the hard way-character by character. Fortunately, there are many editing shortcuts, and I'd like to share two that transform [Backspace] and [Delete] into deleting machines.

[Ctrl]+[Backspace]

Pressing [Backspace] deletes the characters to the left of the insertion point, one at a time. When you need to delete an entire word, press [Ctrl]+[Backspace]. This shortcut deletes text to the left of the insertion point one word at a time instead of one character at a time. For instance, to delete the last four words in a paragraph, including the ending period character, you'd hold down [Ctrl] and press [Backspace] five times. (Word counts a punctuation mark as a word.)

[Ctrl]+[Delete]

Pressing [Delete] removes the characters to the right of the insertion point, one character at a time. To delete several characters to the right, at once, press [Ctrl]+[Delete]. This combo deletes all the characters to the right of the insertion point in the current word. For instance, to remove cut in the word shortcut, you'd position the insertion point between the t and the c, and press [Ctrl]+[Delete].

What deleting shortcuts do you use?

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

10 comments
jbenton
jbenton

use alt-shift up or down to select and move the current paragraph (or table row)

dkrstevski
dkrstevski

I use ctrl-shift and arrows do select words that i will delete (i see them highlighted) and then i just predd backspace or delete, whatever is closer, depending on the keyboard.

hamajhardy
hamajhardy

Ctrl left or right acts on the word not the line.

hamajhardy
hamajhardy

Ctrl-up and Ctrl-down will put the cursor at the top or bottom of the paragraph. Ctrl-shift-up and Ctrl-shift-down will select the text from the position of the cursor to the top or bottom of the paragraph. If you use the left and right key it will act the same on the line. If you use the home or end key. It will act the same on the whole document. Handy to delete or change formatting.

jonc2011
jonc2011

How come I had forgotten them?

cuulblu
cuulblu

Double click selects an entire word. Then you can delete or edit as you wish. Also triple click selects an entire paragraph.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

I've never thought of trying that. I've used: - "Ctrl + Arrows" for navigation. - "Ctrl + Shift + Arrows" to select words/paragraphs. - "Ctrl + Shift + Home/End" to select large sections of text.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you have a favorite useful tip for manipulating or editing text in Microsoft Word?

stapleb
stapleb

And if you use Ctrl + Click you select a sentence. Just another one to add to your arsenal.

essex133
essex133

When I tried double clicking in Word 2007, it did indeed highlight the entire word. But when I tried triple clicking, it highlighted the entire body of text in a document - not just one paragraph as suggested? And as for some of the other keyboard shortcuts mentioned, personally I find it just as easy to highlight the word or lines of text that you wish to delete using the mouse and then just hit delete....

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